Anette “Peko” Hosoi is the associate dean of the MIT School of Engineering and the Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering. She is devoted to unlocking the full potential of students via educational initiatives and strategic planning that advance the school’s role as a global leader in engineering research and education.
Hosoi earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University (1992). She earned master’s (1994) and doctoral (1997) degrees in physics from the University of Chicago. She has long demonstrated a passion for innovation at MIT: during her first job as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics; as a faculty leader for the groundbreaking New Engineering Education Transformation program (NEET); and, most recently, as associate head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Hosoi also has an established record of working closely with students and facilitating new opportunities for them. A MacVicar Faculty Fellow, she has been instrumental in creating and supporting a range of educational activities in mechanical engineering, including enhancements to the current flexible undergraduate program Course 2-A.
Her research interests include fluid dynamics, unconventional robotics, and bio-inspired design. She began her research career working in fluid mechanics and thin-film flows. Her work has followed a circuitous path through soft matter, soft robotics, bio-inspired engineering design, biomechanics, and sports technology.
Hosoi’s research has garnered attention by both fellow scientists and the general media. For instance, one of her projects developed a robot that moved like a snail by extruding artificial snail slime rippling over it. She has also studied how razor clams turn sand into quicksand while digging themselves in, a “tree-on-a-chip” design that mimics the pumping mechanism of trees and plants, and designed wetsuits using materials that mimic the thermal insulation properties of otter fur.
She is the founder of the MIT Sports Lab, a sports engineering program that seeks to improve athletic performance and advance endurance, speed, accuracy, and agility in sports through collaborations between students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners.
In 2012, Hosoi was named a fellow of the American Physical Society for “innovative work in thin fluid films and in the study of nonlinear interactions between viscous fluids and deformable interfaces including shape, kinematic, and rheological optimization in biological systems.” And she was honored with the 2018 Stanley Corrsin Award “for creative analysis of locomotion, contributions to the development of soft robotics as an emerging field, and her ability to combine mathematical analysis with physical insight“ by the American Physical Society.
She is also a past winner of the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Junior Bose Award for Education, the Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, all from the MIT School of Engineering, and the Den Hartog Distinguished Educator Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Hosoi’s nickname comes from a brand of Japanese candy. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband Justin Brooke.