The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. is a nonprofit engineering innovation company focused on the design, development, and deployment of advanced technological capabilities for the world’s most challenging and important problems. Draper provides engineering solutions directly to government, industry and academia; works on teams as prime contractor or subcontractor; and participates as collaborator in consortia. Draper engineers and scientists apply multidisciplinary approaches that deliver new capabilities to customers, whether formulating a concept and developing each component to achieve a field-ready prototype or combining existing technologies in new ways.

In addition to applied research, engineering development, and technology transfer, Draper’s mission includes advanced technical education—part of Draper’s charter since it incorporated as a nonprofit in 1973, becoming independent of MIT, where it had begun as a teaching laboratory in the 1930s.

MIT faculty and students work with Draper in a variety of ways. Faculty collaborate with Draper staff on a wide range of research activities in hardware, software, systems, and materials engineering. The Draper Scholars Program gives graduate students the opportunity to conduct their thesis research in conjunction with Draper under the supervision of both an MIT faculty advisor and a member of Draper’s technical staff in an area of mutual interest. Draper Scholars graduate degree tuition and stipends are funded by Draper. Draper also employs undergraduate and graduate students directly to work on projects during the summer as well as the school year.

All students working at Draper are in direct daily contact with Draper engineers and scientists, benefiting from their collective knowledge and experience and from access to Draper’s advanced laboratory facilities and equipment in Kendall Square. Working on real-world projects for Draper customers, students can gain insight into customers’ and end users’ needs and concerns, ranging from usability to cost.

For information, contact the Draper Education Office.