Draper Laboratory

Since incorporating in 1973, as an independent not-for-profit engineering research and development organization, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. has continued to create premiere guidance, navigation and control technologies, the expertise it became known for when it was the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. Expanding its scope over the decades, Draper today uses multidisciplinary approaches in designing, developing and deploying advanced technological solutions for the world’s most challenging and important problems, spanning national security, space, biomedical solutions and energy.

There are various opportunities for MIT faculty and students to work with Draper. MIT faculty and Draper staff collaborate on a wide range of research activities. SM and PhD/ScD candidates can perform their graduate research at Draper’s headquarters in Cambridge, a few minutes' walk from MIT in Kendall Square. The Draper Fellow Program is a longstanding and unique graduate student program whose alumni include military officers (e.g., General Janet C. Wolfenbarger), executives at Fortune 500 companies, and NASA astronauts (e.g., Dr. Greg Chamitoff). Draper also employs undergraduate and graduate students to work directly on projects, using Draper’s state-of-the-art resources during the summer as well as the academic school year.

The engineering capabilities that Draper applies in solving problems include positioning, navigation, and timing; autonomous systems; precision instrumentation; microsystems; fault-tolerant systems; secure and assured systems; human systems technology; image and data analytics; biomedical solutions; and materials engineering and microfabrication.

Students working at Draper are in direct daily contact with the Draper technical staff of engineers and scientists, learning not only about engineering but also customers' and end users' needs and concerns, ranging from cost to usability.

For information, contact the Draper Office of Education.