LEES research areas include electronic circuits, components and systems, power electronics and control, micro and macro electromechanics, electromagnetics, continuum mechanics (the interaction of fields with fluids and other deformable media), high voltage engineering and dielectric physics, manufacturing and process control, and energy economics.

Faculty and students collaborate in carrying out research projects aimed at both the practical engineering objectives of the research sponsors and at the underlying engineering sciences.

The laboratory’s extensive automotive electrical system research program brings together experts in digital and analog circuit design, simulation, electromechanics, micro-fabrication, power electronics, electrochemistry and economics. Continuum electromechanics, which brings together electromagnetics, continuum mechanics and other disciplines, is what is often of concern in the work with high voltage and insulation research. Many members of the laboratory also participate in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, a joint activity between the Schools of Engineering and Management.

Not only do projects often involve two or more research areas, but they are also often carried out in collaboration with other MIT laboratories or centers. For example, work in LEES on power electronic devices and micromechanics is done in cooperation with the Microsystems Technology Laboratory, and researchers working in the areas of control and system identification frequently collaborate with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. And LEES works with the Sloan Automotive Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering on research related to electronic control of engines and actuators.

Sponsorship of research in LEES comes from a variety of sources, both national and international. Industrial sponsors account for the majority of research funding, with the remaining coming from electric utilities, the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Students working in LEES develop a close relationship with sponsors, and in the case of industrial sponsors, often collaborate in their research with engineers and scientists at the sponsoring company.