Established in 1974, the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences (MCSS) conducts research ranging from the search for water on Mars and exploration of outer planets to the study of gravitational waves and dark matter in the Universe. MCSS has grown into a consortium of more than 100 members, with about 42 faculty and research scientists, 14 postdoctoral fellows and research scholars, 29 graduate students, and 21 staff members from the Departments of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering. The Center stimulates scientists to work on fundamental problems in space sciences, transcending borders between disciplines. MCSS fosters this type of endeavor through the sponsorship of cooperative research and through formal activities, such as the Visiting Scientist Program. Over the last three decades, members of the Center have published more than 2000 papers in fields as diverse as astrobiology, lunar and planetary exploration, nuclear matter, neutrino physics, gravitation, and cosmology.
The Institute of Materials Science and Engineering (IMSE) officially opened on July 1, 2013 to be a central hub for materials research at Washington University. IMSE is a PhD-granting institute primarily in the Schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering and Applied Science. IMSE maintains a world-class sample preparation and characterization equipment center that is located in the basement of Rudolph Hall. IMSE membership consists of over 30 faculty, and many graduate and undergraduate students, from 10 participating departments, including 2 in the School of Medicine.