Josephine V. Carstensen

Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT


Josephine is from Copenhagen, Denmark, and recieved both her bachelor’s and master’s from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). For her master’s she spent a five month research period at the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating, she worked for one year as a research assistant at DTU and later pursued a PhD in Civil Engineering at Hopkins.

In her spare time she loves to make clothes! Her favorite part of it is making the patterns for sewing, but she also enjoys sewing and knitting.

Josephine now leads the MIT top+ad group as an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at . Her research revolves around the development of advanced structural design methods, including generative design such as topology optimization.

Research Interests

Non-linear topology optimization
Non-linear finite element analysis
Design of material architectures
Multiple material design
Structural fire safety


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University (2017)
M.S.E., Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University (2015)
M.Sc., Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (2011)
B.Sc., Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (2008)

Journal Publications

J.V. Carstensen, R. Lotfi, W. Chen, S. Szyniszewski, S. Gaitanaros, J. Schroers, and J.K. Guest,  Topology-optimized bulk metallic glass cellular materials for energy absorption, Scripta Materialia 208  (2022) 114361.
R. Behrou, R. Lotfi, J.V. Carstensen, F. Ferrari, J.K. Guest,  Revisiting element removal for density-based structural topology optimization with reintroduction by Heaviside Projection, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 380  (2021) 113799.
J.V. Carstensen, J.K. Guest,  Projection-based two-phase minimum and maximum length scale control in topology optimization, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization 58 (5) (2018) 1845-1860.
Z. Liu, W. Chen, J. Carstensen, J. Ketkaew, R.M.O. Mota, J.K. Guest, J. Schroers,  3D metallic glass cellular structures, Acta Materialia 105  (2016) 35-43.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations