Student Pathway Stories


  • Thomas Leurent CEO
  • David Knezevic CTO
  • Phuong Huynh Head of Operation and Research in South East Asia

Founded in 2012, Akselos designs digital twins of the world’s most complex systems. Their next-generation simulation technology helps guard critical infrastructure by creating a virtual replica of an asset in its current environment, right down to the smallest detail, allowing operators to monitor a system’s condition in real-time, as well as predict what will happen in the future.

The idea for Akselos grew out of the MIT research group, Rapid Reliable Solution of the Parametrized Partial Differential Equations of Continuum Mechanics and Transport, when in 2009, Thomas Leurent SM ’01 approached principal investigator, Anthony T. Patera, the Ford Professor of Engineering, about building a venture based on the lab’s award-winning work.

Taking on the role of chief executive officer, Thomas enlisted fellow postdoctoral associates and lab mates, David Knezevic as chief technology officer, and Phuong Huynh as head of operations and research, to begin laying the foundations for Akselos while at MIT.

The researchers started by mapping out their options and strategies for commercialization with the assistance of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service. A grant from the Desphande Center for Technological Innovation allowed them to dive deeper into commercialization, and over the next two years, they filed a patent through the Technology Licensing Office, which also helped them connect to potential customers and solicit feedback on their plan.

After leaving MIT, they began tapping into external resources, including several in Switzerland where Thomas is based. In 2016, they joined the first cohort of STEX25, a program of the MIT Startup Exchange that helps affiliated startups form partnerships with industry.

Akselos has developed into a well-established company and continues to grow internationally, working with clients across industries, including off-shore structural engineering, mining, and port infrastructure, to help protect and maintain the large-scale assets that are so central to our lives.

Akselos’s Pathway


Enables engineers to design and assess critical infrastructure via advanced simulation software.

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