MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The School of Engineering provides engineering education and undertakes engineering research that together serve to develop future technological leaders and advance the frontiers of engineering knowledge. The School continues to be recognized as the premier academic institution in engineering. Recently, a poll of graduate engineering school deans ranked six engineering departments at MIT as #1 in the nation. And, the same poll placed the entire School at the top as well–for the tenth consecutive year. Other measures corroborate this view of our standing.

During the 1998—99 Academic Year, the School undertook several major innovations. These initiatives underscore its commitment to maintaining a leadership role in shaping engineering education and research into the next century. The innovations included the formation of two new divisions within the School and the establishment of significant partnerships with industry and other universities that will create new models for collaborative, interdisciplinary research and education.

The School has also undergone a number of changes in its internal leadership positions in the past year, including that of the Dean. (See "Transitions.") The time for instituting change is opportune. As the School looks ahead to the coming decades, it is pioneering new modes of education and research against a backdrop of globalization, the changing nature of university funding, and significant inquiry concerning the very nature and role of a residential university in the burgeoning Information Age.


This academic year, the School of Engineering created two new divisions, joined in three significant, new collaborative undertakings, and continued to create a new home for computer, information, and intelligence sciences on our campus.

Two New Divisions

The School of Engineering has introduced two new "Divisions," each providing a specific interdisciplinary focus–the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health and the Engineering Systems Division. These two divisions cut across the School's traditional departments, in some cases undertaking research and offering programs jointly with other Schools, and have established a system of "two-key" appointments of faculty. A Visiting Committee for each division will help to guide and evaluate it. After five to seven years, a committee appointed by the Dean of Engineering will conduct a comprehensive review of each division and make recommendations as to

continuance and/or change in structure.

Bioengineering and Environmental Health

Following four years of preparation to form a new division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health (BEH), culminating in formal approval of its formation by the Executive Committee of the Corporation in April 1998, the School of Engineering launched BEH in July 1998. BEH was created to coordinate and advance interdisciplinary education and research within the School and integrates biology, toxicology, and engineering. Its mission is to educate leaders and to create a new discipline at the interface between engineering and biology. BEH's focus is to combine quantitative, physical, and integrative principles with advances in modern biology.

BEH will have a steady-state faculty size of approximately thirty to thirty-five, including ten faculty who moved from the current Division of Toxicology to BEH and faculty from the School of Engineering who hold "two-key" appointments in one of the School's eight departments and in this new division. BEH offers an undergraduate minor degree program in Toxicology and Environmental Health, as well as Ph.D. and S.M. Programs in Toxicology; the Division is establishing a new Ph.D. program in Bioengineering. (See "Innovations in Education.")

Engineering Systems Division

In December 1998, the School established a second new division, the Engineering Systems Division (ESD), focusing on the engineering of complex systems. The creation of ESD responds to a need for the development of new approaches, frameworks, and theories to better understand engineering systems behavior and design, as well as a need within the School for the development and support of educational programs on complex systems and design synthesis that will prepare students for leadership positions. ESD is an integrative effort to cut across traditional areas, with the intention to reduce duplication of effort and also allow MIT to expand research and educational activities into new areas. In addition to working with the School's departments, ESD works with the Sloan School of Management, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Architecture and Planning to develop an integrative approach to engineering systems problems that considers the context in which the systems are initiated, designed, manufactured, marketed, and maintained. ESD also explores the changing roles and relationships among universities, industry, and government in all phases of engineering systems development.

While research on engineering systems continues to be carried out in current MIT departments, centers, and laboratories, ESD currently focuses primarily on graduate education. The interdisciplinary division brings together several programs and centers: the Leaders for Manufacturing/System Design and Management programs; the Technology and Policy Program; the Master of Engineering in Logistics; the Master of Science in Transportation; the Center for Innovation in Product Development; the Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development; the Center for Transportation Studies; and the Industrial Performance Center.


Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

In September 1998, the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and two laboratories of the School of Engineering announced a broad collaboration aimed at creating new technologies in telecommunication and computers and establishing a foundation for global progress in these areas. Focused on pre-competitive research in information technology and computer science in a world where ample bandwidth is provided to everyone in the gigabits-per-second range and beyond, the five-year program will be funded up to US $18 million. At MIT, the research is being conducted primarily at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) and the Laboratory for Computer Science. A six-member Joint Steering Committee (JSC) with representation from NTT and MIT provides strategic management to the collaboration. Professor Rodney A. Brooks, Director of the AI Lab, is the MIT Co-Chair of the JSC.

Singapore-MIT Alliance

In November 1998, the School of Engineering, along with the Sloan School of Management, entered into a major partnership with the Republic of Singapore's two leading research universities, The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA) will explore the application of information technology to create a new global model for long-distance engineering education and collaborative research. SMA starts in July 1999 with two graduate programs conducted by professors from all three universities, hosted by NUS: "Advanced Materials" and "High Performance Computation for Engineered Systems." A third program in "Manufacturing Systems and Technology" will be offered through NTU beginning July 2000. The program will extensively use state-of-the-art information and communications technology, including Internet2, to facilitate interactions in teaching and research between MIT faculty and students and faculty in Singapore. Expected to grow to five graduate programs after two years, the alliance will offer a professional master's-level degree program, as well as master's- and doctoral-level research degree programs. Annual program funding will be in the range of $18 million to $20 million. The initial period for the alliance is five years, with a potential continuation for an additional five years.

This highly focused, well-funded alliance gives MIT the opportunity to broaden its role as a global university, to define its own style of contact-intensive distance education, and to learn how to bring this global interaction to Cambridge to enhance undergraduate and graduate education of its own students. In addition, SMA-funded subject development will strengthen departmental curricula. Under SMA auspices, the School is developing many new courses that will be available to both the SMA students and residential MIT graduate students. SMA curriculum development and SMA-funded research projects will result in enhanced interdepartmental and inter-School collaborations.

Merrill Lynch

In March 1999, the School of Engineering, in a joint undertaking with the Sloan School of Management and the School of Architecture and Planning, entered into a five-year institutional collaboration with Merrill Lynch. The strategic alliance comprises a $15 million joint research initiative to fund collaborative projects across a broad range of disciplines in financial engineering, technology innovation, and management and a $5 million gift to help MIT build a new graduate minor in financial technology. Based at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and the Sloan School, the Financial Technology Education Initiative will provide finance education for MIT graduate students in engineering, mathematics, computer science, and media studies. By blending management and finance with technology and engineering, the School expects that offering this minor will increase financial applications within our technology courses, as well as boost the number of technology courses available to those in the financial engineering management track of Sloan's MBA program.

This initiative, jointly undertaken with two other Schools, will offer MIT students a unique comparative advantage in the marketplace by providing them with a necessary blend of management and finance, technology and engineering competencies.


Currently, architects Frank O. Gehry and Associates are in the Design Development stage of the project to build the Ray and Maria Stata Center for computer, information, and intelligence sciences, the initial Schematic Design stage having been completed in late February. Last August, the Cambridge Historical Commission gave its permission for the demolition of Building 20 and in the months of March through May, Building 20 was demolished and the site was cleared. We launched a web site on the Stata Center in April to make information about the project easily available to the public, especially to the Cambridge community. The launch of the site coincided with the 35th anniversary celebration of the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS), at which President Vest announced a gift of $20 million from the William H. Gates Foundation made by Bill and Melinda Gates for the LCS building in the future Stata Center. A publication distributed to 14,000 EECS alumni, the internal MIT community, and other friends of the Institute discusses the Center, key donors, and Frank Gehry.


Five years after its creation, the M.Eng. program in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science underwent a review of its goals, implementation, and challenges. Completed this year, the main conclusions reached were: (1) that the five-year program is satisfying its educational goals, (2) that students in the program are generally satisfied, and (3) that specific details of the program's implementation need adjustment. Areas of concern include the very high undergraduate enrollments in EECS, the large number in the M.Eng. program, and the shortage of teaching resources, particularly in upper-level graduate subjects.

Supported by a grant from the Whitaker Foundation, the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health (BEH) is establishing a new Ph.D. program in Bioengineering to begin in Fall 1999. This program aims to educate a new generation of people able to solve problems through the use of modern biological technology and will emphasize the ability to measure, model, and manipulate biological systems rationally. Its curriculum will strive to teach both biology and engineering as synergistically as possible and focus on fundamental concepts more than specific applications. The new Bioengineering Ph.D. program will be offered along with the ongoing Toxicology Ph.D. Program within BEH.

MIT Faculty voted in April 1999 in favor of a proposal by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to revise its undergraduate and graduate educational programs. The changes which the department is now undertaking are: (1) to develop two degrees, one maintaining the attributes of what is regarded as an "Aerospace Engineering" degree and a second explicitly defining a specialization in aerospace information technology; (2) to increase flexibility in the upper-level undergraduate courses and remove the pillar requirements; and (3) to eliminate the requirement of course 8.03 and replace it with a computational course accessible to freshmen.

MIT Faculty voted in May in favor of a proposal by the Department of Chemical Engineering to establish a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Practice. The new degree program relies on existing strengths of the teaching and research activities of the department, utilizes the unique resources of the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice, and capitalizes on access to the resources of the Sloan School of Management. Designed to prepare graduates for a fast launch into positions of leadership in industry, it also provides a foundation for readmission to MIT at a later date to complete the Sloan MBA degree program.

The Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) and System Design and Management (SDM) programs continue to provide, in collaboration with industry, education at the interface between engineering and management. This year, the programs created a combined administrative structure to enhance their collaboration and coordination.

As previously discussed, the School is offering two new graduate-level programs, beginning July 1999, to students in Singapore in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University through the Singapore-MIT Alliance.

As also noted above, the School is developing a new minor in financial technology, supported through the collaboration with Merrill Lynch.

Numerous awards also highlighted educational innovation by our faculty.


Each year faculty of the School of Engineering receive numerous honors in recognition of their research and service, many offered by professional societies and the faculties' professional communities. This year was no exception. Several very notable awards deserve special mention. Two members of the faculty of the School of Engineering were among the 60 inductees in the National Academy of Engineering: Alan H. Epstein, R. C. Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, for time-resolved flow and heat transfer measurements in turbomechanics and for conception and development of smart engines and microengines; and George Stephanopoulos, A. D. Little Professor of Chemical Engineering, for contributions to the research, industrial practice, and education of process systems engineering and for international intellectual and professional leadership. One current member of the National Academy of Engineering was among four also elected to the National Academy of Sciences: Ronald F. Probstein, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Ford Professor of Engineering emeritus. Professor Probstein is one of 168 members who belong to both National Academies. Robert G. Gallager, Fujitsu Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won the 1999 Harvey Prize for science and technology from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, given in recognition of his fundamental contributions to information theory and to the theory of communication networks. Sheila E. Widnall, the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, was named Institute Professor, the highest honor awarded by the faculty and administration at MIT.

Awards for Contributions to Education

The Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching was awarded to Assistant Professor Daniel Frey of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The Amar Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Herbert Einstein of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Einstein excels in individual mentoring, classroom teaching, education policy, and curriculum development. The Junior Amar Bose Teaching Award was presented to Assistant Professor Heidi Nepf, an environmental fluid dynamicist of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Both awards recognize outstanding contribution to undergraduate education by members of the School of Engineering faculty.

Alexander H. Slocum, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was named a 1998-99 MacVicar Faculty Fellow in recognition of his commitment to excellence in teaching and innovation in education.

Professor Markus Zahn of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was one of two recipients of the Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising, given to a professor who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for graduate students.

The Samuel M. Seegal Prize for a faculty member who inspired students in pursuing and achieving excellence was presented to Professor Dimitris J. Bertsimas, Boeing Leaders for Manufacturing Professor of Management in the Sloan School of Management.

Patricia J. Culligan, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received the Arthur C. Smith Award, presented to a faculty member for meaningful contributions and devotion to undergraduate student life at MIT.

The Ruth and Joel Spira Awards for Teaching Excellence were presented this year to Professor Klaus-Jurgen Bathe of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Professor Dennis F. Freeman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Professor Ian H. Hutchison of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, all for outstanding curriculum development. The Spira awards were established with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Joel Spira to honor faculty in the three departments listed above, both for teaching excellence and in acknowledgment of the tradition of high quality engineering education at MIT.

Awards Received by Engineering Students

Lisa R. Kinder ‘99, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, received the Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA) Senior Academic Award, given to a woman who has demonstrated the highest level of academic excellence through coursework and related professional activities at MIT.

The Karl Taylor Compton Prizes, given in memory of MIT's ninth president, are the highest awards presented by the Institute to students and student organizations in recognition of achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT. One of three prizes was awarded to an engineering student, Maisha K. Gray ‘99, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. These prizes reflect outstanding contributions to the MIT community as a whole, sustained over a significant number of years.

Evie S. Lee ‘99, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, received the Henry Ford II Scholar Award, awarded to a senior in the School of Engineering who has attained the highest academic record at the end of the third year and who exhibits exceptional potential for leadership in the profession of engineering and in society.

Babak Ayazifar, of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received the Goodwin Medal, given to a graduate student whose performance of teaching duties is "conspicuously effective over and above ordinary excellence."

Axel Van Der Walle, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, received one of two Graduate Student Council Teaching Awards, given for excellence in teaching, particularly with respect to the teaching of and interaction with graduate students.

Dolores Cruz ‘00, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was one of two recipients of the Albert G. Hill Prize, given to the minority junior or senior who has maintained high academic standards and made continued contributions to the improvement of the quality of life for minorities at MIT.

The Reinhold Rudenberg Memorial Prize for an outstanding undergraduate thesis is awarded to students based on their senior theses in the area of energy conversion. Awards this year went to Mr. Hernán Mercado-Corujo for his thesis titled "Design and Construction of an Acoustic Filter Using the Helmholz Resonator Theory," to Mr. Kenneth Pettigrew for his thesis titled, "Design of a Quiet Cooling Unit for Electronic Components through the Utilization of Heat Pipes," and to Mr. John Rae for his thesis titled "Analysis and Correlation of Simultaneous Measurements of Oil Consumption and Oil-Film Thickness in a Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine." All three are from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


This year, the School underwent a number of changes in its internal leadership positions.

Professor Robert A. Brown left the position of Dean of Engineering to become Provost of MIT on August 1.

Professor Vincent Chan, who came from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory to join two departments, EECS and Aeronautics and Astronautics, became Co-Director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) in December, succeeding Professor Robert Gallager who served as Co-Director for 12 years.

Professor John V. Guttag, former Associate Department Head of the of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, became its new Department Head as of January 15, succeeding Professor Paul Penfield, Jr., who had served in that position for 10 years.

Professor Merton C. Flemings, the Toyota Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, was named the MIT Co-Director of the newly created Singapore-MIT Alliance as of January 1.

The School named a Professor of the Practice of Engineering, only the second to be so named by Engineering. A former corporate vice president and chief engineer at Xerox, Mr. Maurice F. Holmes joined the new Engineering Systems Division on January 1 and holds a joint appointment with the Sloan School of Management.

Professor Paul Lagace, the Class of 1960 Faculty Fellow in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, became the Engineering Co-Director of the Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) program, effective September 1, succeeding Professor David Hardt of Mechanical Engineering, who had held the position for three years.

Professor Douglas A. Lauffenburger, formerly director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering, was named a Co-Director of the new Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health (BEH) as of July 1, 1998. He was also named Director of the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center (BPEC), effective September 1, succeeding Institute Professor Daniel C. Wang, who headed the BPEC since its inception in 1985.

Professor Anthony T. Patera of the Department of Mechanical Engineering was named the Deputy Director of the newly created Singapore-MIT Alliance as of January 1.

Professor Tomás Lozano-Pérez, the Cecil H. Green Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, became Associate Head of EECS, from computer science, on September 1, succeeding Professor John V. Guttag.

Institute Professor Thomas L. Magnanti became the new Dean of Engineering on January 1, succeeding Professor Robert A. Brown.

Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, the George Macomber Professor of Construction Engineering and Management, was named Director of the Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development (CTPID), effective September 1, succeeding Professor Daniel Roos.

Professor L. Rafael Reif became Associate Department Head of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from electrical engineering, in January 1999, succeeding Professor Jeffrey H. Shapiro, who had served in that position since 1989.

Professor Daniel Roos of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean of the School was named the first head of the newly-formed Engineering Systems Division (ESD) in December 1998.

Professor Martin A. Schmidt of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) became the new head of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories effective January 16, succeeding Professor L. Rafael Reif who had held the position since 1990.

Professor Steven R. Tannenbaum was named a Co-Director of the new Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health (BEH) as of July 1, 1998.

Professor John B. VanderSande, Associate Dean, served as Acting Dean of the School of Engineering for the second time in three years, from August through December of 1998, while a search committee sought a permanent successor for the outgoing Dean.


The School of Engineering offers two special programs: the Minority Introduction To Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science (MITE2s) and the Engineering Internship Program (EIP).

In preparation for the Summer of 1999, 60 underrepresented minority high school students were selected to participate in the rigorous six week residential program for the Minority Introduction To Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science (MITE2s). This number represents two more than the 1998 class size of 58 and the second largest class ever. The seniors will come from 22 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, up from 18 states in 1998. The program received 624 applications this year, almost three times the 233 applications received last year. The major contributors for the 1999 session comprised eleven corporations, three foundations, and three alumni.

Twenty faculty, alumni, and corporate guests will speak to the students about their experiences, including a new "Introduction to Engineering" seminar series. In the entrepreneurship course, utilizing a common technology concept given to all teams, local entrepreneurs will judge the business plans developed and presented by student teams based on their uniqueness and validity.

Of the 58 students who attended MITE2S 1998, 50 applied to MIT and 43 were accepted. Twenty-nine of the accepted students will attend MIT in the Fall of 1999, a 32 percent increase over the previous year.

To mark the 25th year of MITE2S, the program is planning to produce a video documentary to raise funds and to recruit students from currently untapped regions. Plans are underway to host a reunion during MITE2S 2000 for the 1,142 MITE2S alumni. The program will also conduct a comprehensive survey of graduates, develop a long-term funding model, and begin curriculum changes to reflect Institute-wide trends toward multi-disciplinary engineering.

In 1998-99, the Engineering Internship Program (EIP) placed 18 sophomores with five member companies, up from 17 sophomores in 1998. The program will have a total of 43 students at 10 firms during the Summer of 1999. The EIP produced a new company recruitment brochure and updated its web site. Utilizing "Spotlight" on the main MIT web page, a drop poster, and e-mail messages, the program increased its number of applicants to 77 from 55 in 1998. The program also previewed the EIP to freshmen during department orientations one year prior to their EIP eligibility. In 1999, the program focused on maintaining its partnerships with member companies and improving the communication flow to returning interns. The main objectives in the coming year are to increase the number and broaden the type of participating companies and automate the student application, scheduling, and company matching process using the World Wide Web.

In 1998—99, Vanessa Martin SB ‘86 joined the Office of Special Programs as Coordinator. In addition to overseeing the MITE2S reunion and alumni efforts, she will leverage Institute resources to increase corporate participation in EIP.

The following presents a summary of statistical information about students, degrees awarded, and faculty.

Undergraduate Enrollment
2,063 students
34 percent women
18 percent underrepresented minorities

Graduate Enrollment
2,431 students
18 percent women
5 percent underrepresented minorities

Degrees Awarded
684 Bachelor's Degrees
811 Master's and M.Eng. Degrees
208 Ph.D. Doctoral Degrees

207 Professors
62 Associate Professors
56 Assistant Professors
52 Professors Emeriti

More information about the School of Engineering can be found on the World Wide Web at

Thomas L. Magnanti

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99