Gordon Engineering Leaders will participate in at least two realistic scale project experiences with an engineering component, which, taken together with other undergraduate experiences, will fulfill the requirement that students work:
a) As an established leader of a team
b) With peers with other disciplinary backgrounds and skills (e.g., other engineering disciplines, business, law, etc.)
c) With colleagues from diverse backgrounds (e.g., not from research intensive universities)
d) On a real industrial deliverable
e) On a deliverable that is delivered on schedule, to specification and to cost [mandatory]
f) On a project with international components and perspectives
This document is intended to assist in interpreting the Engineering Practice Requirement and to describe different scenarios that satisfy it.
1. Interpreting the Engineering Practice Requirement
The requirement applies to all GELs. It includes "2 + 6" parts.
Each GEL, over the course of their junior and senior year, will participate in at least two "realistic scale projects." "At least two" are required to provide some diversity of experience. It is intended that these projects be of sufficient scale and realism that they give a feel for the authentic engineering process of conceiving, designing, implementing and operating engineering products, processes, projects, molecules, materials, software, services or systems.
Each of these projects or experiences should have a significant engineering component but may also have substantial non-engineering components. The InternshipPlus can (if it has a substantial engineering component) count as one of the two experiences.
These projects, taken together with other undergraduate experiences, should provide exposure to six situations in which engineering leaders often find themselves.
• As an established leader of a team: Established leaders a) use the Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders defined by the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (character, vision, sense-making, realizing the vision, relating, technical knowledge); and b) are recognized by their team members as holding the responsibilities of leadership.
• With peers with other disciplinary backgrounds and skills and with colleagues from diverse backgrounds: The intent of these requirements is for students to have experiences that take them beyond their peer group and, specifically, away from the homogenous teams typically formed, by necessity, in MIT classes.
These two statements require working with groups that exhibit a) a diversity of disciplinary interests outside of the student's field of study (e.g., with other kinds of engineers, with those with management, marketing, manufacturing, operational background, etc.); and b) a diversity of experience and skills (e.g., different kinds and levels of education, different kinds of intelligence and ability to contribute, a theoretical vs. more pragmatic approach to problems, etc.)
• On a real industrial deliverable: In other words, participation in the effort to design a authentic deliverable product or process destined for real end-users or customers, preferably in an industrial setting.
• On a deliverable that is delivered on schedule, to specification and to cost: Engineers deliver things that work on schedule and budget, or they fail—there is often no "partial credit". Implicit in this statement is that the project had a schedule, a specification, and a budget. Note that this is not necessarily the same deliverable as the previous requirement.
• On a project with international components and perspectives: This requirement asks for engagement with issues arising in international work. There are three main ways of gaining this experience:
- In an international setting—that is, work on a project outside the U.S.
- Design for an international application—that is, engage real-world international project requirements.
- Work with international colleagues—that is, be a member of an international project team, e.g., a joint MIT-Delft project team.
While candidate GELs are required to satisfy all six of the above, it is important to note that no one project must meet all the six requirements—further, the six requirements can be met in two realistic scale projects, and some of the requirements may also be by "other undergraduate experiences", a term flexible enough to permit a number of possible solutions.
2. Implementation Roadmaps
The requirement is designed specifically so students have many options for meeting it. Candidate GELs must demonstrate that they have satisfied both parts of the formal requirement (the "2 + 6" formulation: two realistic scale projects, plus the six specific requirements).
An important corollary is that this obligation contains the opportunity for a student to create a completely personalized route to fulfilling the requirement—so long as the student can set forth a convincing argument for their choices.
In the following scenarios the numbers refer to the aforementioned six numbered requirements. This list serves only to illustrate options and is by no means definitive.
• Alternative 1: First Year GEL enters the program already a member of the Solar Car team (project #1) in which they lead a subgroup that delivers a working solar power system on time and to cost (points 1 and 5). The InternshipPlus is spent working with Toyota hybrid power systems on a market-driven innovation that will be implemented in several countries (project #2, points 2, 3, 4 and 6).
• Alternative 2: The GEL leads an IDEAS team solving a problem in Ghana (project #1, points 1, 4 and 6) and then travels to Ghana, where he/she works locally to install the solution (points 2 and 3). He/she then completes a 2.009 project on time, to spec and to cost (project #2, point 5).
• Alternative 3: The GEL serves as a member of a 100K team with engineering deliverables (project #1, point 2) and spends summer after Junior year at sea as part of his/her ROTC commitment (points 1 and 3). He/she then takes D-Lab II and delivers on schedule, to spec and to cost (project #2, points 4, 5 and 6).
This requirement represents a sizable component of the overall GEL program and several resources are available to assist students interested in achieving the prestigious status of "Gordon Engineering Leader". Chief among these—especially in the early stages of the program—is the program staff.
The following two current staff members are directly responsible for helping with this requirement; please contact either for more clarification or advice.
|Leo McGonagle||Steve Banzaert|
|Executive Director||Project Coordinator|
|Room 35-301||Room 4-406|