MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXV No. 2
November / December 2012
Faculty MIT 2030 Task Force Report Clearly Identifies Key Issues
Report of the Task Force on Community Engagement in 2030 Planning on Development of MIT- Owned Property in Kendall Square
What Students Want From Faculty
Task Force on Community Engagement with 2030 Planning
Graduate Student Life, Research Productivity, and the MITIMCo Proposal
The Millenials@MIT: Discussions on the Generational Changes in the Graduate Student Population
The Office of Faculty Support:
What Can We Do To Help You?
Preparing for a New Industrial Revolution
MIT: First in the World, Sixth in the U.S.?
An Opportunity for Faculty to Help Shape MIT’s Remarkable Graduate Student Community
Faculty Committee Activity: Fall 2012 Update
Progress Report on the Bernard M. Gordon – MIT Engineering Leadership Program
The Alumni Class Funds Seek Proposals for Teaching and Education Enhancement
MITAC: Your Ticket to Cultural and Recreational Activities
Why We Need HumanitiesX
Campus Population FY 1981 – 2012
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Preparing for a New Industrial Revolution

Ernst G. Frankel

Manufacturing and science have converged and the new manufacturing environment has little in common with traditional ways of making things. Similarly, it is no longer labor intensive and therefore labor cost differentials play a declining role and no longer serve as an excuse for outsourcing to low labor cost countries or regions. There is an urgent need to teach manufacturing not only based on simple mechanical and physical processes, but on smart processes and assembly decisions.

Supply channels as well as idea chains are now global and virtually real-time, as electronic communication permits both information and command transfer almost instantaneously.

We must teach a new generation of technical design and manufacturing engineers capable of integrating new material, information, and technology not just into new products and uses, but also into effective manufacturing, assembly, and delivery.

This will require a new kind of engineer, one with multi-disciplinary skills, a broad view and unfettered imagination, who questions everything and is willing to ignore tradition. Such a person must learn not only the basics but, more importantly, how, what, and when to question.

We must teach our students not just that the sky is the limit, but that human imagination can solve and resolve any problem, as well as develop new solutions. We have developed unique new technologies; let us now do the same for their manufacturing, assembly, and use. Such a challenge may require a new approach to engineering education, and MIT is well positioned to lead this revolution.

In addition to new types of degree programs, we should also consider offering trade or apprenticeship programs, using MIT's workshops and laboratories not just for research, but also for the training of a new generation.

The objective would be to develop a cadre of new, well-trained, motivated, and equipped manufacturing leaders who not only have the required skills, but also the knowledge and incentive to always question how things are done, and the ability to get them done better, cheaper, and faster.

Concomitantly, there is an urgent need for expanding the re-education and training programs offered by MIT, with engineers and scientists, as well as skilled workers, returning every 7-10 years to renew their knowledge and maintain their credentials.

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