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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Choosing an Engineering Discipline with Career in Mind

By Don Rosenfield
LGO Program Director

In founding the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program in 1988, we wanted to offer students exposure to a breadth of engineering disciplines. At first, three MIT engineering programs were affiliated with LGO. In 2011, we will have seven participating engineering departments.

At LGO, you will focus on one engineering discipline as a prelude to an engineering career or leadership opportunities with manufacturing and operations companies. Five of our engineering programs include technology tracks that let you delve into a defined area in greater depth. The tracks provide more specificity than the general department studies.

While a particular engineering program may give you an edge in entering a certain industry sector, no matter which program (or even track) you choose, you'll receive a broad education that prepares you well for a variety of careers in manufacturing and operations. People always ask which discipline to choose and my advice is always the same: go with your interests and passions and make sure you have the required qualifications. Applying to one discipline over another will not affect the likelihood of being admitted to LGO.

Here's a quick overview of our engineering disciplines. For more detailed information about each discipline, follow the links below to the individual websites.

Engineering Systems
Engineering systems is an expansive area of study where we have established tracks in three major intellectual areas (choosing one is required):

  • Manufacturing Systems and Supply Chains

  • Systems Engineering

  • Energy and Environmental Sustainability – this track focuses more on energy than sustainability (compared with the similar track in Mechanical Engineering).

Mechanical Engineering
ME is another area of expansive study which also includes three tracks (choosing one is required).

  • Manufacturing

  • Biomechanics

  • Energy and Environmental Sustainability - this track focuses more on sustainable energy generation than the similar track in Engineering Systems.

Chemical Engineering
ChemE offers one optional track: Chemical Manufacturing Systems. Both the program and the track provide a broad background ideal for a variety of chemical engineering careers.

Civil and Environmental Engineering
CEE is particularly appealing to students interested in public-sector work. It offers two optional tracks:

  • Energy and the Environment;

  • Transportation

The Energy/Environment track gives students experience with environmental issues such as renewable energy, and water treatment and sustainability, while the transportation track is heavily focused on courses exploring motor, rail or air transportation systems and analysis and planning.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
EECS offers two optional tracks:

  • Semiconductors

  • Information and Decision Systems

Semiconductors provides an ideal background for students who are interested in processor technology innovation and leading edge manufacturing processes and who want to work for a company such as Intel. Students with a background in computer science often gravitate toward Information/Decision Systems.

Aeronautics and Astronautics
This program is a good area of study for those students interested in manufacturing areas such as structures and composites or in operational areas such as airlines operations.

Biological Engineering
This is a focused program addressing how biosystems operate and how to develop biology-based technologies. There are no tracks.

To learn more about students’ backgrounds and their experiences in different disciplines, you may want to read the LGO student blogs.

Click here to learn more about MBA and MS engineering courses available in the LGO program. Or, find out about MBA employment opportunities for LGO graduates.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LGO Ambassador Day and Information Evening: October 25th, 2010

By Paul Millerd, LGO ’12

First, let me introduce myself. I am Paul Millerd, MIT LGO Class of 2012 and this year’s chair of the Ambassador Day/Information Evening committee.

Want to learn more about the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program? If so, we invite you to join us at two exciting upcoming events: LGO Ambassador Day and LGO Information Evening, both taking place October 25, 2010. Please see below for a draft agenda. Activities are subject to change, but this schedule should provide you with a better idea of what to expect. More details on locations and other logistics will be available closer to the event date.

You are welcome to attend any or all of the events listed below.

Ambassador Day Schedule: October 25, 2010, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
By sitting in on a class, having lunch with current LGO students and admissions staff, or participating in a student-run panel discussion, you will engage in an LGO experience that is both informative and interactive.

10-10:30 a.m. Check in at the LGO office
10:30 a.m.-Noon Tour the MIT campus with current LGO students
Noon-1 p.m. Engage in an LGO student panel discussion
1-2:15 p.m. Enjoy lunch and mingling with LGO students and staff members
2:30-4 p.m. Attend a class (Engineering or Business)
4-5:30 p.m. Attend a partner company pro-seminar

Information Evening Schedule: October 25, 2010: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The evening features a program presentation by Don Rosenfield, Director of the MIT LGO Fellows Program; a student and alumni panel discussion; an audience Q&A session; and an interactive reception. This event offers prospective students an excellent opportunity to connect with LGO students, alumni, faculty, and staff members. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. at the MIT Faculty Club. Light appetizers will be served.

We are looking forward to meeting you. To RSVP for Ambassador Day/Information Evening, send me an email at pmillerd@mit.edu. For inquiries regarding the LGO program, email lgo@mit.edu.

See you on campus!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MIT LGO Manufacturing Operations Internship Targets Sustainability

By Leo Espindle, LGO '11

One of the most compelling features of the MIT LGO program is that, as a largely student-organized program, student interests can directly influence the internship topics offered by our partner companies. As a result, you get the opportunity to tackle, in a very hands-on and real way, some of the greatest issues of our day that will define our generation. One of the areas of continued research and partnership with industry at LGO is in sustainability issues.

The sustainability initiative at LGO was founded by a group of LGO '10s in the Engineering Systems Division. They first developed an academic track at MIT, and then lobbied industry partners to support manufacturing operations internships in the topic.

A major goal of the sustainability program is to reduce energy waste in industry and manufacturing. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the industrial sector consumes the largest share of energy in the U.S. economy. Therefore, a concerted effort on the part of industry will have a significant impact on our energy use as a nation. In addition, as temperatures rise, energy prices increase and customer preferences shift, meaningful energy conservation efforts will increasingly affect the bottom line of most businesses.

Raytheon Corporation has sponsored a total of six LGO sustainability internships in the past two years. I had the opportunity to work at the Raytheon Integrated Air Defense Center (IADC) in Andover, Mass., during my off-cycle maunfacturing operations internship.

Over the course of six months, we piloted an approach to transform the facilities department from a firefighting organization to a continuous-improvement strategic partner. Using this approach, we reduced electricity waste 44% in one cell. We also kicked off projects that will reduce total plug load by 10% in another department without purchasing any new equipment or affecting customer deliveries. The projected impact of these efforts across the facility will be $316,000 in annual cost savings.

Toward the end of my manufacturing operations internship, Gov. Deval Patrick stopped by for a tour of the mission center. I was given the opportunity to represent the energy team during his tour of the Circuit Card Assembly Center of Excellence at IADC. I showed him the data-driven approaches we took to identify the best areas for waste reduction and provide real-time feedback to the team to assess their impact. He was very interested in the approach and asked insightful followup questions that showed he understood the tradeoffs and potential impact of the work.

Leo Espindle, LGO ’11, at his internship at Raytheon discusses sustainability initiatives with MA Gov. Deval Patrick

I learned so much in my six months there — I really owe Raytheon a major debt because what I gave the company was far less than what I've gained. In terms of hard engineering knowledge, I learned a great deal about the electricity distribution system and usage in a manufacturing facility as well as how to effectively apply Lean principles in a high-mix, low-volume environment.

But probably most valuable to me will be the lessons I learned about how to influence others not directly under my authority, how to lead in a manufacturing environment (my previous work experience was in research and high tech) and ultimately how to facilitate change in an operational environment.
formerly MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM)