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MITES/MIT alumna is new programs director

The School of Engineering has a new executive director for Engineering Special Programs, and she is no stranger to MIT.

The appointment of Laura M. Robinson, Class of 1980, has been announced by Dean Joel Moses, the Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. The appointment was effective February 21. Ms. Robinson succeeds William H. Ramsey, who several months ago made known his intention to retire as of June 30. Mr. Ramsey died unexpectedly in January.

In addition to holding an SB in materials science and engineering, Ms. Robinson's MIT links include service as a senior industrial liaison officer with MIT's Industrial Liaison Program from 1985-87, and being a "graduate" of one of the special engineering programs she will now direct-the MITES program (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science). Each year MITES brings to MIT 35 to 50 high school students between their junior and senior years who have an interest in studying science and engineering. In 1975, Laura Robinson was one of those MITES students.

One of the other special engineering programs Ms. Robinson will direct is the Engineering Internship Program (EIP) in which students combine academic programs and on-the-job experience. She also has MIT experience in this area, having served research internships as an undergraduate from 1977-81 with Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing Co., Monsanto Co. and Ford Motor Co.

"We are extremely fortunate to have Laura Robinson join us in the School of Engineering office," Dean Moses said. "Laura's experience, first in the MITES program, then as an undergraduate student and Industrial Liaison Officer, will be of great aid to her as she pursues new initiatives in the MITES and EIP programs."

In addition to her MIT degree, Ms. Robinson holds the MBA in technical and industrial marketing from the Wharton School of Business.

Before taking the School of Engineering post, she was market research and development manager (starting in 1992) for ASTRA USA of Westboro, MA, a firm that develops and sells medical equipment. She developed the market strategy for Rhinocort, the first respiratory product the company introduced in the United States. Earlier positions were with Nellcor of Pleasanton, CA, where, as associate product manager, she was involved in launching a carbon dioxide detection device for the emergency market, and ALAZ Corp. of Palo Alto, CA, a firm engaged in drug-delivery technology, where she was a senior market research analyst.

She also was technology development officer for Canada's counsel general in Boston in 1988-89. From 1982-85, just before joining the ILP, she was a marketing research analyst with Merck & Co., Merck, Sharp and Dohme, in West Point, PA.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 1, 1995.

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