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Crawley, Schindall to direct Gordon-MIT program

Edward Crawley
Edward Crawley
Photo / Patricia A. Sampson, MIT-EECS
Joel Schindall
Joel Schindall
Photo / William Litant

Dean of Engineering Subra Suresh has announced the appointments of professors Edward F. Crawley and Joel E. Schindall to key positions in the school's new Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. Launched through a $20 million gift by the Gordon Foundation--the largest gift made to the School of Engineering for curriculum development--this program aims to create new approaches to prepare students for engineering leadership.

Professor Crawley will serve as director of the Gordon Leadership Program and Professor Schindall, the interim industry co-director.

Articulating his vision for the program when it was announced, MIT alum Bernard M. Gordon said, "In view of increasing global competition, engineering leadership today should be built on the reinforcement of product engineering education, that is, the education of those who innovate and put products into production. I hope this program will provide additional opportunities for students to develop the practical skills required of 'real' engineers and that foster an attitude of appreciation in them for the demands of engineering leadership."

"I am extremely grateful to Bernie Gordon for the opportunities this magnificent gift makes possible," said Dean Suresh, "and I am delighted to announce the program's leadership by professors Crawley and Schindall. We are embarking on a truly significant initiative to enhance engineering education and to further develop the leadership skills of our talented young people."

The Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program comprises three major components: a progressive set of enhancements to MIT's core educational program with a focus on product development and project engineering, an industry mentoring and practice program for 20-30 students selected as Gordon Fellows each year and an active program to disseminate best practices to other universities.

"The Gordon Program affords MIT an extraordinary opportunity," said Crawley. "With this new program, we can strengthen our engineering education by better preparing our students to be leaders in invention and innovation and to shape the technological future."

"Having spent much of my career in industry," said Schindall, "I realize firsthand the importance of product design and engineering leadership, and I am delighted at the opportunity to work with many talented MIT faculty to enhance our training in these areas."

Crawley, the Ford Professor of Engineering and a professor in aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems, was previously a MacVicar Faculty Fellow and has served as executive director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, department head of Aeronautics and Astronautics and co-director of the System Design and Management Program.

The Bernard M. Gordon Professor of the Practice of Product Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Schindall serves as associate director of the Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems. His distinguished career in industry includes senior leadership positions at Globalstar, Loral Conic and Watkins Johnson Company.

Dean Suresh thanked Crawley, Schindall and former Dean of Engineering Tom Magnanti for their earlier work, which led to the initial plan for the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program.

In addition to the professorship currently held by Schindall, Gordon has made endowment gifts to support an additional chair at MIT (Professor W. Eric Grimson is the Bernard M. Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and the Bernard M. Gordon Endowed Fund for curriculum development in the School of Engineering.

Gordon, a pioneer of analog-to-digital conversion and high-precision medical instrumentation, is the founder of Analogic and NeuroLogica. He and his wife, Sophia, established the Gordon Foundation, which has made major contributions to engineering education and to other nonprofit organizations in the region. The National Academy of Engineering annually awards the prestigious Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 7, 2007 (download PDF).

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