Housed in MIT’s School of Engineering, the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) provides an integrated set of leadership-oriented, discipline-building, hands-on engineering activities, set in the context of the practice of engineering, designed to develop outstanding MIT students as disciplined, future leaders in the world of engineering practice. Beyond the Institute, the program offers professional development courses to early career professionals currently working in industry.
Within MIT, GEL is a selective program for MIT engineering students. The program provides a major, national model for the development of next-generation technical leaders (not necessarily entrepreneurs) who are equipped to understand and address significant engineering problems in real-world situations.
The Gordon Engineering Leadership (GEL) Program (gelp.mit.edu) is an immersive co-curricular program for juniors and seniors, primarily from SoE, to supplement their technical knowledge with the communication, teamwork and leadership skills they will need to have an impact and achieve their goals. The Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) is desirable but it is not required as a prerequisite. The first year of the program is open to a competitively chosen cohort of 140 to 150 rising juniors or seniors, and about 40 of these will continue on to a more intense second year during which they assume an active leadership role in the program, and in leading, coaching and assessing the first year students and student teams.
Launched through a $20 million gift by the Gordon Foundation—the largest gift made to MIT’s School of Engineering for curriculum development—the program aims to create new approaches to prepare students for engineering leadership and to ensure MIT continues to lead the nation in developing effective engineering leaders.