Engineering In Action

Helping cassava farmers by extending crop life
Helping cassava farmers by extending crop life

The root vegetable cassava is a major food staple in dozens of countries across the world. Drought-resistant, nutritious, and tasty, it has also become a major source of income for small-scale, rural farmers in places like West Africa and Southeast Asia.

Startup lets doctors classify skin conditions with the snap of a picture
Startup lets doctors classify skin conditions with the snap of a picture

At the age of 22, when Susan Conover wanted to get a strange-looking mole checked out, she was told it would take three months to see a dermatologist. When the mole was finally removed and biopsied, doctors determined it was cancerous. At the time, no one could be sure the cancer hadn’t spread to other parts of her body — the difference between stage 2 and stage 3 or 4 melanoma.

Dario Gil announced as inaugural MIT School of Engineering and Schwarzman College of Computing Advanced Degree Ceremony Speaker
Dario Gil announced as inaugural MIT School of Engineering and Schwarzman College of Computing Advanced Degree Ceremony Speaker

Dario Gil, PhD ’03, is the Senior Vice President and Director of Research at IBM, where he leads the IBM technology roadmap and technical community, directing innovation strategies in areas including hybrid cloud, AI, semiconductors, quantum computing, and exploratory science.

Building communities, founding a startup with people in mind
Building communities, founding a startup with people in mind

MIT postdoc Francesco Benedetti admits he wasn’t always a star student. But the people he met along his educational journey inspired him to strive, which led him to conduct research at MIT, launch a startup, and even lead the team that won the 2021 MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Now he is determined to make sure his company, Osmoses, succeeds in boosting the energy efficiency of traditional and renewable natural gas processing, hydrogen production, and carbon capture — thus helping to address climate change.

Launchpad for healthcare entrepreneurs
Launchpad for healthcare entrepreneurs

When Computation and Systems Biology PhD student Elvira Kinzina was diagnosed with Lyme disease during her first year at MIT, she struggled to find a doctor specializing in the disease – even though Boston is renowned for its thriving healthcare community. She soon found out this was common for Lyme patients, with many specialists booked out months, years, or indefinitely. Now she is involved with a new Independent Activities Period (IAP) program focused on healthcare entrepreneurship, developing an app that would help Lyme patients find doctors and answers sooner.

Brave Behind Bars: Prison education program focuses on computing skills for women
Brave Behind Bars: Prison education program focuses on computing skills for women

A programming language textbook might not be the first thing you’d expect to see when walking into a correctional facility.

Compassionate mentorship both inside and outside the lab
Compassionate mentorship both inside and outside the lab

Although his professional expertise lies in developing chemical catalysts, MIT Visiting Professor Karthish Manthiram also makes sure to catalyze positive relationships with his graduate students.

Student, Alum Team Up to Combat Covid
Student, Alum Team Up to Combat Covid

“One of the reasons I like to interview for MIT is to be inspired—and maybe inspire a little bit back,” says George Hu ’89, a former Microsoft developer and creator of the language used for macros in Microsoft Excel. Hu says interviewing MIT applicants in his native Seattle is one way he stays connected to the alma mater that has had so much impact on his life and on the lives of students like computation and cognition major Darren Lim ’23, whom he interviewed in January 2019.

Diagnosing cancer with a barcode-inspired test
Diagnosing cancer with a barcode-inspired test

As Dana Al-Sulaiman peers into a microscope, a row of dots appears on a slide. These dots can help provide a cancer diagnosis. Al-Sulaiman was inspired by barcodes found on consumer products.

A pet brand on a mission
A pet brand on a mission

Two years ago, as Rhett James was starting a dual-degree MBA/master's degree in city planning, a chance meeting with Leyou Tameru, a legal consultant based in Ethiopia, would take him down an unexpected path. An architect by trade, James had an eye for design, but never anticipated that he would go into consumer goods. When casually discussing small business ideas with Tameru, the pair landed on a concept that stuck with them: an inclusive, social impact pet brand inspired by African and Black culture. 

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