The Real World
The Beaver Works Center, a joint venture between Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT School of Engineering, gives students the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects with real customers who are depending on real results.video and photo by Lillie Paquette; Written by Carolyn Blais
Located in Lexington, MA, The MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works Center gives students the opportunity to creatively explore solutions to world problems. Robert Shin, the Director of Beaver Works, says students from campus are collaborating with the lab on “incredibly meaningful” and innovative projects and research.
As the external sponsor or customer, Lincoln Lab provides resources and space so that students are able to experiment and hopefully turn ideas into real solutions. “We know what we want the outcome to be, but we don’t always know how to achieve that,” Shin says. “So we give the students a fair amount of design space to explore, and then many times, because they don’t know what we know, they come up with the perspectives, and approaches, and solutions that we haven’t thought about.”
A joint initiative between Lincoln Laboratory and the School of Engineering at MIT, Beaver Works offers students the opportunity to meet and talk with industry professionals who are able to impart technical expertise. Shin explains that the goal of the center is to educate students and employees and to benefit both Lincoln Lab and MIT.
“As much as we’d love to have a working prototype at the end, what we are really getting out of this is the lessons learned, what they’ve gone through, the different paths they’ve taken, some worked, some didn’t. That knowledge is what we’re really after.”