January/February 2022

Dear members of the MIT community and friends,

We are two weeks into the spring term, and I can’t help but feel rejuvenated as I imagine the learnings, advancements, and innovations that lie ahead. Here in Cambridge, we’re already beginning to enjoy longer days and increased sunshine, which serve as pleasant reminders that spring is just around the corner. The spring term—much like the sunlight—is also a reminder that the future is bright, especially for our students and our community here at MIT.

The introduction of the spring term brought with it some impactful news for our entire MIT community. Following a decade of leading our beloved Institute through incredible growth, President L. Rafael announced he will step down from office at the end of 2022. I wish the very best for President Reif in this next chapter, and we look forward to welcoming him home to the School of Engineering as he returns to the faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, following a sabbatical. Additionally, treasured faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and former MIT chancellor, Cynthia Barnhart, has been appointed as MIT’s next provost effective March 7. I truly admire Cindy’s leadership and deep experience across the school and MIT, and I look forward to working with her in this new role.

The energy on campus is palpable, as labs and classrooms have gone from barren to bustling as our recently quiet campus transformed, once again, into the familiar fertile ground for innovation that makes the School of Engineering such a special place. The selection of stories I’ve curated for this newsletter highlights some of the amazing work that has already taken shape across the school.

You’ll watch a group of students redefine sustainable design, read about one professor’s passion for student mentorship, learn how our community is working to build a more inclusive culture, and be dazzled by the many achievements of our students, faculty, and staff—I invite you to discover some of our most recent stories as we look toward the future, filled with a renewed sense of promise and hope.

Here’s to a new semester filled with innovation, creativity, and connection.


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Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Dean, MIT School of Engineering

Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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Renew, reuse, recycle

Students in the collaborative capstone class, Design of Sustainable Polymer Systems, attempt to find a solution to a real-world problem related to climate change

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Engineering leaders share experience in new speaker series

Gilda Barabino, president of Olin College of Engineering, spoke to faculty, staff, and students at the MIT School of Engineering about building inclusive communities at inaugural event

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Building technological tools for nuclear disarmament

Associate Professor credits mentorship with helping him establish a path through nuclear physics

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Faculty members recognized for excellence

The School of Engineering recognizes faculty achievements in its fourth quarter 2021 awards

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Meet the 2021-22 Accenture Fellows

The Accenture Fellows are bolstering research and igniting ideas to help transform global business

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Launchpad for healthcare entrepreneurs

MIT Sandbox inspires highly-sought healthcare innovations with new Independent Activities Period program

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One step forward: an interview with Adedolapo Adedokun

Mitchell Scholar reflects upon his engineering prowess and his passion for music-making

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Staff spotlight: Patty Cunningham

Celebrated Academic Program Manager to retire after more than 40 years with Harvard-MIT Program in Health Science and Technology