Making a Better World: A Message from the School of Engineering

At MIT we let our work speak for itself. Our kind of engineer views praise as an invitation to tackle the next problem—and the harder, the better.

The challenges we seek to solve, from cybersecurity to fusion energy to Alzheimer’s, require more than apps.

Our kind of innovation can take decades. We bet on startups where the return on investment may be far on the horizon. We develop new infrastructures and entirely new markets.

We believe in digging deep and learning for the long term. Quantum computing, self-healing materials, programming bacteria to fix atmospheric nitrogen, and autonomous vehicles require rigor, passion, and a breakthrough, or two, or three…

The MIT Campaign for a Better World provides an opportunity for the School of Engineering, and for the rest of the Institute, to speak with one voice about the scope of our ambitions—and the resources it will take to achieve them.

Deep technology and science-based engineering are at the heart of what we do and who we are—key ingredients in our special sauce. To empower our community we must support people with the right resources and spaces to discover and innovate—like MIT.nano, a restored Main Group, and many major renovation projects across the School.

We need to provide an even stronger residential living and learning environment, filled with “only-at-MIT” opportunities. That means enhancing efforts like SuperUROP; expanding our 130,000 square feet of maker spaces; creating new on-ramps and varied paths for innovation and entrepreneurship through the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program, StartMIT, and the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation; and reimagining engineering education with more authentic project-based and professional learning opportunities, digital tools, flexible degrees, and personalized learning.

It’s ambitious, but we like to run headfirst at the difficult stuff.

The purposes of our School, the Institute, and this campaign converge around one center of gravity: the people who are devoted to making the world a better place. We need to attract, retain, and enable them with undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, professorships, and discretionary funds to get new faculty members off to a great start. Likewise, by further investing in open online learning and K–12 outreach, including our amazing Office of Engineering Outreach Programs, we will inspire others beyond our campus and tap into talent around the globe.

We work at a place that doesn’t just talk about “moon shots,” but one that helped accomplish the real thing.

The notion of making a better world is not sloganeering. It’s what we do. It’s what we have always done.

It’s why we need your help. Join us.

Published in April 2016.

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