- MIT launches MITx MicroMasters in Principles of Manufacturing
- Turning any room into an operating room
- MindHandHeart announces record number of Innovation Fund winners
Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:00 PM PST
MIT today announced the launch of the Institute's third MITx MicroMasters program, in principles of manufacturing. The new program brings an advanced manufacturing curriculum to the MITx platform for the first time and enables learners worldwide to advance their careers by mastering the fundamental skills needed for global manufacturing excellence and competitiveness.
New manufacturing firms are growing at their fastest rate since 1993, as technology revolutionizes the field. The MITx Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters program focuses on broad-based concepts that underlie all manufacturing environments, putting graduates of this unique program in a position to leverage the industry's fast-paced growth. The graduate-level program enables engineers, product designers, and technology developers to advance their careers in a broad array of engineering capacities, including manufacturing, supply chain management, design, and product development.
"Throughout an entire undergraduate degree program, the conventional engineering curriculum teaches students that everything is certain, and results are exact, ignoring inherent uncertainty," says David Hardt, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. "All too often, people fail to get products, and even companies, across what's known as the valley of death, which is the gap between small-volume and full-scale production. Their efforts fail because they haven't been given the fundamental skill set for managing uncertainties associated with production rate, quality, and cost. And, that's exactly what we do in this new program."
Noting the continued evolution of technologies, instability of supply chains, and introduction of new production processes, Hardt says that manufacturing technologies "change so quickly that unless students master the cohesive set of fundamentals that underlie production, they won't know how to handle many of the unexpected challenges that arise. It's not just about knowing the latest technologies. To be a good decision-maker in manufacturing, a person has to master the core principles that determine how to apply those technologies under uncertain conditions."
By maintaining a technology-agnostic curriculum and embracing the fundamental principles that govern manufacturing, the MITx Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters curriculum will maintain its relevance in this constantly changing environment.
The new MicroMasters program traces its roots back to the Master of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing and Design, originally established at MIT in 2001 through the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. This master's program provides a launchpad for graduates to become innovative future leaders in established manufacturing firms and new entrepreneurial ventures. The MITx Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters program announced today leverages this curriculum.
The MITx Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters curriculum consists of eight online courses, which span the fields of process control, manufacturing systems, engineering management, and supply chain planning and design. Each course runs for eight weeks, and students who complete the entire curriculum and earn their MicroMasters credential will be eligible to apply to the Master of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing and Design degree program on campus at MIT. If accepted, course credits earned through the MITx Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters will be applied to the on-campus degree program, enabling students to earn their master's in eight months. Principles of Manufacturing online coursework commences in March 2018. The first cohort of students who have earned their MicroMasters credential and been admitted to the on-campus master's degree program will arrive at MIT in January 2020 and graduate that August.
"We are excited to help the MIT faculty who have spent many years crafting this innovative curriculum teach the principles of manufacturing to learners around the country and around the world," says Dean for Digital Learning Krishna Rajagopal. "At a time when manufacturing is changing rapidly, we are happy to make this learning opportunity open to all. For those who wish to advance their careers, the MITx MicroMasters will be a valuable professional credential. They will also be eligible to accelerate their completion of a master's degree at MIT — or elsewhere. We are using digital technologies to leverage MIT's commitment to rigorous, high-quality curricula in a way that expands access to, and transforms, graduate-level education for working professionals."
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will also offer a pathway to their Master of Science in Professional Studies that awards credit to learners who successfully complete the MITx Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters credential and are then admitted to RIT. The RIT MS in Professional Studies is an innovative open curriculum environment that enables students to create a customized degree path that meets their educational or career objectives. The curriculum can include courses from multiple RIT graduate programs across two or three areas of study. RIT has been working with MITx since early 2017, and they currently offer a similar pathway to holders of the MITx Supply Chain Management MicroMasters credential.
"Digital technologies are enabling us to extend this cutting-edge manufacturing curriculum, which is the result of many years of research and development, to learners around the world regardless of their location or socioeconomic status," says Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma. "The innovative application of open learning technologies has broken down barriers and enabled people of all ages and backgrounds to access world-class educational content. We hope that Principles of Manufacturing, MIT's third MicroMasters program, will dramatically expand the opportunities for professional and lifelong learners to advance their careers and pursue their passions."
Posted: 08 Jan 2018 08:59 PM PST
Dust, dirt, bacteria, flies — these are just some of the many contaminants surgeons need to worry about when operating in the field or in hospitals located in developing nations. According to a 2015 study in The Lancet, 5 billion people don't have access to safe, clean surgical care. Graduate student Sally Miller '16 is hoping to change that with a product called SurgiBox.
"The idea of SurgiBox is to take the operating room and shrink it down to just the patient's size," Miller explains. "Keeping an entire room clean and surgery-ready requires a lot of resources that many hospitals and surgeons across the globe don't have."
Upon starting her master's degree in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where she also received her bachelors, Miller connected with Daniel Frey, professor of mechanical engineering and faculty research director of MIT's D-Lab. Frey had been working on the concept of SurgiBox with Debbie Teodorescu, the company's founder and CEO, who graduated from Harvard Medical School and acted as a D-Lab research affiliate. Having just won the Harvard President's Challenge grant of $70,000, the SurgiBox team was looking for a mechanical engineering graduate student who could help enhance the product's design.
Enter Miller, who took on the project as her master's thesis. "The first thing I did was assess the design they already had, but use my mechanical engineering lens to make the product more affordable, more usable, and easier to manufacture," Miller explains.
Miller found inspiration in 2.75 (Medical Device Design). For the class project, she visited the VA Medical Center, where she watched a pacemaker surgery. During the surgery, doctors placed an incise drape — an adhesive, antimicrobial sheet infused with iodine — on the site of the incision.
"Watching the surgeons that day I realized, 'Oh, I can use this adhesive drape idea for SurgiBox,'" Miller says.
In addition to incorporating adhesive drapes at the point of incision, Miller has redesigned the structure of SurgiBox. The original design had a rectangular frame that sealed to the patient at the armpit and waist. The frame held up a plastic, tent-like enclosure with a fan and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that removes 99.997 percent of contaminants. Miller realized, to make SurgiBox more portable and cost effective, she had to get rid of the frames. With her new design, SurgiBox now consists of an inflatable tent; the outward pressure from the HEPA-filtered air gives the surgical site its structure.
Teodorescu agrees. "Sally is stunningly capable at both manual and digital forms of technical drafting," she says. "Because of her designs, a key part of SurgiBox now fits into a Ziploc bag." This latest iteration of SurgiBox now meets the same germ-proof and blood-proof standard as surgical gowns used by doctors treating Ebola patients.
The next step for the SurgiBox team is user testing. In addition to continuing particle testing, the team will partner with local Boston-area hospitals to test the ergonomics of the design and ensure it aligns with surgical workflows. After that, the team will test its efficacy at partner hospitals in developing nations where the technology is most needed.
As for Miller, after graduating with her masters in January she is hoping to start a career in product design. "Working on SurgiBox during my masters and in classes like 2.009 (Product Engineering Processes) in my undergraduate classes gave me hands-on experience in creating a product with real-world application," Miller says. "I'm open to working on products in a number of fields and am excited to see what my future holds after MIT."
Posted: 08 Jan 2018 11:00 AM PST
The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund has awarded $50,848 to a record 17 projects developed by students, faculty, and staff to make the MIT community more healthy, welcoming, and inclusive. Sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the fund was promoted at a series of study breaks earlier this year and received nearly double the usual number of applications in the fall 2017 cycle.
Awarded projects address an array of topics, including life skills, wellness, community building, enhancing academic climates, and increasing help-seeking, diversity, and inclusion. Of all 17 awarded projects, 59 percent are spearheaded by students, 12 percent are driven by faculty, and 29 percent are driven by staff members.
Applications were reviewed by members of the MindHandHeart coalition and a review committee composed of past Innovation Fund winners and representatives from the Graduate Student Council, the Undergraduate Association, and MindHandHeart's leadership team.
"I was truly moved by the creativity, problem-solving skills, and sheer number of applications," says Maryanne Kirkbride, MindHandHeart executive administrator. "It is a testament to the strength of the MIT community and our commitment to supporting one another. The chancellor, MIT Medical, and I are excited to see these projects progress over the spring semester."
A number of the newly funded Innovation Fund projects aim to build community and foster connectedness on campus. Spearheaded by the Office of Minority Education, The Standard is a cohort-based men of color initiative targeting first-year undergraduates. Participants will engage in workshops, guest lectures, and a range of activities designed to enhance their academic, personal, and professional success. Director of the Office of Minority Education (OME) DiOnetta Jones Crayton says of the grant, "Supporting undergraduate men of color is a priority for the OME, and we are thrilled to receive funding for The Standard from MindHandHeart to expand our efforts and reach more students in new and exciting ways."
Organized by Mujeres Latinas, the Hermanas Unidas inaugural event will bring together Latinas from across MIT to create a supportive, enduring, and inspiring community. WiSTEM Week consists of a week of events celebrating and promoting women in STEM at MIT.
Several projects focus on building community in MIT's academic environments. Steven G. Johnson, professor of applied mathematics, was awarded a grant to bring a Math Puzzles Pilot Event to MIT's Department of Mathematics to create opportunities for socialization among students and faculty. Graduate student Deborah Ehrlich's project, Continuing Conversations for Chemists, will encourage members of the Department of Chemistry to meet over lunch. And, graduate student Gabriela Serrato Marks' Science Storytelling project will teach storytelling and science communication techniques to students in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.
Three projects will use art as a vehicle to promote well-being and community. Artful Meditation/Draw What You See is a weekly drawing course incorporating meditation techniques led by MIT lecturer Mauricio Cordero. Organized by LBGTQ@MIT, Making a SPXCE to Call Home is a collaborative mural painting initiative that plans to combine canvas and digital effects in the new SPXCE Intercultural Center. Spearheaded by MIT alumna and staff member Natalia Guerrero, Studio consists of drop-in art sessions for members of the MIT community to draw, reflect, and connect with others.
Two projects bring nature to the MIT community in innovative ways. Spearheaded by first-year Sloan student Yifan Lu, Indoor Lawn brought a grass installation to the Student Center to calm and entertain passersby. And, the MacGregor House Garden aims to set up a hydroponic gardening system that will provide vegetables for residents of MacGregor House.
Other projects include Evaluation on the State of the Black Community at MIT, a survey and report organized by The Black Student Union assessing the state of the black community at MIT; Adulting 101, a series of financial literacy workshops for MIT students; America in Transition, a documentary series and social impact campaign that explores relationships, family, and social change from the perspective of transgender people of color across the U.S.; Postdoc REFS, a two-year pilot program aiming to train postdocs in conflict management and create an official group for postdocs to utilize their conflict management skills; MIT Daybreaker; and Crafternoon Sewing Circle.
To date, MindHandHeart has supported 57 Innovation Fund projects, 11 of which are now self-sustaining. Past Innovation Fund winners include the Puppy Lab, Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, My Sister's Keeper, and MIT Connect. The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund will be accepting applications from March 1-30, 2018.
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