“Educating Technology Leaders for Design-Driven Innovation”
Thomas L. Magnanti
Technology and design-driven innovation have always been vital to society’s prosperity and well-being and will continue to be so in essentially all areas of importance to society. Education in this general arena has evolved over hundreds of years, with the emergence within engineering and management of particular disciplinary and departmental structures and teaching paradigms. These include programs in industrial engineering and engineering management. Are these the best approaches in today’s world? How should a contemporary technical-based university be structured? What degrees should it offer and how should it be delivering education? Using MIT and the development of the Singapore University of Technology and Design as reference points, I will touch upon these issues in the context of the changing landscape of higher education.
About the Speaker
Thomas Magnanti is the founding President of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Institute Professor and former Dean of Engineering at M.I.T. He has devoted much of his professional career to education that combines engineering and management, and to teaching and research in applied and theoretical aspects of large-scale optimization.
At SUTD, he has led the development of a university whose mission is to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs, through a focus on Design and an integrated multi-disciplinary curriculum and multi-disciplinary research.
At M.I.T. he was the founding co-director of MIT’s Leaders for Manufacturing and System Design and Management Programs, and founding director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). As Dean, he was instrumental in creating the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation and was a strong advocate and supporter of programs in entrepreneurship such as the MIT 100K competition. He also headed one third of the Sloan School of Management for several years.
He has served as president of three major professional societies and as editor of the journal Operations Research. He has also served on a number of university, corporate and government boards and councils.
Professor Magnanti has received numerous educational and research awards including four honorary degrees. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Syracuse University, and masters’ degrees in Statistics and in Mathematics as well as a Ph.D. in Operations Research, all from Stanford University.