Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Professor of the Practice – Industry Co-Director, GEL Program


Origin and Description of the Bernard M. Gordon – MIT Engineering Leadership (GEL) Program:
The GEL Program was founded in the MIT School of Engineering (SoE) in 2007 with a $20M initial donation from Bernard Gordon. It is a co-curricular program to supplement MIT’s undergraduate engineering education by developing the character and the product design and leadership skills of SoE juniors and seniors, thus enhancing their ability to function as engineering leaders, and contribute to society by improving engineering leadership in the nation. GEL currently provides leadership instruction to about 130 juniors (and a few seniors) in the one-year program, and another 35 seniors in the second year program. As of 2016 it has grown to include a staff of 7.5 full time equivalent people, a committed endowment of over $30M, and an FY17 annual budget of $1.2M.

The purpose of the GEL program is to use immersive and team exercises, class material, individual assessment and feedback, and industry mentors/internships to experientially develop the capabilities, skills, and attitudes of engineering leadership in SoE undergraduate (and graduate) students. The goal is to develop engineers who will become leaders in their field and contribute effectively to society.

The GEL program also includes two related organizations. The first is the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) which was founded in 2001, also in SoE, to help MIT sophomores develop their communication, teamwork and decision making skills and allow them to practice these skills through a summer internship in industry, and became part of the GEL program in 2007. The second is the Communication Lab (Comm Lab), founded in 2012, which works with several of the SoE departments to help graduate students develop their writing and presentation skills through mentoring from Communication Fellows. As of 2016 there are 50 Fellows, supported by their individual departments, and they interacted with over 800 students.

Additional details about the program may be found at

Full position description may be found at:

Position Description
Reporting to the Dean of the School of Engineering and working with the Faculty Co-Director (or Co-Directors), the Industry Co-Director plays an active role (75% time) in directing, representing, expanding, and managing the GEL program, but will also perform academic and teaching duties in their resident department (25%).

Responsibilities of GEL Industry Co-Director (75% effort) include:

  • Ensuring the smooth and effective operation, interface, and expansion of the GEL program, the GEL Professional Education subject offerings, and the two ancillary programs overseen by GEL: UPOP and the Communication Lab
  • Ensuring that the program remains true to the purpose of developing future engineering leaders, as described in the “Capabilities of an Engineering Leader” document developed in the first year of the program (available on the GEL website at ), and the program’s mission, vision, and values
  • Guiding the program to ensure that the content represents the goals of the GEL program

Responsibilities of the Professor of the Practice (nominally 25% time) include:

  • Participating in department activities
  • Teaching at least one academic subject per year
  • Participating in research and student advising to the extent feasible
  • Will report to the appropriate department head.

Significant and exemplary industry product development and leadership experience required. “Product development” is taken to include the innovative conception, design and implementation of new products, processes, materials, molecules, software, and systems. Ph.D. in an engineering discipline strongly preferred, together with some amount of teaching and research experience (with superior results) and some familiarity with leadership education. At least ten years of hands-on experience in an engineering capacity, including successful bench experience in product development and delivery, plus a considerable degree of managerial experience and leadership responsibility in a successful endeavor. Should have significant experience in delivering products to spec, on time, and within budget. Should possess an entrepreneurial mindset, an unwavering commitment to success, and a deep passion for transforming engineering leadership development in an academic environment. Requires good written and oral communication skills, an ability to interface with a wide variety of academic and industry stakeholders, and a strong empathy with and commitment to the GEL/UPOP/Comm Lab staff and students. Familiarity with the MIT culture and ecosystem is a plus.

A likely candidate is someone with a combination of strong academic background plus significant (and successful) industry engineering leadership experience in product design and development, who is at a point in their career where they are available, motivated, and passionate about developing the leadership ability of our MIT engineering undergraduate and graduate students.

All applicants should register at All applicants should provide a cover letter speaking to qualifications and interest, plus a resume or CV. Three letters of recommendation will be required prior to offer of employment. All applications will be considered, but applications received by December 1, 2016, will be given priority.

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.