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Visionary engineer invests in Northeastern again, expands leadership program

November 4, 2014

Pio­neering engi­neer and entre­pre­neur Bernard M. Gordon, H’07, has once again invested in North­eastern Uni­ver­sity to edu­cate engi­neering leaders at the nexus of acad­emia and industry. His new $10M gift launches the Gordon Insti­tute of Engi­neering Lead­er­ship and builds on the suc­cess of the Gordon Engi­neering Lead­er­ship Pro­gram he cre­ated with a $20 mil­lion invest­ment in 2007.


Source: News @ Northeastern

 

Pio­neering engi­neer and entre­pre­neur Bernard M. Gordon, H’07, has once again invested in North­eastern Uni­ver­sity to edu­cate engi­neering leaders at the nexus of acad­emia and industry. His new $10 mil­lion gift launches the Gordon Insti­tute of Engi­neering Lead­er­ship and builds on the suc­cess of the Gordon Engi­neering Lead­er­ship Pro­gram he cre­ated with a $20 mil­lion invest­ment in 2007.

Impressed by Northeastern’s strong industry ties and excel­lence in expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion and research, Gordon has been a strong partner in building a suc­cessful pro­gram that pro­duces skilled engi­neers with the tech­nical depth, expe­ri­ence, and apti­tudes nec­es­sary to be leaders. His com­bined $30 mil­lion gift makes him one of Northeastern’s leading bene­fac­tors and will sus­tain the insti­tute for the fore­see­able future.

Bernie is a visionary leader who has been trans­forming engi­neering edu­ca­tion throughout the United States,” said Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern. “He entrusted us to make his vision a reality at North­eastern and in higher education.”

The institute’s unique expe­ri­en­tial pro­gram offers a master of sci­ence in engi­neering in a variety of dis­ci­plines, such as mechan­ical engi­neering, elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering or engi­neering man­age­ment, or opt for a stand­alone grad­uate cer­tifi­cate in engi­neering leadership.

Stu­dents must build the char­acter, knowl­edge, and skills to truly develop them­selves and to ben­efit their orga­ni­za­tions and society,” said Gordon, a pio­neering engi­neer, inventor, and active philanthropist.

The stu­dents, known as Gordon Fel­lows, get the for­mal­ized men­tor­ship and tools to expand their engi­neering edu­ca­tion while building lead­er­ship skills and industry expe­ri­ence. Stu­dents gain a com­pet­i­tive edge over their peers by learning to effec­tively lead engi­neering teams and com­plex projects, at star­tups or at large orga­ni­za­tions, ear­lier in their careers.

Bernard M. Gordon, center, and President Joseph E. Aoun attend a ceremony in 2012 dedicating the new Bernard M. Gordon Tribute to Engineering Leadership archway on campus. Northeastern University photo.

Bernard M. Gordon, center, and Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun attend a cer­e­mony in 2012 ded­i­cating the new Bernard M. Gordon Tribute to Engi­neering Lead­er­ship archway on campus. North­eastern Uni­ver­sity photo.

The institute’s sig­na­ture expe­ri­en­tial com­po­nent is the Chal­lenge Project, which allows stu­dents to apply con­cepts and tech­niques learned in the class­room to lead an industry-​​focused project with tan­gible impact. Cor­po­rate part­ners sponsor stu­dents to develop a product or process of market value on behalf of the com­pany with an emphasis on cus­tomers and stake­holders. Par­tic­i­pating com­pa­nies rep­re­sent the energy, med­ical, and defense indus­tries; high-​​tech sector; research labs; and branches of the mil­i­tary. Stu­dents lead the project from plan to pro­posal to project delivery, which they defend to the program’s faculty.

We’re doing some­thing aca­d­e­m­i­cally unusual,” said Simon Pitts, director of the insti­tute. “We’re teaching our stu­dents how to learn engi­neering in the con­text of leading people while bringing win­ning prod­ucts to market.”

The class­room cur­riculum is sup­ple­mented by a Lead­er­ship Lab­o­ra­tory, which aug­ments the themes intro­duced in lec­tures. Stu­dents also engage in detailed self-​​assessments of 14 key lead­er­ship char­ac­ter­is­tics to help them target their strengths and weak­nesses. By engaging in inter­ac­tive role-​​playing exer­cises and case studies in the lab­o­ra­tory set­ting, stu­dents are able to explore and master engi­neering and lead­er­ship skills through experience.

Each year, this highly selec­tive pro­gram enrolls approx­i­mately 30 stu­dents, but will grow to include 50 in 2015, thanks to Gordon’s renewed invest­ment. To date, 145 Fel­lows have com­pleted the program—40 per­cent of whom are alumni of other North­eastern degree programs.