MIT Offers Professional Engineering Lab Course
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering a five-day course for engineering professionals to workshop projects and learn precision product design.
With planned social time, students can learn from one another as well as from professors. In an interview on Friday, Hanumara said that the course is equal parts lecture, lab, and workshop time in which people “work through our own issues – consider it like therapy for engineering problems.”
The class is most suitable for practicing designers who want to refine their ability to analyze and tweak a machine to increase efficiency and productivity, but Hanumara said that it can be useful for engineers at almost any skill level. The class usually includes no more than 30 students, and will also be held next year.
Learning about precision from the ground up can help “any time somebody has been tasked with developing new – not just incremental but new – hardware solutions in their work,” he said.
Alexander Slocum received his doctorate from MIT in 1985. With decades of experience in mechanical engineering, he has deep understanding of precision engineering and precision at the design stage. He designed key elements of the OMAX water jet, wafer handling equipment and is also interested in new energy technologies.
Nevan Hanumara, also a graduate of MIT and a specialist in medical devices, completed his graduate degree under Slocum and is now working as a research scientist. His design philosophy follows authors such as Henry Dreyfuss (“Designing for People”), Don Norman (“The Design of Everyday Things”), and Henry Petroski (“To Engineer is Human”).
Access to the class labs includes a wealth of tools and toys. Hanumara paints a picture of the workspace this way: “If you can bring it to us in your suitcase we can take it apart. Our lab is an utter and complete mess at all times. All efforts to clean it up have met with failure.”