This month, three Open Ended Questions were posed to the faculty and staff. The third question was: What is the coolest project you have ever worked on?
Alyson Goodrow: Redesigning Olin.edu. Hands down!
Peter Antognoni: Without a doubt volunteering with home building through Habitat for Humanity.
That’s where the saying “It is more blessed to give than to receive” comes alive!
Susan Johanson: It would have to be Project INTREX (information transfer experiments), an MIT-based project proposed to the National Science Foundation to put the entire contents of the MIT engineering library onto microfilm and microfiche, so it could be remotely accessed. At the time, we had no terminals, personal computers or internet – what an imaginative, remarkable idea!
Jessica Townsend: Testing rocket engines at Blue Origin.
Michelle Davis: One time I organized a headache sufferers art show to demonstrate the pain, suffering and visual auras that people with headaches experience, and to also show the creativity that can also accompany headaches. We received photos, prints, paintings and sculptures of people with spikes in their heads, dramatic visual apparitions and representations of the sense of isolation that people felt when experiencing an episode. It was very empowering for our patients (I worked at a hospital) but it also generated tons of attention for our headache treatment facility, which was my job as a PR director at the time.
Drew: PackBot! A mobile robot that’s fast, tough, easy to use and has actually saved people’s lives. I’ve worked on other great projects, but knowing someone didn’t die because of my robot is the best.
Sarah Spence Adams: Solving a really hard research problem with two of my first Olin research students. We worked together for many years to solve the problem, solving lots of other problems and including many other students along the way. It was an incredible journey and a highlight of my professional life.
Oscar: 1. Vibration-to-electric energy conversion using MEMS.
2. MIT microengine (a turbine the size of a dime).
PS: You asked for coolest, not most meaningful or important…
Anonymous D: Space, when it was new, when nobody knew just what would work & wouldn’t. You had to REACH — both with imaginings and with products — and only delivering counted. The fundamental P/F (NR just wasn’t) was launch and all that sci/pol stuff it took to get to the pad, then data & the satellite-filled world as we now enjoy it. I have lived in the best, most fun & challenging times, methinks & me hopes u feel the same at yours as you find your contributions.