Around Campus: Toy Lab, MIT150, and Commencement


2011 Commencement

The Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted a reception immediately following commencement on Friday, June 3, 2011. The day was filled with pride and joy as we celebrated our graduates, reconnected with friends, and showcased our latest research. Congratulations to all our graduates!


MechE Graduates at Graduation MechE Graduates at Commencement

Photo credit: Tony Pulsone


MechE Innovations on Display at MIT150 Open House


Demonstrating the Atlas climbing device

Photo credit: David Trumper

On Saturday, April 30, 2011, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, in conjunction with MIT, invited the public to take a look inside the Institute’s world-renowned innovational culture at its Open House event. In celebration of MIT’s 150th anniversary, MechE students presented working prototypes ranging from the Braille Maker and solar electric vehicle to biomedical products for home sleep monitoring and minimally invasive surgery. Two of the founding members of Atlas Devices demonstrated their Atlas Power Ascender, a reverse-rappelling device they developed as students in the department. Young visitors to the event enjoyed hands-on projects building rubber band cars, catapults, and edible structures using marshmallows and dry pasta. The day’s lectures held audiences spellbound with robotic advances in areas like physical rehabilitation and nuclear reactor inspection and nanoengineered surfaces for energy efficiency and invisibility. See a full list of MechE-related Open House events.


Designers at Play

Serious fun is the assignment in Course 2.00b, also known as the Toy Lab. Named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine, the purpose of the Toy Lab is to get first-year undergraduates excited about toy product design while they learn to collaborate in small teams to design for play and entertainment. The teams work closely with a local sponsor, elementary schools, upper classmen, and experienced mentors on a themed toy design project. See recent inventions from the MIT Toy Lab.


Four Faculty Win Prestigious Keenan Award for Innovation

Rohit Karnik, d’Arbeloff Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Sang-Gook Kim, Professor; Carol Livermore, Associate Professor; and Todd Thorsen, Research Staff at Lincoln Labs were recognized with the Joseph Henry Keenan Innovation in Undergraduate Education Award for their development of the popular Micro/Nano Laboratory taken by more than 50 undergraduates last year.


MechE Student Space Gets A Facelift

MechE Student Commons

Photo credit: Tony Pulsone

This past fall, the MechE Student Commons was upgraded as part of a larger effort to beautify the Mechanical Engineering entrance and hallway, and provide much-needed mixed-use space for the more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students in MechE. The expansion created individual and team work spaces as well as social and study areas for between classes or on weekends. The new, improved Commons was funded through a generous donation by MechE alum BJ Park and his wife Chunghi Park.