Unlike the other framers of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin grew up poor, as did steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Through shrewdness and hard work, both accumulated substantial fortunes. In 1790, Benjamin Franklin left a legacy to the citizens of Boston that Andrew Carnegie matched in 1906, leading to the founding of today’s Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Mr. Carnegie accumulated a far greater fortune than he could ever use and sought—albeit unsuccessfully—to give it all away before he died.
BFIT's Women In Technology Student Organization. Fall 2017.
While March was Women’s History Month, here at BFIT many are continuing conversations about how to increase the numbers of successful women working in the STEM fields. At a recent presentation entitled “Why So Few Women Are Interested in Mechanical Engineering Technology,” Thomas Naderi, Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) Department, cited research including one particular study by the University of Colorado where 1/3rd of female students had dropped out of their engineering program by their junior year. Naderi’s presentation suggested solutions to reverse this trend— emphasize the practical ways that STEM can be used to solve real world problems and improve people’s lives and communities, and center social responsibility and caring for others at the heart of the profession. Naderi points to his own work in biomedical engineering as an example of grounding STEM in compelling societal issues and caring for others. He works to design wheelchairs, artificial knees, and hips for the elderly at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Department of Musculoskeletal Research.
Kelly Hassett is one BFIT student who is well on her way to overcoming the gender barriers that keep many women out of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
This summer, Kelly joined three other BFIT students at National Grid as an intern working in substation engineering and design. She is part of the team that builds and maintains vital components in the system that powers our homes and businesses. She finds that the critical thinking and hands-on skills she acquired in her mechanical engineering technology (MET) courses at BFIT are helping her to navigate the intricacies of the power grid. And she is making meaningful connections with National Grid’s engineers, some of whom are BFIT alumni. She notes that the engineers are devoted to helping her learn and advance in the field. Kelly is hopeful that her new contacts will also help her land a post-graduation job in engineering technology—a passion that was reignited the moment she walked through BFIT's doors.