|Bernard and Sophia Gordon recently gave UC San Diego $2.5 million through their foundation to launch a new engineering leadership center.|
“Our vision is to train effective engineering leaders who are equipped with the attitudes and skill sets they need to create new products and jobs that will benefit society,” said Center Director Ingolf Krueger, professor of computer science and engineering.
Krueger said the Center plans to offer leadership courses, as well as forums by engineering leaders in industry, government, military and academia. The program will focus on ethics, end-to-end project planning and execution to meet societal needs, team development and leadership, and assessing the potential impact of new technologies.
The Gordon Center will select 30 students per year to become Gordon Scholars. Scholars will take the leadership courses, participate in workshops and summer schools, and receive mentoring from industry leaders. The Scholars will also complete a challenge project in which they design and build a defined product to the customer’s satisfaction.
In addition, the Gordon Center will present awards for exceptional engineering leadership at the high school, college and professional levels.
“Engineers create the economy by building things society needs. It is essential, particularly in today’s economic times, that we train effective engineering leaders who will improve productivity and create jobs,” said Gordon, a noted inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist whose innovations have paved the way for modern electronics and have transformed the practice of medical care.
Considered the “father of analog to digital conversion” for his inventions and contributions to signal transduction, medical tomography and other high precision instrumentation, Gordon has more than 200 patents worldwide. He is the co-founder and chairman of Danvers, Mass.-based NeuroLogica Corporation. He is also the founder of Analogic Corporation (Peabody, MA) and recently retired as chairman of the board. Prior to Analogic, he was the president and co-founder of Epsco Incorporated. In 1986, Gordon received the National Medal of Technology, and in 1991 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Gordon Foundation is dedicated to supporting innovative engineering leadership training, and in addition to the new center at UC San Diego, has established the Gordon Institute at Tufts University; the Gordon Professorships of Engineering Innovation and Practice at MIT; the Gordon Center for Systems Leadership Engineering at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology; and the Bernard M. Gordon Prize at the National Academy of Engineering, an annual award of $500,000 recognizing contributions to engineering education innovation.
“Although many universities touch on leadership in the engineering curricula, few have a focused program to cultivate future engineering leaders,” said Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible, who served as selection committee chair of the NAE Gordon Prize. “The Gordon Center will allow the Jacobs School to identify prospective leaders, and offer them challenges and opportunities to help reach their potential.”