Engineering Sciences gives students a set of tools that can be used to tackle any problem and the chance to work on real-world issues, from studying trends in global warming, to developing novel drug delivery methods, to inventing entirely new technologies and products.
The dynamic, broad-based curriculum offers excellent preparation for students planning to work as practicing engineers or researchers (especially if they select intensive programs of study with emphasis in particular branches of engineering); for students who are preparing for careers in business, education, government, law, or medicine; as well as for those whose career objectives may be less specific.
In fact, according to executive search firm Spencer Stuart, engineering was second only to business administration as the most received undergraduate degree of S&P 500–company chief executive officers over the past year.
Careers By Broad Area
(adapted from the ASEE - American Society for Engineering Education)
"By the end, these students will be ready to walk into any lab or
any biotech company and deliver the tools and techniques that no
one there will know.
"They are marketable beyond having Harvard
on their résumés."
- Kit Parker, Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Biomedical Engineering & Bioengineering
Work with biologists and medical doctors to develop artificial organs, prosthetic devices, and medical devices (including unique drug-delivery methods).
Chemical & Biological Engineering
Transform raw materials into everyday products such as pharmaceuticals, food products, and other consumer products ranging from cold creams to detergents.
Computer Design and Engineering
Design new computer circuits, microchips, and other electronic components.
Develop ways to transform energy from turbines, fuel cells, hydroelectric plants, and solar panels for everyday use, or create new ways to “move” information through computers, cell phones, satellite transmissions, and television.
Cultivate clean air and water technologies, develop pollution prevention methods, or work with policymakers to determine environmental standards and regulations.
Manipulate and create materials such as plastics, metals, and ceramics, for everything from high-performance skis to stealth technology in military aircraft.
Design everything from airplanes to consumer products like cars and MP3 players.
Gain a foundation — typically for students who plan to pursue MBA degrees — for planning, organizing, allocating resources, and directing activities that have technology components (such as Chief Information/Technology Officers).
Chelsey Simmons ’06
Graduate student at Stanford’s School of Engineering
It was no surprise that Crimson writers embraced Chelsey Simmons S.B. ’06, a confident, smart, fun-loving young woman who seasons her sentences with “y’all.” Mollie H. Chen ’05 wrote about Simmons in her sophomore year (“The Gainesville native skips down the stairs from her second-floor room in Thayer in a white tube top, low-rise black pants that are pretending to be held up by a stone-studded chain belt, and white flipflops …”) in an undercover piece meant to prove that, gasp, Harvard students also like the nightlife.
A second article, written by Parag Gupta ’08 three years later, revealed how Simmons equally relishes her role as an early riser, leading a 7:00 a.m. cardio-kickboxing class. Muriel Payan ‘08 covered the ES concentrator’s senior design project, a device for patients who undergo spinal fusion. Yes, that’s the same Chelsey Simmons in all three articles. That she doesn’t fall squarely into any one category, from socialite to athlete to engineer, is fine by her. After all, she discovered that the one place she never intended to go was the perfect fit.
Stephanie Wilson ’88
Inspired by the stars she could see from her backyard in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Stephanie Wilson decided to become an astronaut. After completing her S.B. degree at Harvard, she went on to earn a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas.
Today, Wilson works in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch at the Johnson Space Center. She was assigned to the crew of STS-120, a shuttle flight responsible for mounting U.S. Node 2 to the International Space Station, which provides attach locations for the Japanese laboratory, European laboratory, the Centrifuge Accommodation Module, and later, Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules.
Clay Mitchell ’99
Techno-Farmer, Mitchell Farms
“My decision to farm first raised eyebrows while I was earning my degree in Biomedical Engineering at Harvard; I bought 200 acres that are a long way back on a dusty stream-following road where old trees stand as mileposts to the bygones,” says Clay Mitchell.
As a techno-farmer, he incorporates an innovative combination of no-till, controlledtraffic farming; farmwide wireless LAN ; centimeter-level automation of seed, fertilizer, and chemical application; rootzone banding of fertilizer; and stripintercropping. The result promotes both soil conservation and a farming culture that favors traditional family and community, cooperation. Time magazine recently profiled Mitchell in an article titled: “Farm of the Future: A Harvard grad morphs his family’s 100-year-old Iowa homestead into a technological marvel.”
David Gilmour AB ’80, AM ’82,MBA ’84
President and CEO, Tacit Software
David Gilmour, founder of Tacit Software, Inc., a company that builds collaborative networks for large corporations, credits much of his success as an innovator and a leader to his Harvard education.
“What I appreciate and admire about Harvard is that it produces people who are capable of leadership, which requires a more expansive view of the world than is usually associated with an engineering program,” he says. “The ideas that led to founding Tacit, for example, had direct roots in economics and philosophy courses I took as an undergraduate.
I believe that many breakthroughs happen at the intersections of different fields, and Harvard excels at producing leaders who are comfortable in that territory.” Gilmour holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Applied Physics, a Master of Science degree in Engineering, as well as a Master of Business Administration, with distinction, all from Harvard University.