As I look back at the past five years and see how the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership has grown—from the generosity of Coleman Fung and an original cohort of 82 to the current Class of 2017 that is 280 strong—there is an incredible feeling of achievement.
To put this growth into perspective, what we have achieved in five years is not just launching a new professional master’s degree, but also establishing an Institute with a far-reaching vision of leadership with a real societal impact and building a deeply caring community.
Looking back at our achievements, it’s easy to see our commitment to excellence and the strategic integration we have achieved.
In Year 1, what began as a capstone poster session has evolved into an annual Capstone Expo: a creative and interactive showcase of students’ research and projects. This last Expo felt like an impressive trade-show, with well over 200 people in attendance and Coleman on hand to deliver the audience choice award.
In Year 3, we introduced the institute’s two-week Bootcamp program, designed to frontload some of the MEng leadership coursework. This proved to be a strategic change, allowing more time for students to get to know each other and start building community within the cohort, as well as more time for capstone projects and recruitment efforts.
We also brought Don Wroblewski on board to manage the capstone experience. Under his capable direction, the experience has evolved into a well-structured and integrated part of the MEng curriculum—not only for students, but also for faculty and industry advisors. During his tenure, advisor satisfaction climbed to 93 percent, and capstone faculty retention went from 46 percent in 2013 to 78 percent last year.
In Year 4, we hired Alex Beliaev to head our communications course (E295). Initially offered in large lecture sections, the course has since been modified to 9 interactive, student-centered workshops with more focused written and presentation assignments that align directly with the leadership curriculum and the capstone trajectory.
In Year 5 we introduced a part-time, evening MEng degree program in Decision Analytics for working professionals in the Bay Area. We also began work on our new home in Shires Hall, which we moved into this summer.
This fall, in partnership with the School of Public Health, we launched our Fung Fellowship Program, designed to shape a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders focused on transforming health and wellness. The two-year program has an initial cohort of 50 promising undergraduate students who will learn how to advance innovative, real-world solutions that change outcomes and lives.
Finally we have our alumni, of whom we are so proud. They continue to come back each year to mentor, recruit and share what they have learned. They have created companies that transform big ideas into real solutions for health, energy and poverty alleviation. They represent the tangible success and reward of all our efforts.
Pictures from the 5 Year Celebration at Shires Hall