About GEL

GEL leaves an impact!

“Practicing the capabilities of effective engineering leaders combined with MIT's strong technical engineering education has allowed me to make significant and diversecontributions to Bose's research and product development.” —Joseph Maurer '12, Acoustics Design Engineer, CoEx at Apple Inc.

"If you want to stand out as a well-rounded, technical new hire, GEL is a must. It teaches you how to work with a team to complete your objectives." —Janelle Wellons '16, Instrument Operations Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"GEL taught me valuable leadership and project management skills that most people don't get until much later in their careers." —Scott Sundvor '12, Co-Founder of 6SensorLabs


Launched through a $20 million gift by the Gordon Foundation—the largest gift made to MIT’s School of Engineering for curriculum development-the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) was established to educate and develop the character of outstanding MIT students as potential future leaders in the world of engineering practice and development and to endeavor to transform engineering leadership in the nation, thereby significantly increasing product development capability. Beyond the Institute, the program offers professional development courses to early and mid-career professionals currently working in industry. Click here for more information about our professional education course offerings.

The program provides to a select group of MIT engineering undergraduates a challenging and supportive environment in which they develop leadership skills that help them to become highly effective leaders of engineering teams. Each year, approximately 175 rising juniors and seniors apply to the program. The Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) serves as a viable entryway into the Gordon ELP, but students can also enter by having demonstrated equivalent experience in an engineering project in an academic or industrial setting. The first year of the program (GEL1) introduces students to engineering leadership experiences and development, and sees approximately 120 students participate. For an exclusive group of 30-35 students, the second year of GEL (GEL2) is an intensely personalized leadership development program that includes opportunities for leadership practice, and significant interactions with industry leaders, staff, and peers. 

Students are equipped with the knowledge and hands-on practice needed in order to lead successful careers in the engineering industry. GEL alumni/ae have gone on to work for companies such as: Accenture, ABInBev, Adobe, Airbus, Amazon, Amazon Robotics, Apple, Blackstone Instruments, Boeing, Bose, Capital One digital payment systems, Cooper Perkins, ExxonMobil, GE Aviation, GE Oil & Gas, General Atomics Aeronautical, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Levitronix, Lockheed  Martin, Lucid Software, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Oracle, Palantir, Pioneer Natural Resources, Power Advocate, Samumed, Schlumberger, Senesta Technologies, Sonos, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, TIAX, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Vecna Technologies, and more.

The GEL Program continues to be widely acknowledged by the Institute as a valuable asset to students’ educational experience and for developing potential future leaders in the world of engineering practice. The program’s impact has grown beyond serving MIT's undergraduate population and its plans for expansion include supporting the leadership and professional development of MIT's Graduate Community. GEL is working closely with the Office of the Vice Chancellor, and the Dean of Engineering in conjunction with the Dean’s Student Advisory Group (GradSAGE) to better understand the desires of students regarding the need for engineering leadership education and professional development at MIT. Our shared mission is to provide more opportunities for graduate students to professionally develop themselves as effective and impactful leaders who will be charged with solving the world’s most challenging and complex problems. 

It is also noteworthy to mention that in June of 2016 the Bio Engineering Comm Lab moved under the Gordon program and became the SoE Communication Lab. It uses a very effective franchise model to provide structured and need-driven peer coaching for papers, presentations, faculty applications, lab reports, etc., primarily to graduate students. Participating departments and organizations at present are Bio Engineering, NSE, the Broad Institute, EECS, Chemical Engineering, and MechE. 

Watch our video to learn more about the GEL Program!