The 2017-2018 school year was big for the Management & Technology Program: a new building, new initiatives, and a renewed commitment to giving M&Ts the tools needed to be idea makers, innovators, and game-changers. This year we welcomed students back to the new Larry Robbins House and marked the launch of our Integration Lab initiative, consisting of a Freshman Seminar course, integrated business and engineering senior design project, and the inaugural M&T Summit. As we close out the school year, we’re excited to share these developments with the M&T Community!
A New Look for 3537 Locust
The three-years-in-the-making M&T office renovations were completed this past August with a new 7,120 square foot building made possible by the generous donations of M&T alumni across the world. M&T Larry Robbins (M&T ’92) donated the largest portion of the $9.8 million project and the new space bears his name as The Larry Robbins House. A one-of-a-kind illuminated donor wall shows off the dozens of alumni who helped make the project possible.
From the outside, the space at 3537 Locust Walk looks familiar, but inside the three-floor building is simple, clean, and full of light (a far cry from what some alumni remember!). The building was expanded by about 8,000 square feet under the design of Penn alumna Wendy Joseph and her NY firm, Studio Joseph. The space went on to be recognized by the Society of American Registered Architects/New York as a 2018 Design Award winner!
Intentionally located between the Wharton and Penn Engineering schools, the Larry Robbins House has staff office space, study areas, and event spaces for all members of the M&T Community. Plus, a small kitchen offers free tea, coffee, espresso, and snacks for visitors.
The building was dedicated on April 17th, 2018 with namesake Larry Robbins, Penn President Amy Gutmann, Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett, Penn Engineering Dean Vijay Kumar, and many M&T alumni, students and staff in attendance. Read more on the Larry Robbins House and our April 17th Building Dedication on the Penn Today website.
Fresh Start for M&T Freshman
The M&T Class of 2021 started off their freshman year in a new way in comparison to past M&T classes with a collaborative M&T Freshman Seminar (OIDD 399). OIDD 399 was officially co-taught by M&T Director Gad Allon and Director of Integration Sangeeta Vohra, but each class session featured Penn faculty or M&T alumni speakers.
The more than 50 freshman students and sophomore transfer students dove deep into what it means for business and engineering concepts to intersect in the real world. The goal of the course is to “lay the foundation for an integrated, productive learning program at Penn” while introducing students to the University environment and providing space to bond as a cohort.
Key M&T alumni and Penn faculty walked students through their learning experience, providing lessons on how integrating management and technology helped shape their career and research. Speakers ranged from Engineering and Wharton faculty to M&T alumni working as data scientists, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and investment managers among others. The course culminated with student presenting team business proposals as a precursor to their integrated senior design experience.
Coming Together at the M&T Summit
On March 24th, 2018, over 200 Penn students, alumni, and faculty gathered in the Singh Center for Nanotechnology for the inaugural M&T Summit. Set to be the Program’s annual signature event, the Summit was held to bring together the major players in M&T: students, alumni, and Penn faculty.
Senior M&T students presented their engineering senior design projects – with an M&T twist. As part of the Integration Lab initiative, each student added a jolt of “M” to their projects with a business plan outlining their product’s go-to-market ability.
This year’s Summit theme was “Big Data and Personalized Health.” Alumni speakers and student design projects all focused on how data and data analytics can help us be a happier, healthier people. The day started with a welcome from Engineering Dean Vijay Kumar and Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett. The morning’s keynote speaker was M&T alumnus Jeff Luhnow (M&T ’89), Houston Astros General Manager. Luhnow shared how data analytics helped Houston win its first-ever World Series title in 2017.
Luhnow was followed by two alumni panels, each addressing how their research and work have used data to impact healthcare. Next, attendees heard from Penn alumni Scott Snyder (SEAS ’87), Partner, Digital Transformation & Innovation at Heidrick Consulting. The event culminated with product presentations from six senior design teams, competing for the $2,000 grand prize. Ultimately, EpiPen challenger LifeWatch took home first place after tough scrutiny from the M&T alumni judges. We wish them luck as they invest the funds to bring this innovative healthcare tool to the market!
We’re thrilled to have hosted so many great events this year and look forward to what 2018-2019 has to hold. For questions about M&T, our new initiatives, and how you can get involved in the M&T Community, reach out to our staff or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.