The Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering is a national leader in research and education, and we have a big voice in shaping the future that is growing increasingly dependent on technology.

Our work is literally disrupting industries—cases in point: autonomous vehicles, advanced manufacturing, cyber security, and artificial organs. We earned our reputation for technical excellence by solving real problems.

It is my belief that the College’s success is a direct result of the people who work and study here. We seek faculty who will drive our research to new heights. Recently, Bin He became the head of the Biomedical Engineering Department (BME). His groundbreaking work is piloting the way for noninvasive brain research and management of brain disorders. In addition to his research, He’s leadership will guide and enrich the scope of BME, creating more opportunities for the faculty and students. See more on Bin He in this issue. We will have a larger story on our new BME head in our Fall magazine.

Strong leadership is vital for the success of all organizations, and if our students are going to become leaders in the workforce—and advocates for the value of an education from Carnegie Mellon—we should focus on leadership development in our curriculum.

Last year, I asked Michael Murphy, past vice president for Campus Affairs and now distinguished service professor in the Integrated Innovation Institute, to explore leadership development for engineering students. As a result of his work, we launched two courses for juniors and seniors, predicated on a six-pillar College of Engineering leadership model, which proposes that an ideal leader must at once be visionary, ethical, engaging, tactical, technical, and reflective. Students focus on these pillars, while exploring strategic planning, emotional intelligence, communication skills, ethical dilemmas, conflict resolution, innovation and entrepreneurship, culture and diversity, and related domains of leadership development.

These courses will provide students with skills they can build upon for the rest of their careers. Alumna Candace Matthews (MSE’81) explains that it is important for engineering students to start developing leadership skills early in life. As she points out in this issue, it has been her experience that leaders have to influence people and help them understand new ideas. These are indeed valuable lessons and skills for engineers who need to explain clearly and persuasively why the world needs their latest project, innovation, or startup.

I am committed to integrating leadership into our college and exemplifying our leadership model through our college leaders, graduates, faculty, and staff.