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Media Lab’s new head

After a worldwide search that turned up 60 candidates, the MIT Media Lab has introduced that Dava Newman, SM ’89, SM ’89, PhD ’92, an MIT professor of astronautics, will grow to be its new director on July 1.

Newman, whose work has built-in engineering, design, and biomedical analysis with a watch to enhancing human efficiency in house, is well-known for growing the BioSuit, a sophisticated “second skin” spacesuit that might enable astronauts to maneuver extra naturally in zero gravity. Her profession pursuits additionally embody instructional innovation and entry, local weather change, the performing arts, and science and know-how coverage. She directed MIT’s Technology and Policy Program from 2003 to 2015, was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, and served as head of home at Baker House for a decade. The principal investigator for 4 house missions, Newman was deputy administrator of NASA from 2015 to 2017, the primary feminine engineer on this position. 

With this background, she brings a boldly interdisciplinary perspective to a lab well-known for its free-ranging method to technological innovation. “She is a designer, a thinker, a maker, an engineer, an educator, a mentor, a convener, a communicator, a futurist, a humanist and, importantly, an optimist,” Dean Hashim Sarkis wrote in his letter saying the choice.

“I really see the MIT Media Lab as the best place in the world to bring together science, engineering, art, and design to creatively deal with the huge challenges humanity is facing,” Newman says. “The magic of the Media Lab—which I hope to help build on—is to provide a trusted, open-minded, stimulating space where each person can contribute extraordinary expertise while being stretched beyond their comfort zone to collectively imagine a better, bolder future.”

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