Amitava “Babi” Mitra
Dr. Amitava ‘Babi’ Mitra is the founding Executive Director, New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is co-leading a program to reimagine and transform MIT’s undergraduate engineering education, arguably one of the most impactful initiatives in higher education today.
What he enjoys doing most is setting up and leading innovative ‘start-up’ educational initiatives. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in institution building, higher education, corporate e-learning, and distance education. He transformed a small e-learning R&D group into the profitable Knowledge Solutions Business at NIIT, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, USA as its Senior Vice-President. He was a founding member, Board of Governors, Pan-Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, an NGO established twenty-five years ago in the Kumaon mountains and Executive Director, Academic Media Production Services (AMPS), MIT. He was the founding Dean, School of Engineering & Technology, BML Munjal University (BMU), India where he launched ‘Joy of Engineering’, a first-year hands-on course designed to get students engaged with engineering. He was the first Chief, Distance Learning Programs Unit, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India.
Dr. Mitra is a Guest Editor, ASEE’s Advances in Engineering Education, the keynote speaker at the 4th International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Education in Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2020 and a panelist at the 8th International Research Symposium on Project Based Learning, Aalborg University, Denmark, August 2020. He participated in the ASEE Joint Panel on ‘Leveraging Experiential Education to Become an Emerging Engineering Education Leader’ at the 126th American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Conference, Tampa, Florida, June 2019, and at the 127th ASEE National Conference, 2020 and also presented co-authored peer-reviewed technical papers at both those conferences as well as at the 125th ASEE National Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2018. He was the plenary speaker, Conference on Engineering Education for the Future 2019, ITA, Brazil, May 2019 and the keynote speaker, Innovations in Engineering Education International Conference, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates, April 2019. He co-authored “Reimagining Engineering Education”, an opinion editorial, Mechanical Engineering magazine, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, July 2018 and delivered an invited presentation on the “Future of Engineering Education”, Program Professors Dinner 2018, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands, May 2018.
He volunteers as a board member, ArborCreek Montessori Academy, Dallas, Texas, and was a member, National Advisory Board, SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth), India, a founding member, Sakai Project Board, USA and a member, NERCOMP Board of Trustees, USA. He served as co-chairperson, Advisory Board, and member, Program & Research Council, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada.
Dr. Mitra earned his M.Sc.(Hons) in chemistry and B.E. (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from BITS, Pilani, India where he was a National Science Talent Scholar. He matriculated from St. Columba’s School, New Delhi, India. He was born in New York City and grew up in India. His wife and he reside in Boston, Massachusetts and they have two children. He enjoys food, music, the intersects across people and technology, growing up with his children and playing squash.