Amitava “Babi” Mitra
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Dr. Amitava ‘Babi’ Mitra is the founding Executive Director, New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, a program that was launched in 2017 to reimagine and transform MIT’s undergraduate engineering education. What he enjoys doing most is visioning, designing, setting up and operationalizing 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 is a founding member, Board of Governors of an NGO, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Kumaon, India and as the founding Dean, School of Engineering & Technology, BML Munjal University(BMU), India he launched ‘Joy of Engineering’, a first-year hands-on course designed to get students engaged with engineering.
Dr. Mitra earned a B.E. (Honors), Chemical Engineering with Distinction (ranked third), and an M.Sc. (Honors) Chemistry (ranked second); both degrees were from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani. He earned a PhD in chemical engineering from BITS, Pilani, India; he conducted his research at the department of chemical engineering, MIT under the guidance of Professor Adel F. Sarofim. His NIEHS-funded research at MIT focused on modelling and controlling the production of mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from coal combustion and led to peer-reviewed publications. Mitra studied at St. Columba’s School, New Delhi, from where he graduated with distinction; he was a National Science Talent Scholar and was ranked all-India 36th. He was ranked 175th on the all-India merit list of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Joint Entrance Examinations. He was born in New York City and grew up in India. His wife and he reside in Boston, Massachusetts as do his older son and daughter-in-law; his younger son is a senior in college in the US. He enjoys food, music, the intersects across people and technology, growing up with his children and playing squash.
Please see below for details of Dr. Mitra’s experience.
- Executive Director, New Engineering Education Transformation Program (NEET), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA --- 2016 to date
- Founding Dean, School of Engineering and Technology, BML Munjal University, Gurgaon, India
- Executive Director, Academic Media Production Services, MIT, USA
- Senior Vice-President and Head, Knowledge Solutions Business Unit, NIIT (USA) Inc., Atlanta, USA and New Delhi, India.
- Founding Chief, Distance Learning Programmes Unit, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India
Selected publications, invited lectures and paper presentations
- Invited keynote speaker, “Learning Strategies for the Generation Z students”, 4th International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Education in Engineering - CISPEE2020, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal, rescheduled from July 1-3, 2020 to June 21-23, 2021
- Invited speaker, “Is Engineering Education Still Relevant?”, University Leadership Summit, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Florida, rescheduled from October 5-6, 2020 to March 2021
- Invited guest of honor, Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER) Annual Meeting 2021, Lund, Sweden, October 13-15, 2021
- Invited as Member, International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Innovation and New Trends in Engineering and Science Techniques in Education (IEST 2021), jointly organized by Princess Sumaya University for Technology and Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Jordan, May 16-18, 2021.
- Speaker, 2nd (Virtual) Colloquium on Global Engineering Education, convened by University College London, Aalborg University, Denmark and TU Delft, Netherlands, held virtually December 4th, 2020 (in-person colloquium rescheduled from April, 2020 to April, 2021).
- Panelist, “Challenging Our Strategies and Expectations: What Students Learn, Why, and How”, Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education, National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and National Science Foundation, USA, held virtually November 13th, 2020
- Panelist, 8th International Research Symposium on Problem Based Learning (IRSPBL 2020), kickoff held virtually August 18, 2020 (in-person rescheduled to August, 2021)
- Panelist, webinar on India’s National Policy on Education 2020 --- Policy to Practice in Higher Education, August 2020
- Interviewed on August 27th by futurist Trond Arne Undheim for a podcast on The Future of Engineering Education.
- Panelist, ASEE Joint Panel on ‘Leveraging Experiential Education to Become an Emerging Engineering Education Leader’, 127th American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Virtual Annual Conference, June 2020, held on-line.
- Crawley, Edward F., Bathe, Mark., Lavi, Rea., and Mitra, Amitava ‘Babi’, Implementing the NEET Ways of Thinking at MIT, paper presented at the 127th American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Virtual Annual Conference, June 2020, held on-line, https://peer.asee.org/34785
- Panelist, ASEE Joint Panel on ‘Leveraging Experiential Education to Become an Emerging Engineering Education Leader --- Curriculum-Based Experiential Education Opportunities’, 126th ASEE National Conference, Tampa, Florida, June 2019.
- Crawley, Edward F., Hosoi, Anette ‘Peko’, Long, Gregory, Kassis, Timothy, Dickson, Will and Mitra, Amitava “Babi”, Moving Forward with the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) program at MIT --- Building Community, Developing Projects and Connecting with Industry, paper presented at the 126th American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida, June 2019. https://peer.asee.org/authors/39545
- Invited plenary speaker, Engineering Education Forum, Conference on Engineering Education for the Future 2019, ITA, São José dos Campos, Brazil, May 2019.
- Invited keynote speaker, Innovations in Engineering Education International Conference, Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE, April 2019.
- Co-author, paper presented at the Institute of Biological Engineering Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, April 2019.
- Invited lecture at Afeka College, Tel Aviv, Israel, February 2019. Covered in The Marker, Tel Aviv, Israel, May 16th, 2019.
- Invited lecture at BML Munjal University, Gurgaon, India, January 2019.
- “Reimagining Engineering Education”, Edward F. Crawley, Anette “Peko” Hosoi and Amitava “Babi” Mitra, Opinion Editorial, Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, July 2018.
- Crawley, Edward F., Hosoi, Anette ‘Peko’, and Mitra, Amitava “Babi”, Redesigning Undergraduate Engineering Education at MIT – the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) initiative, paper presented at the 125th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 2018. https://peer.asee.org/30923
- “Future of Engineering Education”, invited presentation at the Program Professors Dinner 2018 on ‘The Engineer of the Future’, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands, May 2018.
Boards, advisory committees and volunteering
- Board member, ArborCreek Montessori Academy, Dallas, TX, USA, 2019-present.
- Guest Editor, Advances in Engineering Education(AEE) Special Issue on Emerging Programs, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 2019-present
- Member, Jury and Mentor, Action, Impact and Motivation (AIM) Scholarship Program, MIT Sloan Fellows, 2019-present
- Member, Advisory Board, Advances in Science and Engineering Technology (ASET), Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), UAE, 2019-present
- Mentor, MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund, MIT, 2017-18
- Mentor, Mentor Advocate Partnership (MAP) program, MIT, 2017-18
- Member, National Advisory Board, SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth), India, 2014-16.
- Member, NASSCOM Engineering R&D Talent Council, India, 2012-16
- Board member, NERCOMP Board of Trustees, USA, 2008-2010.
- Co-founder, South Asian Parent Alliance (SAPA), Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2007-10.
- Founder member, Sakai Project Board, USA, 2004-2005.
- Co-chairperson, Advisory Board, and member, Program & Research Council, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada, 2000-03.
- Founder member, Council of Governors, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Kumaon, India, 1992-present