True Interdisciplinary Engineering

Sara Hendren, MDES, Associate Professor of Arts, Humanities and Design

Why did you choose to come to Olin?
I chose to come to Olin for its unique environment: a super-small institution that can operate flexibly, without departments, in pursuit of true interdisciplinary engineering.
What aspect of the Olin community has surprised you the most since you joined last year?
I've been surprised by how many students are hungry for creative and socially-engaged applications for their technical training. This is a very pleasant surprise! I talk to students all the time who want to take their engineering work and use it as a tool for many ends: problem-solving, when it's called for, but also expressive works in the arts and design, and high-level thinking for social change. It's a bracing set of conversations to be having at an engineering school.
When thinking about the future of [your course] Investigating Normal, what are you excited about doing with the class?
I'm learning lots of lessons as I iterate through the class. I'm in my second round of teaching it, and there are six new projects! It's a huge range of work. I keep hearing from prospective partners for future projects, and my head is full of ideas for longer-range possibilities.


Learn more about Sara Hendren's work and what she does here: