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New Director Takes Over at The Gordon Institute

New Director Takes Over at The Gordon InstituteRobert Hannemann, a mechanical engineer with a wide range of industry experience, was recently named director of The Gordon Institute at Tufts School of Engineering.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [10.19.07] Its mission is to transform technical professionals into technical leaders. The Gordon Institute's (TGI) new director has made that journey himself.

In September, Robert Hannemann, a mechanical engineer who rose through the ranks at Digital Equipment Corporation before stepping into a variety of high-level positions in the telecommunications field, became head of The Gordon Institute at Tufts. The Institute is a nationally recognized leader in engineering management education.

"Engineering and entrepreneurial skills will be critical moving forward in the 21st century," Hannemann told Mass High Tech. His goal is to give the Institute's undergraduate and graduate students the educational foundation they will need to take a leadership role in the field.

"At TGI, students are prepared for real-world entrepreneurship, as well as intrapreneurship-using those entrepreneurial skills within an established business framework to produce new and creative results," he said in a Tufts statement. "In building and growing TGI, we will ‘practice what we teach.'"

On the flip side, Hannemann's vast experience in the technology field will inform his leadership of the Institute. In addition to his role at the Institute, where he succeeds longtime director Arthur Winston, the Chicago native serves as director and senior advisor of Thermal Form & Function, Inc., a startup company focused on advanced, energy-efficient cooling of electronic products. He is also founder and principal of Atlantic Technologies, which provides business planning and development, product strategy and financing to fledgling enterprises.

Before founding Atlantic Technologies, Hannemann, who received his master's in mechanical engineering from New York University and his doctorate in mechanical engineering from MIT, was chief executive officer and director of the Hopkinton, Mass.-based Lasersharp Corporation. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly two decades at Digital Equipment Corp., according to Mass High Tech.

"Rob's career path is one to which we hope our students at TGI will aspire," Nancy Buczko, associate director of Tufts Gordon Institute, said in a statement. "He has lived and breathed the world of bringing products to market."

Hannemann, who has also joined the Tufts faculty as a professor of mechanical engineering, will be part of a new initiative at the School of Engineering to bring hands-on engineering practice and expertise from industry into its curricular and research efforts.

In a statement, Dean Linda Abriola said she believes Hannemann "will continue to push the boundaries of TGI to produce top-notch engineering leaders who have far-reaching entrepreneurial vision."

Hannemann said that expanding the Institute and becoming a nationally recognized leader and innovator in engineering and entrepreneurship education are some of his primary goals.

"We want to increase the national and international reach of our program," he told Mass High Tech.

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