The Air Force Institute of Technology will participate in a pilot test of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s new Leadership Academy for Scientists, Engineers, and Researchers (LASER) program. This new program targets early-career scientists, engineers, and researchers teaching them to break down the traditional silos between engineering and management with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to leadership.
The three month program consists of four on-line courses. The first three courses examine science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) leadership through three lenses—strategy, politics, and culture. The fourth course focuses on self-assessment. Upon completion of the program, the student receives a LASER certificate from MIT.
Soft skills such as leadership and communication aren’t typically part of the education curriculum for scientists, engineers, and researchers. For organizations to maintain an edge over the competition and drive innovation, they must have leaders who understand the technical requirements and possess the skills to manage people, projects, budgets, schedules, and risk. Providing professional development opportunities such as the LASER program to their faculty and students compliments the strong foundation of technical education provided by AFIT.