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M. Mack Gilkeson is the co-inventor and co-founder of the Clinic program, a hands-on approach to teaching engineering in which small teams of students are given real-life design problems to solve from industry partners.
The program was controversial at its outset because this approach defied conventional wisdom and went very much counter to the then-prevailing thinking about engineering curricula.
Thus, while the Clinic program initially faced concerns, even some internally, Gilkeson and his colleagues proved it could work and it became a model for many other institutions. Gilkeson is Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Harvey Mudd College.