The dual-degree LGO program involves writing a thesis that fulfills the requirements for both engineering and management master's degrees. LGO partner companies provide the industrial "laboratory" for students to conduct thesis research while delivering solutions for the sponsoring firms' business units.
To support the thesis research, each LGO student has two faculty advisors, one from the School of Engineering and one from the MIT Sloan School of Management. This provides an opportunity to evaluate the research from both engineering and managerial perspectives.
The LGO experience is often described as existing at the interface of education and business–and as is often the case in science, the interface is where the action occurs. While internship projects are generated and broadly defined by the companies, LGO students are challenged to formulate hypotheses to test during their projects. Students must maintain a balance between generating the necessary tools and data for their thesis research while also delivering concrete value for the company. The thesis process itself is a learning experience and helps students develop skills to frame and approach problems that will serve them in their future careers.
Another product of the thesis is knowledge transfer. The LGO thesis, which is the copyrighted property of the student, is placed in the MIT library for worldwide access. The LGO theses provide the basis of literature research for subsequent LGO projects in a wide variety of industries. Given the strong LGO alumni network, current students often contact alumni about project details after reading a thesis. Current and future partner companies also contact the LGO program to obtain abstracts from theses on topics of interest. There is a subset of students who also author journal papers or case studies based on their research.
A student may be nominated in the annual "Best Thesis" competition by both of his or her faculty advisors based on the quality of the thesis research and documentation. Alumni reviewers rate the work based on originality, presentation, relevance and impact. The winner is recognized at a graduation reception with a prize donated from a partner company, and his or her name is inscribed on LGO's "Best Thesis Winner" plaque.
The 2012 Best Thesis Prize went to Jeremy Lieberman for his project on reducing rework at Sikorsky
Top thesis honors