At Olin we experiment

At Olin College of Engineering we believe that a culture of experimentation requires creativity in all its participants; an openness to new ideas; a tolerance for the inevitable failures that characterize the path to meaningful change; the natural inclination to seek community engagement balanced with a sense of purpose; and the ability to make principled decisions in leading an efficient and effective organization.

Areas of innovation

Teaching & Learning

Students and faculty teach and learn from and with each other. Together, we build and sustain a culture of innovation, experimentation, curiosity and joyful exploration.

Curricular Design

Olin's broader conception of engineering demands that engineers consider the larger consequences of technology and how good in the world can be achieved through inclusive practices.

Co-creating Transformational Education

Olin engages with other institutions on their curricular change efforts through workshops and custom consulting.

New to Olin?

Get to know us via this overview video!

This video provides a high-level overview of Olin College, as well as answers to some of the questions most frequently asked by our academic visitors.  It is our hope that answering some of these "basic" questions in advance will allow for more focused and in depth inquiries when you attend a virtual event come to campus. Topics covered in this video include Olin's unique curriculum and pedagogy, faculty recruitment and development, culture, and teaching and learning principles. 

Innovative Culture at Olin College


We believe in a definition of entrepreneurship that focuses on developing people over products, and sustainably creating positive impact in the real world.  Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to put creating real value for real people at the forefront of everything they do.

Olin Robotics Lab

Olin's Robotics Lab was founded in 2006 by Professor David Barrett with the purpose of having undergraduate engineers work on developing useful mobile robots.  The lab has a long history of vehicles that were successfully converted into robots.  From working on vehicles such as the MIT Robocar to APHROS (aka. SnotBot), Olin students are helping robotics research in smarter ground vehicles, novel autonomous underwater vehicle propulsion systems, human-robot interaction/user interface development, smarter agricultural air and ground vehicles, and acquiring useful biological samples from marine animals.

Research at Olin

One important facet of an Olin faculty member's role is to engage in meaningful externally-facing work through activities such as research, entrepreneurship, technical and educational consulting, creative work and more. Our externally-facing work is valued for the impact it has on outside stake-holders such as research communities, companies, other universities, the general public and others. The majority of our faculty engage in research as part of their “external impact” portfolios, and they typically involve groups of undergraduate students. For our students, conducting research with a dedicated faculty mentor can be a pivotal experience, and these experiences provide excellent preparation for graduate school and other career choices.  

Arts, Humanities & Sciences

At Olin, we believe the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHS) provide the core of students’ education, adding insight, purpose, and direction to the larger Olin experience. Our whole curriculum is based on the idea that engineering starts with people and ends with people. AHS provides students a vehicle for understanding people, both as users of and as practitioners of engineering. We offer both stand-alone AHS courses and courses that integrate AHS with science or engineering. These courses are meant to foster students’ development as critical and contextual thinkers, broad-thinking creators, persuasive communicators, ethical practitioners, and as self-reflective individuals. AHS courses introduce students to big ideas such as the evolution of technology over modern history, the impact of the global supply chain on the products we buy, and the nature of identity. 

Olin Machine Shop

The Shop’s mission is to empower all interested community members to use and master the tools of  fabrication and prototyping through training and guidance. The Olin Machine Shop is an active learning environment focused on student growth and development. Daniela Faas and the Shop course assistants describe how they have created an inclusive and collaborative environment in the shop, and share what they enjoy about teaching and fabricating.

Faculty Development

How do you recruit faculty?  How do you hire faculty?  What is Olin's tenure and promotion process?  What is Olin's faculty retention rate? Learn how Olin applies student-recruitment approaches to recruiting faculty. 

CLTE project with students and faculty

Coalition for Life Transformative Education

CLTE project with students and faculty

The Coalition for Life-Transformative Education is a community of university leaders who are committed to experimenting individually and collectively, sharing best practices, and collaborating to start a movement across America to ensure that all students who enroll in college not only complete a degree, but also have a transforming educational experience that enhances their well-being and work engagement throughout life. Our intent is to build a community of like-minded institutions committed to enabling life-transformative education for all students at scale.