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Brit J. d’Arbeloff SM ’61

MIT Corporation life member, emerita

MIT Corporation life member, emerita

Brit Jepson d’Arbeloff SM ’61
MIT Corporation life member, emerita

Brit d’Arbeloff, chair of the MIT Council for the Arts, was the first woman to graduate with an engineering degree from Stanford University. Following, she worked in rocketry before coming to MIT to earn a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Having studied heat transfer at MIT, she worked in that field in the 10 years preceding starting her family. Mrs. d’Arbeloff is an activist for the recruitment and retention of women in engineering, and, as a Distinguished Alumni lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, spoke of the gender-based challenges she faced in the field. A stalwart friend with deep ties to the Institute, Mrs. d’Arbeloff is a life member of the MIT Corporation and serves on several of its visiting committees.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Discrimination she experienced as one of the very first female engineers.
  • Efforts to encourage more interactive teaching and learning strategies in MIT’s engineering department.
  • Work with the Council for the Arts to create grants and programs to encourage the arts in the MIT community.
  • The importance of humanities as part of a complete education.

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