Rolf Jensen is WPI's First Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. An Entrepreneurs Collaborative was established at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1994. Under the direction of Donald F. Berth, formerly vice president for university relations, and management Professor Arthur Gerstenfeld, the collaborative focuses on scientific and technological education and is geared to students interested in directing their engineering and science education to small-business careers and to those interested in using technology to foster new businesses.

Last July, the Entrepreneurs Collaborative received $15,000 from the Board of Trustees' Interface Discipline Initiatives program.This investment was designed to help the collaborative increase its initiatives to a full-scale academic program in entrepreneurship (at the level of an academic minor), capture a new (or growing) student market for the Institute and to establish an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program.

RoIf Jensen of Deerfield, Ill., was recently named WPI's first distinguished entrepreneur- in-residence. Jensen is the founder and chairman of the board of RoIf Jensen & Associates Inc., a 200-person firesafety consulting firm that is of the largest of its kind in the world. Jensen has long been an active member of the advisory board for WPI's Center for Firesafety Studies, which now enrolls close to 100 advanced degree students from throughout the United States and the world.

Jensen was a professor and chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at his alma mater, the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, before launching his highly successful consulting career following the McCormack Place fire in Chicago in 1967. He will be in residence at WPI during Term D (March 14 - May 2, 1996), when he will offer a course for the collaborative that is expected to revolve around techniques for building and sustaining a consulting business and will also look at how one can spot consulting opportunities. He will also serve as the Howard W. Emmons Lecturer in the Center for Firesafety Studies, where he will develop a series of talks. And, with Professor Robert W. Fitzgerald, head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, he will participate in the development of written and instructional materials for a course dealing with building analysis and design.