September 04, 2018

There’s a familiar buzz of energy and possibility in the air, favorite study spots have begun to be claimed, and the labs and classrooms are full, which can only mean one thing—classes are back in session! Take a look at what the WPI community was up to during the last month of summer, as seen through the lenses of our talented staff photographers and videographers.


The rain never bothered us, anyway—after initially being canceled due to inclement weather, the Student Activities Fair was rescheduled to a beautiful day, giving new students the chance to explore the 225+ clubs and organizations on campus without having to dodge any puddles or raindrops.

Technology and business go hand in hand, and faculty at the Foisie Business School know it’s integral for their students to be able to round out their technical skill sets with business tasks. That’s what led associate professor and MBA program director Fabienne Miller and director of blended learning Sandra Wellinghoff to redesign the MBA curriculum and launch an MBA program specifically for STEM professionals.

They’re ready for their close-up—the goats have made their big-screen debut on the two-story video wall in the Foisie Innovation Studio! Stop by WPI’s newest building to check out more content.

Get your high fives and fist bumps ready—this is the second year graduate students have participated in the Earle Bridge crossing tradition, walking over the bridge for the first time as a group to the cheers of faculty, staff, and the Student Alumni Society. The second time they'll do so is on the way to receive their diplomas at Commencement. And the crowd goes wild!

In this case, it’s curiosity that created the cat. During the grand opening of the Foisie Innovation Studio, students showcased their work, including this robotic cat created with 3D printers, to visitors and peers alike.

Quick question: how many welcome crew members does it take to move 1,300+ new students into WPI? More than you see here, that’s for sure—check out NSO by the Numbers for more on what went into putting on this year’s New Student Orientation.

It might look like a particularly hardcore Nerf gun, but the autonomous underwater robot designed by a group of WPI seniors is destined for much more. Over the next few years, multiple MQP teams will build upon each other’s work to develop and perfect a robot designed to hunt for and harvest the invasive lionfish species that is damaging critical reefs and depleting valuable fish supplies in coastal U.S. and Caribbean waters​. 

How do we describe NSO? Let us count the ways:

Warm welcomes, friendly faces, no sleep, tricycle races;

baby sharks, new friends, feats of strength, reinventing STEM.

Like Alumni Gym that stood in this place, the Foisie Innovation Studio—and the opportunities it holds—is made possible by the generosity and vision of alumni donors and other friends of WPI. The donor wall located at the main entrance off the Quad acknowledges the people and organizations who have helped make the Foisie Innovation Studio a reality. 

New students participate in a water balloon toss on the Quad in front of the proud goat Gompei statue.

NSO was a blur of budding friendships and activities, including a particularly competitive water balloon toss. It’s only a matter of time before they’ll have invented a robot to do the throwing and catching for them.

WPI students won’t be the only ones getting their passports ready in the coming months—associate professor of mathematical sciences Sarah Olson and professor of chemical engineering and dean of graduate studies Terri Camesano received grants through the Fulbright Scholars Program to conduct research in Hungary and France, respectively.

The grotesques from Alumni Gym have a new home. This little guy and his pals are ready and waiting for you to visit them along the walkway between the Foisie Innovation Studio & Messenger Residence Hall and Harrington Auditorium.

What can you build out of an electronic wheelchair and $8,000 in supplies? For one MQP team, the answer is easy: an autonomous security robot featuring technological advances that just might be adopted by the U.S. Air Force one day.