Remembering friends of MITEI

William “Bill” Wynot (1922–2020)

William “Bill” Wynot ’44 was a champion of MITEI’s undergraduate energy education program and a friend to us all. Here, MITEI staff and energy alumni reflect on Bill’s lasting impact through his support of the Energy Studies Minor (ESM). View the full video that our 2014 ESM students filmed for Bill.

Rachel Shulman, undergraduate academic coordinator at MITEI: “Bill’s generous endowment of MITEI’s Energy Studies Minor [ESM] is a key part of MIT’s contribution to the clean energy transition. Until we achieve the energy transition, we need the [ESM] to help expand the number of MIT classes that address climate change and provide students with the skills they need to effect change. Through his endowment, Bill gave the ESM the gift of stability and a foundation upon which we can continue to build.”

Antje Danielson, director of education at MITEI: “We are facing the triple challenge of climate change: To increase the availability of energy, decrease carbon emissions, and do it all very quickly. The Energy Studies Minor prepares students to meet this challenge. Bill’s passion for and support of energy education was and remains an invaluable contribution that will make many of our students clean energy leaders.”

Jacob Jurewicz ’14, Nuclear Engineering and Physics: “I’ve always been interested in where we get our energy from, but I really wanted to learn not just the physics and the engineering behind energy, but the economics and the social/political influences that go into it as well…The best part, I thought…of the energy minor is just how interdisciplinary it was. The MIT Energy Initiative…[is] attacking the problem [on] so many different levels, both large and small—at a technological level, and at a [systemic] level—and I was so happy to be a part of it. Thank you so much for contributing to such an important issue in our society today.”

Zainab Lasisi ’14, Chemical Engineering: “Coming from Nigeria, I just know the value of energy, especially to a Third World country, and I hope one day to actually move back to Nigeria, so I thought energy would be a wonderful industry for me to work in…I think there is so much progress that needs to be made, and I’d like to be a part of that. A special thank you…[The ESM is] a wonderful program to have students from different academic departments at MIT come together and just really get to learn and to speak about what they’re really passionate about. It’s been very informative. I’m glad I…took the [ESM] at MIT.”

Samuel Shames ’14, Materials Science and Engineering: “The Energy Studies Minor really prepared me to make an impact [on] whatever type of energy problem I want to look at, whether that’s from a fundamental science perspective and engineering perspective, or sort of a policy and people perspective. I’m working on a startup company that’s developing a technology to help people save energy and help buildings be more energy-efficient, and in that process, I’m really getting to apply some of the things I’ve learned in the minor…I think choosing to pursue an energy studies minor has been one of the best academic choices I made at MIT. I’m just really grateful and want to say thank you.”

Arthur “Art” Samberg (1941–2020)

Arthur “Art” Samberg ’62, a pioneer in investment management and longtime member of the MIT Corporation, died of leukemia on July 14, 2020. He was 79.

Reflecting his wide-ranging interests at MIT, Samberg served on the executive committee of the MIT Corporation and on visiting committees for the departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Mathematics, and Nuclear Science and Engineering. He also served on the School of Science Dean’s Advisory Council, the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and the MIT Investment Management Company Board. Samberg joined the Corporation in 2003.

He and his wife, Rebecca Samberg, established a scholarship fund that has supported more than 200 MIT scholars since its inception, many throughout their MIT undergraduate careers.

Michaela Jarvis, MIT News correspondent

Abridged and reprinted with permission of MIT News. Read the full text.

Mario Molina (1943–2020)

At press time, we received notice that Mario Molina had passed away. Mario was a Nobel laureate, former MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board member, and MIT Institute Professor Emeritus. We value his contributions to MITEI over the years; he will be greatly missed. Read about his legacy on MIT News.

This article appears in the issue of Energy Futures.

EducationEnergy Studies Minor

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