Professor Joel Schindall is the director of UPOP, and also serves as co-director of the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (GELP) of which UPOP is a part. Professor Schindall rejoined the MIT faculty in June of 2002 after a 35-year career in the defense, aerospace and telecommunications industries.
In addition to his teaching and research, since 2007 Professor Schindall has been a co-director of UPOP (founded in 2001 and open to all MIT majors) and the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (founded in 2007 and open to School of Engineering majors). These co-curricular programs are designed to complement and empower MIT’s education by developing the communications, teamwork and leadership skills of undergraduates. More than half of the SoE undergraduates participate in at least some portions of the program, and many of them credit the program with having helped them develop the skills and character necessary for success in their careers.
His research includes the invention and development of a nanotube-enhanced ultra capacitor that holds the promise of being superior to electrochemical batteries for regenerative electrical energy storage. Toward this end, he co-taught a satellite communications course (jointly with the Aero-Astro department) with the goal of providing perspective into the architectural, regulatory, financial, business, insurance, political, and other issues associated with design of space communications systems. Dr. Schindall served as Acting Director of the Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic systems from 2006 through 2009, and Associate Director of the Research Laboratory for Electronics from 2009 to 2010. In 2009, Dr. Schindall was elected a Fellow in the IEEE.
Prior to joining MIT, Professor Schindall was VP and chief technology officer of Loral Space and Communications, Sr. VP and chief engineer for Globalstar (a global 48 satellite LEO mobile phone system), president of Loral Conic, and division manager at Watkins-Johnson Company. Professor Schindall received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from MIT in 1963, 1964 and 1967, during which time he was also an instructor at MIT and chief engineer at WBCN-FM.