Elisabeth Drake
Dr. Elisabeth Drake
Emeritus Staff, MIT
MA

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    Though I am officially retired, I still team teach a graduate course at MIT on Sustainable Energy and participate in a variety of professional activities relating to engineering and environmental issues.
  • Why Engineering?
    I wanted a profession that would allow lots of variety and real-world problem solving.
  • School Days
    Got a SB in Chemical Engineering at MIT. After working for 6 years after graduation, I returned to MIT for a doctorate degree - so I would be able to teach as well as practice engineering.
  • My Day At Work
    Worked for a consulting company on many projects around the world related to energy production and transportation. Became interested in ways to manage safety and environmental performance using risk evaluation techniques.
  • Best Part
    Got a real sense of accomplishment in meeting a variety of challenges and seeing projects developed and built. Enjoyed working as part of a team where I could learn a lot from colleagues with different backgrounds.
  • Proud Moments
    Collaborating with some other MIT experts to develop a comprehensive course on energy options for the future and tools that can be used to find better pathways to a future energy system that is socially and environmentally sound
  • Challenges
    Started as an engineer when girls in the profession were unusual -- have enjoyed seeing more women enter the field and succeed professionally. Had some problems along the way, but learned that life sometimes brings new opportunities when I am open to changes
  • My Family
    Only child of two professional parents who always worked hard. Married an electrical engineer - marriage eventually failed because of my work addiction and misuse of alcohol. Now am happy with a life full of friends and adventures.
  • Dreams and Goals
    Learning new things in the short term -- the long term will evolve!
  • Inspiration
    Had some great teachers when I was in high school who challenged me to try things that seemed  difficult.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Talk to engineers about their jobs -- and see if the types of things they do seem exciting. Hard work, lots of travel, teamwork, and a lot of opportunities are often part of it. If you love science and math, this is a good way to have a rewarding career.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Talk to engineers about their jobs -- and see if the types of things they do seem exciting. Hard work, lots of travel, teamwork, and a lot of opportunities are often part of it. If you love science and math, this is a good way to have a rewarding career.
  • Hobbies
    Like music, gardening, animals... and doing volunteer work in prisons.
Biography

Elisabeth Drake is currently Emeritus Staff at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Laboratory for Energy and the Environment. Dr. Drake's work focused on development of sustainable approaches to world energy usage. Although she is officially retired, she still team teaches a graduate course at MIT on Sustainable Energy and participates in a variety of professional activities relating to engineering and environmental issues..

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Latest Questions
  • Michaela, London

    Added Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Hello, my name is Michaela and I am applying to do Chemical Engineering for the next academic year at university. I have great interests in the course and would really like to pursue it in order to achieve some goals I have for the future. However, I have heard too many times of how difficult the course is and how I would have no life. My science knowledge is a good standard but I am average in maths. Reading such negative comments has put me in a very tough place as to whether or not I should ...
    Answers 1
    Answered Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 12:21 PM
    Dear Michaela,  Many years ago (when girls weren't thought able to be chemical engineers, I enjoyed science classes.  I liked chemistry, but didn't want to work in a lab for the rest of my life. Some classmates were applying to MIT - and I thought about ...
    Read More
  • Lorena C., Miami, FL

    Added Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    Hi!, I am a chemical engineer student, and Im originally from Miami, FL. I love ChemE but, whenever I go to career fairs in my university, I notice that there are not so many job opportunities in my home town. Is my perception from the career fair true? will be too hard for me to find a job in Miami?
    Answers 1
    Answered Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    Dear Lorena, 

    Not sure where you are going to school, but if it is distant from Miami then smaller companies in Miami might not participate in your job fairs.  There is an AIChE local section in Central Florida.  (see:  ...

    Read More
  • Jeremy, Baltimore

    Added Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 8:50 PM

    Can I get chemical engineering job with a master's degree but no related bachelor's? In fact, my bachelor's degree is in neuroscience.
    Answers 1
    Answered Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 8:50 PM
    Dear Jeremy, There are plenty of chemical engineering jobs where your SB in neuroscience would be a plus.  It sounds like you have a master's in chemical engineering, so you are different from someone with only a neuroscience background.  Chemical ...
    Read More
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