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Remembering Ronald T. McLoughlin in celebration of Black History Month

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Remembering Ronald T. McLoughlin in celebration of Black History Month

In 1926, Ronald Theodore McLaughlin became the second black faculty member appointed at MIT. Born in Windsor, Ontario Canada, McLaughlin attended Queens University in Kingston Ontario and earned a degree in civil engineering. After completing his undergraduate studies, McLaughlin was awarded an international fellowship that allowed him to attend the California Institute of Technology, where he received a master’s and PhD in civil and chemical engineering.

When McLaughlin began working at MIT, the civil engineering department focused mainly on hydraulic engineering, and McLaughlin was one of the first appointments in the field of water resources systems. He taught courses including hydraulic engineering, water resources development, water quality control, and water resource systems.

During his time at MIT, McLaughlin developed a consulting firm called Environmental Water Systems (ENWATS). The firm focused on international engineering projects in Brazil and Colombia. He was passionate about broadening MIT’s role within the community and assisted in the development of the MIT Summer Day Camp in Science and Technology, which provided an educational experience for youths in local neighborhoods.

McLaughlin was promoted to associate professor in 1965 and took a leave of absence three years later. He resigned from MIT in 1969 and went on to teach engineering at UCLA, California State University at Long Beach, and later worked for the California EPA.

Sources used for the article:
MIT Black History:
Ronald Theodore McLaughlin Obituary: