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Engineering management takes off


From left, Amanda Frost, Kelly Devereaux, Dr. Amy Hsiao, Michael O’Brien, Leslie O’Brien and Xian Liang Zheng.

By Jackey Locke

Imagine the benefits of a weekly round-table discussion of current issues faced by managers in engineering or technology-based industries. The graduate students in Dr. Amy Hsiao’s Engineering Management Topics course are doing just that.

With various backgrounds in engineering, from mechanical and electrical to ocean and naval architectural engineering, the course encompasses a complementary blend of local and international students from the master of business administration (MBA) and master of engineering management (MEM) programs.

Some students are studying full time while others are studying part time, but the most unusual thing about the students in this engineering course is that the ratio of women to men is two-to-one – which is impressive considering engineering is a male-dominated discipline.

“The lectures and round-table discussions have brought out many examples of real knowledge and experience and provided a channel for managerial thinking to be put to future engineering practice. The MEM and MBA students all have undergraduate engineering degrees, so they share a common bond of engineering … and now management,” said Dr. Hsiao.

This winter is the first offering of the course, which includes topics such as managing innovation, technology strategy, knowledge management, new product development, leadership, ethics, globalization, and corporate entrepreneurship. Through lectures, case studies, invited speakers, and student-led discussions, the course explores the relevant challenges of engineering managers in new and established firms in technology-based sectors.

The MEM program offers students with undergraduate engineering degrees the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge in their field of engineering and formal training in business. This course-based master's program is a flourishing collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Faculty of Business Administration, and draws on graduate courses in both faculties.

“Memorial is one of a few North American universities to offer a master’s degree in engineering management, which, since we talk about innovation all the time, is in itself quite innovative. Engineers are asking for relevant management training, and this program seeks to respond to this need,” explained Dr. Hsiao.
For more information on the MEM program, please visit www.engr.mun.ca/MEM.
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