Asee peer logo

Development Of A Sales Engineering Program By Collaborating With Industry

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

College-Industry Partnerships: Bringing Industry into the Curriculum Development and Design Cycle

Tagged Division

College-Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.406.1 - 15.406.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Dave Sly Iowa State University

visit author page

Dave Sly, received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering
from Iowa State University. He also received an MBA with an emphasis in
Marketing from Iowa State University. Dave is a registered Professional
Engineer with the State of Iowa, and a Commercial Pilot with High
Performance and Instrument Ratings. Dave is also President and founder
of Proplanner, a global Industrial Engineering software firm, and is the
author of the popular FactoryCAD/PLAN and FLOW applications used for
industrial plant layout and material flow analysis. Dave is a senior
member of IIE.

visit author page


Daniel Bumblauskas Iowa State University

visit author page

Dan Bumblauskas has been with ABB Inc. since 2003 and is presently an account and marketing. Dan is a Ph D student in the department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, where he has been conferred B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering. Dan is also a masters degree candidate at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in general management.

visit author page


Frank Peters Iowa State University

visit author page

Frank Peters is an Associate Professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department. His teaching and research interests include manufacturing process and system improvements.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of an Engineering Sales Program with Industry Dr. Dave Sly, Dan Bumblauskas, Dr. Frank Peters


Iowa State University recently established a program in technical sales for engineers. To develop the program, faculty and administrators reached out to an industrial advisory committee comprised of organizations with a vested interest in the program; the organizations that hire students from the College of Engineering for career tracks in technical sales and marketing.

The instructor used a combination of various sales techniques and strategies, from established technical sales programs to frame the syllabus for the course. A detailed course structure, with an associated lesson plan will be presented. A review was conducted of peer institutions with similar technical sales engineering programs included the University of Florida, and Penn State Erie - The Behrend College.

Keywords: technical sales, sales engineering, industry collaboration

Description of the Innovation

The Iowa State University College of Engineering (COE) received a corporate gift from Trane corp. to establish an engineering sales program within the college. The original gift proposal initiated a review of sales and marketing positions for engineers, sales engineering programs at other universities, and a literature and industry review of sales engineering curriculum. These activities were performed by a committee established within the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department (IMSE).

Review of Sales and Marketing Positions for Engineers The committee conducted a review of sales and marketing postings within the COE, on the number of advertised positions that had Sales or Marketing in their title or description, as well as the number of graduates with Sales or Marketing in their job title. It was interesting to find that while nearly 15% of job postings indicated Sales or Marketing functions, that only around 1% of post-graduation job titles included Sales or Marketing. This difference is attributed, in part, to the fact that many students are not reporting their job title to career services, and also that it is likely that a sales or marketing position within engineering, may neglect to include the terms Sales or Marketing directly within the job title (i.e. Applications Engineer, Support Engineer, Field Services Engineer, etc.)

Based upon Engineering Career Services (ECS) statistics: ≠ 66 grads that have marketing and sales in their job title out of approx. 7000 grads (over 10 years fall 97 -07) 15 percent of jobs postings have marketing or sales in their description; 61 sales, 39 marketing (100) out of 594 postings in Nov. 26, 2007

Companies that were hiring engineers for these positions included those in the following industries. ≠ Consulting ≠ Industrial Tooling, Machines, Automation, Manufacturing ≠ Industrial/Agricultural Equipment (graders, tractors, etc) ≠ Transportation ≠ Systems Integrators ≠ IT Services (Technology) ≠ Industrial Chemicals and Supplies ≠ Energy/Utilities ≠ Contractors and HVAC Suppliers

The Industrial Engineering committee reviewed the companies that were hiring COE graduates for sales and marketing positions. Prior ISU graduates at these companies, or companies in similar industries, were asked to participate on an engineering sales advisory board which would assist in developing the curriculum for the course. The industry advisory board, selected by the committee, included representatives from the following companies: ≠ ABB (Industrial Automation) ≠ JB Hunt (Transportation & Logistics) ≠ Caterpillar (Industrial Equipment) ≠ JS Kruger Consulting (Construction) ≠ Genesys Systems (Systems Integrator) ≠ Lincoln Electric (Industrial Equipment) ≠ Hercules (Industrial Chemicals) ≠ Trane (HVAC) ≠ IBM -retired (IT Services)


Sly, D., & Bumblauskas, D., & Peters, F. (2010, June), Development Of A Sales Engineering Program By Collaborating With Industry Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16208

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015