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Em At Ncsu.Pdf

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Engineering Management Program Design

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.526.1 - 14.526.22



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Paper Authors

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Natalie Cherbaka North Carolina State University

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Jerome Lavelle North Carolina State University

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

Proposing an Engineering Management Program at North Carolina State University


This paper describes an analysis and proposal for starting an Engineering Management (EM) program in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU). We first define EM in the context of current discussions within the discipline, and provide results of a benchmarking survey of existing programs. This sets a context for understanding the discipline and constraints on the design of a proposed program. From this we describe and evaluate potential proposals for an EM program at NCSU.

1. Engineering Management Today

Defining Engineering Management: Engineering Management as a discipline is not tightly defined, as demonstrated by a relatively wide variance among academic EM programs. The discipline is often grouped with Industrial Engineering, Systems Engineering, or Management of Technology. Although very few EM definitions exist, current discipline trends are represented by the following:

Engineering Management is the art and science of planning, organizing, allocating resources, and directing and controlling activities which have a technological component.2 Engineering Management is the bridge between the engineering and management disciplines.6 The engineering manager possesses both the ability to apply engineering principles and a skill in organizing and directing people and projects.3

EM programs are distinguished from systems engineering (SE) programs primarily by the management aspect. SE focuses on the development life-cycle from an operational and mathematical perspective with heavy emphasis on decision analysis, structured problem solving approaches, and the interaction/integration of systems. In contrast, an EM program focuses on managing SE efforts and engineering relationships with the rest of the organization. Along the spectrum of programs labeled as EM, those that rely heavily on industrial engineering (IE) tend to focus on management of a process within specific engineering disciplines, and, like SE, are concerned with operational decisions. This is in contrast to management of technology (MOT) programs that focus on traditional management techniques with application to technology assets, not engineering processes as with SE and IE. The opposite approach from SE is an MBA program that teaches pure management theory without application to any specific discipline. EM programs straddle the gap between these approaches, emphasizing the management of all engineering disciplines and overlapping slightly with IE and MOT. Figure 1, adapted from Kotnour and Farr6, presents a visual of this overlap.

Cherbaka, N., & Lavelle, J. (2009, June), Em At Ncsu.Pdf Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5216

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