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Experiential Learning and Engineering Management Effectiveness: A Leadership Class Case Study

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Developing Better Engineering Managers - Curricular Ideas from Year 1 Through Graduate School

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Ellen Belitzky University of Bridgeport

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Ellen Belitzky, PMP, CMQ/OE is a Ph.D. Candidate in Technology Management at the University of Bridgeport. At the University of Pennsylvania (1987), she received her B.S. in Decision Sciences and Marketing from The Wharton School and her M.S. in Education in Education Management and Organization Psychology. At the University of Connecticut (1999), she received her MBA in Management and Marketing. Ellen has been employed in IT project, program, and portfolio management roles in the consumer products industry for over 20 years. She has prior experience in banking, government, and not-for-profit. Ellen is a member of PMI, ASQ, and The Society for Decision Professionals.

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Neal A Lewis University of Bridgeport

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Neal Lewis received his Ph.D. in engineering management in 2004 and B.S. in chemical engineering in 1974 from the University of Missouri – Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), and his MBA in 2000 from the University of New Haven. He is an associate professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Bridgeport. He has over 25 years of industrial experience, having worked at Procter & Gamble and Bayer. Prior to UB, he has taught at UMR, UNH, and Marshall University. Neal is a member of ASEE, ASEM, and IIE.

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Erika Belitzky Student

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Erika is a high school student interested in science. She intends to study toward a career in medicine and/or research.

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With increased electronic communication and global, virtual teams, the requirement for skilled engineering managers has received increased focus in technical organizations. This paper provides observations regarding the effectiveness of graduate students completing a hands-on engineering task in the classroom. The exercise simulates a workplace challenge an engineering manager could face on a typical day. The study is an assignment with pre-task and post-task questions, completed in one 90-minute session of an M.S. in Technology Management/MBA Leadership and Change Management class.

Results demonstrated to students that effective management was as important to a task as the specific knowledge and skill in the technical aspects of the assignment. From learning-by-doing, students understood the value of management practices. This case study showcases the learning of technical management skills, and it is presented so that others may adapt the study to their own courses and classrooms. This study does not presume that a manager will have a technical background. Therefore, there is applicability to use the teaching method in a variety of situations from academic to corporate learning programs.

Belitzky, E., & Lewis, N. A., & Belitzky, E. (2016, June), Experiential Learning and Engineering Management Effectiveness: A Leadership Class Case Study Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26824

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