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Making The Link Between Engineering Management And Undergraduate Research

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

New Program/Course Success Stories

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.882.1 - 9.882.12



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Paper Authors

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Josh Humphries

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David Radcliffe

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

Session 2542

Making the Link between Engineering Management and Undergraduate Research

David F. Radcliffe and Josh Humphries

Catalyst Centre for Society and Technology The University of Queensland Australia

Abstract This paper describes and analyses an innovative engineering management course that applies a project management framework in the context of a feasibility study for a prospective research project. The aim is to have students learn aspects of management that will be relevant from the outset of their professional career while simultaneously having immediate value in helping them to manage a research project and capstone design project in their senior year. An integral part of this innovation was the development of a web-based project management tool. While the main objectives of the new course design were achieved, a number of important lessons were learned that would guide the further development and continuous improvement of this course. The most critical of these is the need to achieve the optimum balance in the mind of the students between doing the project and critically analyzing the processes used to accomplish the work.

Introduction In most industries, engineering is increasingly managed through projects. As a new employee, young graduates are expected to operate effectively as a member of a project team and even to manage a small team. However, “traditional” baccalaureate engineering management courses focus on general management principles and practices more relevant to larger organizations than to project teams and are concerned with issues more applicable to engineers in mid-career. It is not surprising therefore that students often struggle to see the relevance of much of this material. This question of relevance for students is compounded by the quite different epistemology of engineering management courses and the reaction to it by students conditioned by mathematically based engineering science courses.

Simultaneously there are pressures to provide more experience in research for baccalaureate students [1]. This is in addition to team-based experiences gained through capstone design projects. By recognizing the immediate need that students have to manage their capstone design and research projects successfully, engineering management can be made experiential and more meaningful for students.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Humphries, J., & Radcliffe, D. (2004, June), Making The Link Between Engineering Management And Undergraduate Research Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12755

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