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Master Of Engineering Degree Program: Combining Engineering Design With Business Management

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.313.1 - 1.313.9

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Paper Authors

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Benoit Cushman-Roisin

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Elsa Garmire

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

1 .— .—.. Session 3255

—. . . . ..- Dartmouth’s Master of Engineering Degree Program: Combining Engineering Design with Business Management

Benoit Cushman-Roisin, Elsa Garmire Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College


In recognition of the growing need for industrial leaders with expertise in both technology and management, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College established in 1988 a management- oriented Master of Engineering (M. E.) degree program. Building on Thayer School’s strength in interdisciplinary engineering education and its close relationship with Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, this degree program is distinguished by its simultaneous emphasis on a broad graduate-level education in engineering, a working knowledge of the design process, and a practical understanding of the business environment. The absence of departmental barriers at Thayer School offers students the ability to bring an integrated view to the engineering design process.

The M.E. program is a rigorous two-year progression requiring 18 graduate-level courses in statistics, optimization, engineering design, engineering science, and business management. Through the Cook Engineering Design Center, corporations submit to Thayer School a wide variety of design problems, which become the basis of individual and group projects requiring close interaction between students and sponsoring companies. Further, opportunities are made available for all M.E. degree candidates to assume internships in industry prior to graduation. The selection of projects and internships is facilitated by the strong corporate and alumni network maintained by Thayer School.

1. Introduction

The economic success of the United States, and of the developed world in general, can be attributed unequivocally to industrial activity, which owes its very existence to both technological progress and business management. While industry has been able to rely for a long time on people separately trained in engineering and management, the ever increasing complexity of technology and its ever accelerating pace of development have now combined to require that managers, in various industrial sectors and particularly in the manufacturing sector, possess a practical understanding of technology. One way to satisfy this need has been to move engineers into managerial positions in their later career (the German model), another to include a technical component in the education of managers (the so-called Techno-MBA). Each approach is predicated on the belief that the missing educational component can be successfully retrofitted in the person’s career: It is assumed that the engineer can acquire on the job and without formal training an adequate experience of business management to move into a managerial position, or that the MBA student with no prior education in engineering fundamentals can acquire with the help of a few courses an understanding of technical issues and a keen ability to recognize technological opportunities. However,

New technology requires more than just engineering. If you listen to the horror stories about how [U.S. companies] failed to adopt new technologies, it was always a management problem. I

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Cushman-Roisin, B., & Garmire, E. (1996, June), Master Of Engineering Degree Program: Combining Engineering Design With Business Management Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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