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On Developing Integrated Systems Architecture And Systems Engineering Courses At Rit

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.756.1 - 6.756.10



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Paper Authors

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Wayne Walter

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Paul Stiebitz

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

Session 2255

On Developing Integrated Systems Architecture and Systems Engineering Courses at RIT

Wayne W. Walter, Paul H. Stiebitz Rochester Institute of Technology


The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Detroit Mercy and the Naval Post Graduate School have joined with industry leaders to create a two-year product development program at the Master’s Degree level for mid- career technical managers. Using a common curriculum framework, each member of the consortium, named the Educational Consortium for Product Development Leadership in the 21st Century (PD21), customizes course materials and elective courses to meet the needs of their respective constituency. The program balances technical and business perspectives in an effort to provide technical leaders with the skills and knowledge to create best-in-class product portfolios.

The program at RIT, known as the Masters in Product Development (MPD), is a joint effort between the College of Business and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. In addition to a course in Leadership in Product Development, the core of the curriculum consists of three systems design and management courses: Systems Engineering (SE), Systems Architecture (SA), and Systems and Project Management. Students are also required to complete courses in Systems Optimization, Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis, Operations Management, Organizational Processes, Marketing Management and Finance and Managerial Accounting, in addition to four elective courses. The program spans two calendar years beginning with an intensive five day per week, month long session in January that focuses on fundamental concepts in product leadership and organizational behavior. Students subsequently take two courses per quarter in an “executive” format consisting of one course in the morning and one in the afternoon, one day each week. The student cohort formed in the January session takes all courses together, except possibly for two electives at the end of the program.

Students accepted into the MPD program must have at least five years of product development experience, although most have between 10 and 20 years of experience. Many already have earned advanced degrees. The maturity of the students and the “executive” format of the MPD program creates challenges in both course design and delivery. For example, topics must be aggregated and partitioned so that discussions end cleanly, student assignments must be carefully defined and synchronized with the materials covered each week, and an assortment of delivery methods must be employed in order to effectively engage students over a four hour period.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Walter, W., & Stiebitz, P. (2001, June), On Developing Integrated Systems Architecture And Systems Engineering Courses At Rit Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9618

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