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Reaching Out To Engineering Management Students

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.476.1 - 3.476.6

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Paper Authors

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Irma Becerra-Fernandez

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Gordon Hopkins

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Ted Lee

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

Session 2542

Reaching Out To Engineering Management Students Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Ted Lee, Gordon Hopkins Florida International University, College of Engineering

Abstract This paper describes the Masters of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) program at Florida International University (FIU). The MSEM program at FIU emphasizes a practical, systematic, and programmatic educational environment that will enable future managers of engineering and technology to become technically competent and business-practice oriented. Prior to its implementation, a survey of potential students at local industries was conducted to measure the demand of the Engineering Management program. A split result was found in the preferred way of delivering the proposed program: while 47.4% of the potential students prefer an in-campus education, the other 52.6% favor distance learning. As such, all the MSEM courses are delivered through asynchronous education (videotapes) in addition to the traditional synchronous education (classroom). At FIU, graduate students in MSEM gain knowledge through traditional engineering lectures, guest speakers’ presentations, and through study and discussion of related cases and articles. The Case Study teaching methodology, which encourages students to learn from others, presents a challenge in terms of involving the asynchronous students. This paper presents some of the techniques used to overcome the challenges of delivering education through this medium. Some of the techniques presented include the implementation of the MSEM Decision Room and the use of Internet classrooms.

Engineering Management Program at FIU The emphasis in many companies today is to re-engineer the company and reduce in middle management. In the past large companies typically were too bureaucratic and inflexible to respond to market conditions. Therefore, the current trend is for companies to become leaner and concentrate their mission on critical areas, while outsourcing their non-critical functions. This new management trend contrasts with the previous desire for vertically integrated companies. As a result, Companies are now organized in teams much like hospitals, where the leader of a team is not only a manager, but also a specialist in the medical field. Today, technologically oriented companies prefer to hire an engineer and provide him or her with the necessary skills to effectively manage. This trend greatly differs from the previous practice of hiring a manager who then is expected to learn the technical skills related to that job function[1]. The MSEM program is directed towards an academic preparation of individuals who will remain working in a technological environment while advancing into management roles [2]. Engineers usually want to pursue a career in management, due the to scarcity of competent technical managers. However, they often find that their technical skills are not enough for such positions. Therefore, this degree is specifically designed to provide engineers with the necessary skills to move in to managerial positions.

The Florida Engineering Education Delivery System (FEEDS) was organized in 1983 to provide graduate level education and training in engineering throughout Florida, particularly at business and industry sites. FEEDS is a consortium of all institutions which constitute the State University System (SUS) and operates under the aegis of a Chancellor’s Memorandum. FEEDS

Becerra-Fernandez, I., & Hopkins, G., & Lee, T. (1998, June), Reaching Out To Engineering Management Students Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1998 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015