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Student And Alumni Perspectives: Engineering Management At Umr

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Program Delivery Methods and Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1150.1 - 10.1150.14

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Paper Authors

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Vaishalee Naruka

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Stephen Raper

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William Daughton

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

Student and Alumni Perspectives: Engineering Management at UMR

Vaishalee Naruka, , Dr. William Daughton, Dr. Stephen Raper Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering University of Missouri – Rolla


Engineering Management which is considered to be a “non-traditional” field of engineering has a long history of attracting high caliber students regardless of some questions about what this field really is. A study was done at the University of Missouri – Rolla to find out what motivated these students to pursue Engineering Management as a discipline, their perceptions, and their success in industry compared to “traditional” engineers. The data for the study was gathered from focused interviews of forty current students and ten alumni in industry. The results showed that Engineering Management students, just like others, choose a career path that satisfies their needs. These students tended to like the technical field, but they also desired to combine it with a more people oriented approach. Engineering Management as a distinct discipline is relatively new and still faces some challenges due to lack of understanding. Nonetheless, industries recognize Engineering Management as a much needed discipline.


Engineering Management is relatively new among other engineering programs. “The Engineering Management program at the University of Missouri – Rolla began as an interdisciplinary M.S. program in the fall of 1965, and as a B.S. program two years later. It was established as a full Department of Engineering Management in the school of Engineering July 1, 1968.” (1) Engineering Management is considered “non-traditional” as it bridges the gap between traditional engineering and management by highlighting communication and people orientation. This sometimes is the reason for it to be thought of as “less” of an engineering degree compared to other more “traditional” ones like Mechanical or Electrical Engineering. The same problem often plagues other hybrid fields. A recent study of student perceptions of Industrial Engineering (2) demonstrated a similar lack of appreciation and understanding. Yet, Engineering Management at the University of Missouri – Rolla has a long history of success in attracting high caliber students and industry has found Engineering Management very desirable. The need for these “non-traditional” skills that Engineering Management provides is clearly shown in the following passage:

“It is often remarked that engineers communicate and express themselves poorly – this not only limits their effectiveness in the technical sphere, but can seriously

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Naruka, V., & Raper, S., & Daughton, W. (2005, June), Student And Alumni Perspectives: Engineering Management At Umr Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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