Dr. Kathryn W. Jablokow, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and engineering design at Penn State, teaches a series of advanced courses online, including a massive open online course (MOOC) on creativity, innovation, and change, which remains one of Coursera’s top most-attended MOOCs of all time. Dr. Jablokow earned her PhD from the Ohio State University and has been awarded multiple grants from the National Science Foundation to study design, cognition, and engineering creativity. She is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); a senior research fellow of the Occupational Research Centre in the United Kingdom; a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME); and a member the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
Dr. Suzanna Long is an associate professor as well as interim department chair at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dr. Long was awarded the UM President's Award for Early Career Excellence, which is the highest faculty honor in the UM system. Her research interests include electric vehicle supply chains, critical infrastructure systems, organizational behavior, and sociotechnical systems analysis. She teaches courses such as managing engineering and technology, advanced marketing management, and business logistics systems analysis, among others.
Dr. Jeffrey Glass is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University, as well as the Hogg Family endowed chair in engineering management and entrepreneurship. Prior to his appointment at Duke, Dr. Glass was the co-director of the Institute for the Integration of Management and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and held the Joseph F. Toot, Jr. endowed chair in the Case School of Engineering. His research interests include the growth and characterization of thin films for electronics, primarily diamond, zinc oxide, and silicon carbide, as well as chemical vapor deposition, sputtering, materials analysis, and electronic properties. Notably, he consults and advises various companies on materials and has served as an expert witness in patent cases.
Dr. Stephen Lu is the David Packard endowed chair in manufacturing engineering, as well as a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, computer science, and industrial and systems engineering at the University of Southern California. Since earning his PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University, he has focused his research on collaborative design, innovative product development, manufacturing systems, concurrent engineering, knowledge-based expert systems, and AI-based machine learning technologies. Also, he’s the founding director of the Improving Productivity via Advanced Collaboration Technology (IMPACT) laboratory at USC. He has received numerous prestigious awards for his contributions, including two presidential awards (U.S.A. and Germany) and six honorary professorships.
Dr. Patrick Hester is an associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering at the highly ranked Old Dominion University. Dr. Hester's research interests include multi-criteria decision analysis, systemic thinking, stakeholder analysis, and enterprise performance measurement. In 2011, he received the Excellence in Research Award from the Batten College of Engineering & Technology, as well as the Outstanding Author Contribution Award from the Emerald Literati Network. He has served as the principal investigator for nearly $1.8 million in research projects.
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Online engineering management programs are typically at the master’s degree level. Derived from real distance-based programs across the country, here is a list of common admissions materials and prerequisites:
Prior to enrolling in an online degree in engineering management, students are encouraged to verify the accreditation status of their programs or institutions. Accreditation by a recognized authority is a proxy for program quality in terms of curriculum, student outcomes, program facilities, faculty accomplishments, the administration of finances, and other relevant factors. It’s important to note that not all accreditation entities are created equal, and this approval process is available at differing levels.
For programmatic accreditation, the gold standard in engineering is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which has approved a limited number of online programs. Another organization of note is the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).
For institutional accreditation, aspiring engineers should seek out organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These include the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), as well as six regional bodies which accredit universities in specific states:
Online engineering management programs typically offer courses in both engineering and business, focusing on the following subjects:
Additionally, some online programs in engineering management offer specialization tracks, including Stanford University, which has the following seven concentrations available:
There is a growing number of online engineering management programs from institutions across the country, particularly at the master’s degree level, where engineering management degrees are commonly known as MEM (Master of Engineering Management) or MSEM (Master of Science in Engineering Management) degrees. To give prospective students an overview of what to expect, here are five standout distance-based programs in engineering management, including information about coursework, costs, and accomplished faculty members.
Penn State University of University Park provides an online master’s in engineering management (MEM) degree. Comprising 33 credits, this interdisciplinary program requires 11 courses in areas such as decision and risk; engineering management science; financial studies for engineering; organizational behavior; technical project management; and creativity and problem-solving, among others. It costs $930 per credit.
Dr. John I. McCool is a distinguished professor of systems engineering at Penn State. Dr. McCool earned his doctorate in statistics from Temple University. His research is primarily focused on statistics, and he is also a fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and winner of that organization's Irwin S. Hoffer Award for the promotion of statistical thinking. He teaches experiment design, statistics, reliability, statistical process control, applied data mining, optimization, and probability models.
Dr. David Morand is a professor of management with his doctorate from Cornell University. In keeping with the Penn State program's focus on leadership, Dr. Morand's research hones in on the emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competencies of managers, as well as the relationship between power and language at work. He has a wealth of publications to his name and his research has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Herald Tribune, Bloomberg Business News, and Psychology Today, among others.
At the University of Michigan–Dearborn, there are distance-based master of science (M.S.) degrees in both engineering management (MSEM) and program and project management. The 35-credit MSEM program includes instruction in system engineering; production and operations engineering; total quality management and six sigma; finance fundamentals and value creation; organizational behavior; and others. Non-residents enrolled part-time (1-8 credits) pay $854 per credit-hour; for full-time (9+ credits), they pay $490. For MI residents, this program costs either $683 (part-time) or $392 (full-time) per credit-hour.
Dr. Armagan Bayram is an assistant professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Her main research interest is how engineering management and industrial engineering apply to nonprofit organizations. Specifically, she developed stochastic models and solutions to problems with resource allocation, especially in pro-social, community-based endeavors and healthcare. Notably, she’s received several Best Paper Awards recognizing her contributions to the public good.
Dr. Yun-wen Liu is also an associate professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department. He has a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Washington, and his research interests include healthcare system modeling, applied statistics, stochastic process modeling, and reliability/quality engineering. He teaches multivariate statistics, statistics and probability, operations research, and simulation. Additionally, he serves on the UM–Dearborn Institutional Review Board (IRB) and as a faculty advisor.
Stanford University of Palo Alto, CA has two online graduate programs for engineering management: an M.S. in management science and engineering and a graduate certificate in that same specialization. This world class university allows online students access to top faculty and flexible schedules that are ideal for working professionals. As mentioned above, students must choose from seven areas of specialization: energy and environment, computational social science, decision and risk analysis, financial analytics, technology and engineering management, health systems modelling, or operations and analytics. If taken part-time, this 45-credit program takes three to five years. It costs $1,400 per unit.
Dr. Margaret Brandeau is the Coleman F. Fung professor in the School of Engineering and a professor of medicine (by courtesy). She has received a number of awards throughout her career, including the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) President's Award; the Pierskalla Prize for research excellence in healthcare contributions to the welfare of society; the Philip McCord Morse Lectureship Award; and the Award for the Advancement of Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Notably, her recent work has focused on HIV prevention and treatment, as well as programs to control the spread of hepatitis B, paying thought to preparations in public health.
Dr. Kathleen Eisenhardt is the Stanford W. Ascherman M.D. professor and co-director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Her research interests—which have influenced her published books such as Simple Rules: How to Survive in a Complex World—include strategy and organization, particularly in technology companies and high-velocity industries. She has authored more than 100 articles for research and business journals. Her other areas of focus include the use of heuristics and strategic interaction in new markets. Impressively, she has been the most cited research author in strategy and organization during the past quarter-century. She also serves as a high-level consultant for various companies and has received countless awards.
Duke University of Durham, NC offers an online distributed master of engineering management program (d-MEMP). This program is unique in that it focuses on developing relationships between distance students, hosting three campus residencies during the course of the degree where online students meet one another and the faculty. Courses include marketing, finance in high-tech industries, operations management, and others. Additionally, students can choose among several specialization tracks: innovation and commercialization, financial engineering, or operations and supply chain management. Program tuition for the 2017-18 academic year costs $6,561 per course.
Dr. Bradley Fox is the associate dean and executive director of the professional masters programs at Duke University. He has experience in multi-phase technology development and has worked with Kobe Steel U.S.A., Inc., IBM, and GE, among others. In 2011, he was awarded the IEEE Technology Management Council's Engineering Management Educator of the Year Award.
Dr. Dina Requena—an adjunct associate professor at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering—earned her PhD from North Carolina State University and has a wealth of academic and corporate experience. She teaches advanced topics in engineering management and has done extensive work in product development, business process operations, innovation management, and several other areas. She currently serves as a senior manager in systems management software for Lenovo.
The University of Texas in Austin offers an online master's of science in engineering (M.S.E.) with a focus on engineering management, designed specifically for working professionals. The program, which is part of the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Center for Lifelong Engineering Education, offers online students access to world-class faculty. Courses include managing people and organizations; the art and science of negotiations; advanced marketing management; legal issues for engineering managers; management of projects and processes; strategic decision and risk analysis; and engineering economics, among other topics. This 10-course program costs $42,000 total.
Dr. Caroline Bartel is associate professor at the McCombs School of Business and part of the engineering management program. Dr. Bartel's research interests include collaboration, group and organizational decision-making, organizational behavior, and organizational identification processes. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Trammell/CBA Foundation Teaching Award for Assistant Professors. She serves on several committees at UT Austin and teaches classes such as managing people and organizations, leading virtual teams, and using emotional intelligence for outstanding performance, among others.
Dr. Richard Crawford is a professor of mechanical engineering at the UT Austin, as well as a Temple Foundation endowed faculty fellow. He has received many awards, including the Fred Merryfield Design Award from the American Society for Engineering Education; the 2010 Ralph Coates Roe Award for exemplary mechanical engineering educators; and a UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award. His research covers areas such as computer-aided representations for manufacturing, engineering design spaces, and energy-harvesting devices for remote places.
Every school differs in campus visitation requirements for their online engineering management programs. Some may have orientation requirements, or may require a final on-campus presentation at the end of a course or prior to awarding the degree. Some programs, such as the one at Duke University, offer distance courses but still require students on campus three separate times throughout their Master of Engineering Management program. Most commonly, especially for Master's degree programs, there is no campus visitation requirement at all.
Prospective students should thoroughly evaluate the campus visitation requirements for any individual program before deciding to attend, in order to ensure they are able to meet those requirements.
No program is going to be right for every student, so it is important to take all factors into consideration. Prospective students should research each program to which they plan to apply and ensure their grades and experience level are adequate for admission. Further, students should consider whether they are a good candidate for an online program at all. The flexibility can be key to earning a degree while retaining a professional position, but some students do not have the organization or discipline to thrive in an online environment. Students who want to apply to an online engineering management program are encouraged to contact the university where they want to study and speak to admission counselors or department specific staff to get a clear understanding of the program and whether or not it is a good fit.
Because quality of educators is paramount in the decision-making process for prospective engineering management students, we have compiled this list of 20 professors to know in the field. To be the best, it helps to learn from the best.