Engineering management is an interdisciplinary field that combines management skills with the technological foundation of engineering projects. Online learning is well suited to this type of degree program since it allows working professionals to learn the important theoretical foundations of business and immediately apply them. Online degree programs from top universities give ambitious professionals the chance to learn from respected professors without pressing pause on their current professional trajectory.
Further, engineering management is a track that is ideal for those who are extremely organized self starters. Being able to complete an online degree in the field is a great indication that you will be able to succeed in the professional world as well.
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Dr. Kathryn W. Jablokow, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and engineering design at Penn State, teaches a series of advanced creativity and problem-solving courses online as a cornerstone of interdisciplinary education in systems engineering and engineering management. She also teaches a massive open online course (MOOC) on Creativity, Innovation, and Change, which remains one of the top 10 most-attended MOOCs of all time through Coursera. 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 such varied areas as electric vehicle supply chains and rare earth elements social life cycle analysis.
Dr. Jeffrey Glass is a Professor as well as the Hogg Family Director of Engineering Management & 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.
Dr. Stephen Lu is the David Packard Chair in Manufacturing Engineering as well as 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.
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 was the recipient of the Excellence in Research Award from the Batten College of Engineering & Technology as well as the Outstanding Author Contribution Award from Emerald Literati Network.
Admissions requirements for engineering management programs will differ depending on whether the degree is an undergraduate or a graduate degree.
Undergraduate admission will rely on high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. Most schools will also require entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT for consideration.
Graduate admissions will be similar, but will be largely based on performance at an accredited undergraduate program. Engineering management programs may also require graduate entrance exams, such as the GRE or the GMAT. While not all programs require these exams, they are generally important for international students who did not attend a U.S. undergraduate program.
For both types of programs (undergraduate and graduate), students can expect to complete an online application and provide transcripts from previous schools as well as letter of recommendation. Undergraduate programs are more likely to stick to a once per year schedule of admissions with classes starting in the fall while graduate programs are apt to have admission deadlines at least twice per year.
Programs across many engineering disciplines are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and this includes online engineering management programs. However, the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) also offers accreditation in this particular field although their accreditation is not yet as widely acknowledged as that of ABET.
While there is no legal requirement that engineering managers obtain licenses or certification, the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) does offer two levels of certification: Associate Engineering Manager (AEM) and Professional Engineering Manager (PEM). In order to be eligible for these certifications, students must have graduated from an ABET-accredited institution.
Engineering management itself is a bit of a specialty, meaning that it is rare to find further specialization within a given degree program. This is true for both undergraduate and graduate level studies.
In terms of curriculum, undergraduate students can expect to spend a significant amount of time learning about the fundamentals of both engineering and management. Courses could include such titles as:
Graduate studies are focused much more heavily on in-depth exploration of management theory and techniques as well as engineering overviews. Some common courses are
There are a number of schools throughout the U.S. that offer online engineering management programs. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what is available, but the following are some of the most highly rated programs that feature top flight faculty who are experts in their field.
The biomedical engineering program at Case Western Reserve University was founded in 1968, making it a true pioneer in the field. Research is a key part of the program’s success and the school’s close affiliation with facilities such the Cleveland Clinic, the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and the University Hospitals Case medical Center offer tremendous employment opportunities to graduates of the program.
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.
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 keys into that area and is particularly honed in on the emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competencies of managers as well as the relationship between power and language at work.
Out of its Dearborn, Michigan campus, the University of Michigan offers online Master of Science degrees in both Engineering Management and Program and Project Management. Both flexible courses of study are available entirely online, while campus campus courses are offered evenings and weekends to accommodate working professionals. The school offers a tremendous value for the high quality education, even being found to provide the best return on investment for its engineering management students.
Dr. Armagan Bayram is an assistant professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at the University of Michigan at Dearborn. Dr. Bayram has a particular research interest in engineering management and industrial engineering as they apply to nonprofit organizations.
Dr. Yun-wen Liu is an associate professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at the University of Michigan at Dearborn. Dr. Liu 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.
Located in Palo Alto, California, Stanford University has two online graduate programs for engineering management: an MS in management science and engineering and a graduate certificate in that same specialization. This world class university allows online access students to top faculty and flexible schedules that are ideal for working professionals.
Dr. Margaret Brandeau is the Coleman F. Fung Professor in the School of Engineering and a Professor of Medicine (by Courtesy). Dr. Brandeau has been the recipient of 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.
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 articles and books, include strategy and organization, particularly in technology companies and high-velocity industries.
Duke University offers an online Master of Engineering Management program from the base of its campus in Durham, North Carolina. This program is unique in that it focuses on developing relationships between distance students and as such hosts three campus residencies during the course of the degree where distance students meet on another as well as faculty.
Dr. Bradley Fox is the Associate Dean and Executive Director of Professional Masters Programs at Duke University. In 2011, he was awarded the IEEE Technology Management Council’s Engineering Management Educator of the Year Award.
Dr. F. Hadley Cocks was the founding director of the Master of Engineering Management Program at Duke. He is currently a professor with his primary appointment in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Dr. Cocks’ research interests include crystal growth, mechanical properties of kidney stones, lunar science, diffraction optics, materials for radiation detection, and radiation shielding.
The University of Texas at Austin offers an online Master’s in Engineering Management program specifically for working professionals as part of the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Center for Lifelong Engineering Education. It is the top ranked engineering school in Texas and offers online learning students access to world class faculty.
Dr. Caroline Bartel is associate professor at the McCombs School of Business as part of the engineering management program. Dr. Bartel’s research interests include Collaboration, Managerial, Group, & Organization Decision Making, Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Identification Processes. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Trammell/CBA Foundation Teaching Award for Assistant Professors.
Dr. Richard Crawford is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin as well as the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow No. 3. He has been the recipient of many awards throughout the duration of his career, 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 University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.
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.