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White Paper December 6, 2005

By Vanessa Miller,2014-05-18 14:03
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Obviously, project management is an important element to an engineer's career andIf more project management knowledge could be incorporated into

     White Paper Idea #36 (April 17, 2006)

     Breakthrough Strategy Committee

     Increased Integration of Project Management

     Knowledge into the Engineering Curriculum

    manufacturing. In response, many firms require 1. Need/Potential

    Engineering graduates are often faced with the new electrical, chemical, and mechanical assignment as serving as project managers early in engineering hires to complete internal training their careers. With the exception of civil programs on project management. engineering, most engineering academic programs Unfortunately, there are barriers imposed do not include course work in project on many engineering programs in developing new management in their undergraduate curriculums. courses to address this gap. Many universities, As a result, graduates in electrical, chemical, and especially public universities, are under increasing mechanical engineering programs are forced to pressure from state councils on post secondary either learn the aspects of project management on education and state legislatures to avoid the job or through company specific training increasing the number of credit hours required to programs after hiring. Obviously, project obtain a bachelors degree in engineering. At the management is an important element to an same time, engineering programs must address the engineer's career and company performance. If curricula requirements described or encouraged more project management knowledge could be by engineering accreditation boards (e.g. the incorporated into engineering academic curricula, Accreditation Board of Engineering and a widespread improvement could be realized in Technology (ABET)), industry partners, and the time and cost effectiveness of design efforts, alumni. company internal production processes, and capital facilities projects. 3. State of the art

     There are colleges of engineering that do offer a

    course in project management that is offered to 2. Background and Gaps

    Historically, engineering curricula has focused on students of any engineering discipline. One design. One exception to this rule has been civil example is a technical project management course engineering. For decades, civil engineering offered as an elective through Texas A&M undergraduate curriculums have included University's engineering technology program. coursework in project management including This course was request by an industrial partner to precedence scheduling, cost control, and the Texas A&M College of Engineering. Other construction contracting. There has been little examples are bound to exist within other North project management content in the other American universities. engineering undergraduate curriculums including electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineering 4. Recommended Path Forward programs. The project management knowledge in There are several possible path forwards. Efforts these other engineering disciplines has often been are needed to both quantify the need for project limited to capstone design courses, which are management knowledge in new college graduates typically required in the students’ senior year and on behalf of industry and the frequency that require students to synthesize their engineering engineering programs address project knowledge in a comprehensive design team management within their curriculums. This will project. When project management coursework in identify the gaps where engineering curriculums electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering is are not meeting the needs of industry. Next, this available, it is often offered as a technical elective information should be communicated to (not required) and/or addresses a single aspect of engineering education academic societies. One project management, such as coursework offered society that could be targeted is the American in total quality management and lean Society for Engineering Education (ASSE)

    (www.asee.org). ASEE is nonprofit organization Madison. By benchmarking this and other that represents the broad spectrum of engineering universities, e.g. Cranfield University in the U.K., disciplines and the educators involved therein. the U.S. construction management and Considering the scope of work represented by CII architecture schools can learn from differences in membership companies, the following societies school types, what are the advantages in each should also become involved: the Institute of system, understanding better team organization, Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) communication, staffing, leadership and group (www.IEEE.org), the American Society of work to re-orientate existing education principles Mechanical Engineers (www.asme.org), and the at the undergraduate as well as the graduate level. American Institute of Chemical Engineers ASCE and CII Best Practices can be developed to (AICHE) (www.AICHE.org). Many of these define and update a skill sets for students before societies influence the content of engineering they enter the job market. An example is the CII curriculums and are utilized by ABET as lead sponsored leadership meeting for project societies regarding accreditation criteria for their management at the University of Texas at Austin respective engineering discipline. in joint arrangement with UT’s Business School.

    An initial contact person can be Manual Other organization where CII can learn from is the Garcia at CII and Dr. Russell who has developed a Project Management Institute (PMI) which lists professional 5 year degree program for several courses for students to become leaders.undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin at

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