This course explores the roles and responsibilities of executive technical leaders within the context of a strategic framework. Examples of technical executive positions are VP/Director of R&D or Engineering, VP/Director of Manufacturing, Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Technical Director (Government), and large program Chief Engineer.

The course introduces topics relevant to technical executives, from technical strategy development to tactical operations, such as metrics and measurements for leading technical teams within the context of larger organizations. The concepts in the course are reinforced using associated case studies and a team project and are further fortified by practicing or retired technical executive guest interviews delivering practical career experiences related to the topics presented in the course.

The format of this course is very different from other Engineering or Technical Management courses. Lectures are offered asynchronously online with a required weekly seminar-type virtual-live discussion.

Student participation in the weekly seminar-type virtual-live sessions, mid-course team presentation, semester-end capstone presentation, and executive roundtable are required. Students will be evaluated on their application of the principles presented in the course, critical thinking applied to the issues posed in the case study, and teamwork as assessed by both the instructors and their peer students.

Course prerequisites: 

Admittance to the Technical Management or Engineering Management program or permission from the program chair. Completion of 595.460 Introduction to Project Management, 595.463 Technical Personnel Management, 595.465 Communications in Technical Organizations, and 595.466 Financial and Contract Management, or equivalent, are required.

Course notes: 

The course also includes one Saturday session at JHU campus facilities in the Baltimore, MD, area at the end of the semester. In person participation is preferred, with a virtual-live attendee option. The Saturday session consists of student teams presenting their capstone technical executive strategic issues, actions, and execution plans built around the case study evolution throughout the course. A practicing executive roundtable discussion will also be held where students have the opportunity to ask probing questions.

Course instructor: 
Blank, McLoughlin, Tarchalski (lead)

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