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 prerequisite(s): 

595.660 Introduction to Project Management, 595.663 Technical Personnel Management, 595.665 Communications in Technical Organizations, and 595.666 Financial and Contract Management.

Course note(s): 

The format for this course is either online or a mixed online/live environment called Virtual Live. For the Virtual Live format, weekly lectures are provided either online or live (and recorded) on a predesignated day/time, with students/instructors joining in person or from any location via personal computer. Students can also choose to participate in person, in a classroom, at the predesignated day/time. Contact the instructors for additional information. The course also includes one Saturday session in the Baltimore, MD, area at the end of the semester. In-person participation with your team is preferred. An alternative individual assignment is available for students not attending Capstone Day in person. 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(s): 
Blank, McLoughlin, Tarchalski

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