Engineering Management Core Courses

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EGRMGMT 510: Marketing

This course examines core concepts in marketing and marketing-oriented management. It develops competence in the use of modern marketing techniques and their application in the design, development, and commercialization of new products and services in rapidly changing markets. The class combines lecture and cases, many of which focus on technology-based products and services. Students learn the frameworks for analyzing market opportunities and product potential. Other topics include consumer behavior, product management, pricing strategies, direct and online selling, branding, channel management, and promotions. 3 credits. Britton. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 520: Intellectual Property, Business Law, and Entrepreneurship

Intellectual Property, Business Law, and Entrepreneurship provide students with the legal & fundamentals to protect their business ventures and intellectual property. The course is divided into three modules. The first module focuses on the implication of decisions made at the formation of business ventures. The second module focuses on the patent process in which students write their own patents. The third module focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Other topics include principle-agent relations, governance of small companies, mergers and acquisitions, contract law, patents in foreign countries, and corporate take-overs. 3 credits. Sibley, Cox, Lange. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 530: Finance in High-Tech Industries

Review basic concepts of financial accounting and finance, with an emphasis on accounting needed for effective financial analysis. Focus on issues of finance in high tech industries. Emphases will include project financing, notions of options as applied to internal financial analysis, allocation of costs and revenues for new high tech projects, valuing projects and valuing firms when intellectual assets are a significant portion of total level value; corporate control in high tech firms. Finance issues in mergers, acquisitions, and alliances. 3 credits. Skender. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 540: Management of High-Tech Industries

Management of High Tech Industries is a case-based course that focuses on managerial decision making and organization building. With emphasis on professional service firms and high tech companies, students learn the skills to coordinate and leverage human capital.Tactical, operational, and strategic leadership is explored. Other topics include entrepreneurial decision making, performance measures, managerial control, product strategies, management of strategic change, and competitive analysis. 3 credits. Ryan. (Spring Semester)

Engineering Management Electives

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EGRMGMT 532: Advanced Finance for Technology-Based Companies

The focus of this course will be on major financial decisions of established technology corporations as well as entrepreneurial ventures. Analytical models and theories will be covered via problems and cases. Specific areas will include asset management, short-term and long-term borrowing, advanced capital budgeting strategies, determination of capital structure, dividend policy, international issues, and mergers and other forms of restructuring. Prerequisites: enrollment in the Master of Engineering Management Program. 3 credits. Skender. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 556: Industrial Practicum

The Engineering Management Practicum provides a "real life" view of various challenges faced by organizations.Projects at the intersection of engineering and business will be chosen for this practicum.Students will work in teams and will conduct a mentored, semester-long project for an organization. The learning objectives of this course include: (i) learn how engineering and technology impact organizations and how they are integrated into an organization to achieve desired results; (ii) understand, through an experiential environment, how organizations function and the difference between theory and implementation in an organizational setting; and (iii) develop team based skills in an applied environment and learn how to communicate technical issues to a variety of personnel in an organization. Practicum topics will be announced during the first week of classes and students must apply to be in the courses, with multiple sections covering various projects each semester. 3 credits. Holmes. (Fall and Spring Semesters)

EGRMGMT 560: Project Management

Projects are one of the key mechanisms for achieving organizational goals and implementing change, whether it is the design and launch of a new product, the construction of a new building, or the development of a new information system. This course will focus on defining project scope, developing project plans, managing project execution, validating project performance and ensuring project control. Additional topics covered include decision making, project finance, project portfolio selection and risk management. 3 credits. Delgrosso. (Fall and Spring Semesters)

EGRMGMT 562: Operations Management

Operations management involves planning and controlling the processes used to produce the goods and services provided by an organization. In essence, it is the management of all activities related to doing the actual work of the organization. Managing these processes can be quite challenging -- they are often very complex, and can involve large numbers of people and facilities, huge volumes of materials and great distances. Objectives of the course are to: 1) introduce students to the functional area of operations and to increase their awareness of how a firm's operations interface with the other functional areas of the organization, 2) familiarize students with the various issues and problems that traditionally arise in the management of operations within both manufacturing and service organizations, 3) acquaint students with some of the terminology, modeling, and methodologies that often arise in the handling and resolution of operations issues and problems. 3 credits. Bozarth. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 563: Supply Chain Management

A firm's supply chain encompasses all of those processes involving the design, manufacturing, and delivery of a product to the end-customers. In the last 20 years, a combination of industry innovation, new technologies, and academic research has led to substantial growth in our knowledge and in our ability to manage supply chains. Companies in many sectors have realized both the synergies and the efficiencies that can be gained from solving supply chain problems, and have realized the competitive edge that effective supply chain management provides.

The objectives of this course are two-fold: (1) To develop conceptual and modeling skills, and to provide practical problem-solving tools, applicable to the design and analysis of supply chains, and (2) Identify how the existence of multiple (distinct) decision makers in the supply chain can create misaligned incentives that harm supply chain performance, and then to understand alternative contract structures and other responses that can help mitigate this effect. 3 credits. Staff. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 574: Commercializing Technology Innovations: Turning Visions into Value

This course is designed to demystify and unify the journey from idea creation to value extraction through the use of concrete tools and real-world exercises. Innovations have many sources (e.g., individuals, companies, universities, governments) and many vehicles for commercialization (e.g., licensing, new products, enhanced products, and new ventures). Through this course, students will learn to think more broadly about innovation and commercialization options and strategies. 3 credits. Holmes . (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 580: Decision Models

Successful management requires the ability to recognize a decision situation, understand its essential features, and make a choice. However, many of these situations - particularly those involving uncertainty and/or complex interactions - may be too difficult to grasp intuitively, and the stakes may be too high to learn by experience. This course introduces spreadsheet modeling, simulation, decision analysis and optimization to represent and analyze such complex problems. The skills learned in this course are applicable in almost all aspects of business and should be helpful in future courses. 3 credits. Staff. (Fall and Spring Semesters)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Competitive Strategies

Why do some ideas succeed in the marketplace, and others fail? The answer often boils down to strategy. This course is designed to teach the elements of competitive strategy with a focus on the special considerations of technology-based companies, with particular emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurial activities in ventures of all sizes. Students will gain an appreciation for the strategic considerations that affect the success of technology-based products in the marketplace through a systematic exposure to key concepts in analysis, formulation and execution of strategic options. The course is structured along the lines that a company or organization would likely follow in the development of a competitive strategy. 3 credits. Hopper. (Fall and Spring Semesters)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Computational Finance

A beginner's introduction to the most important concepts used in quantitative finance. Students will learn to build practical financial models using MS Excel spreadsheets, and no prior knowledge of finance or of MS Excel is assumed. Investment banks, hedge funds, and money managers make buy and sell decisions based on computational models. Computers can and do execute buy and sell orders in a completely automated fashion based on pre-programmed parameters. This course starts with the most basic, and most important, portfolio and investment models used to evaluate risk and identify profit opportunities. Using Excel, students will learn how to build these models themselves, and to understand the decision-making inputs used by professional investors. The course has a practical focus - how to analyze prices of stocks, bonds, options and other financial instruments using the types of computationally sophisticated tools in wide use today. 3 credits. Egger. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Negotiation/Consultative Sales

Success in business is dependent upon the ability to positively communicate with and influence others to accomplish a goal. To paraphrase a famous quote by Thomas Watson of IBM on this topic, nothing happens in business until a negotiation is successfully completed or a sale is made. Whether we realize it or not, we are all negotiating or selling in many aspects of our lives. From making a decision that affects internal operations within our company, presenting a proposal to our boss, or closing a sale with a major client, it is important to have a suite of skills that allow us to achieve our objectives. This course covers these two primary areas of influence and communication within business—negotiations and consultative selling (working collaboratively with others to effectively meet the needs of a target customer). These are both highly dynamic areas of personal impact that focus on one's abilities to understand a situation and then construct the negotiation or sales process most needed for success in value creation and goal attainment. This course covers the structured processes, theoretical constructs, and practical applications that lead to success in both these areas. The course also explores ethical considerations in both disciplines. 3 credits. Amato. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Data Visualization

This course teaches how to use data visualizations to improve communication. We will learn best practices for presenting the kind of discoveries and “calls to action” that are the primary aims of business data analysis. Everyone who completes the course will be able to make beautiful and effective data visualizations.  

We will begin by learning about human visual perception, in particular the science of how choice of color, form, and other design elements can assist pre-attentive information processing.We will consider the origins of modern data-visualization in the pre-computer age, starting with the use of overlay maps, and Galton’s Quincunx and Correlation Diagram.  

We will learn to recognize the 60 or so most commonly-utilized types of data-visualization metaphor, as well as rules of thumb for which are the most appropriate and effective to apply to different types of data analysis.

Students will learn to create their own visualizations using publicly-available data and free software tools. Students are not required, or expected, to have any prior software experience. The course has no pre-requisites. 3 credits. Egger. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Designing Customer Experiences

In a competitive global market, businesses must address complex cross-discipline questions such as "how do I successfully distinguish my business from competitors?" to remain relevant and competitive. Increasingly, the quality of a businesses' "user experience" provides the key to building loyal customer relationships and sustainable market differentiation. Companies such as Apple Computer and Starbucks understand that their compelling customer experience are formed not only in the products they deliver but also in a system of complementary interactions and services. Effective customer experiences are not created by chance; they require systematic planning, design, iteration, and evaluation to be successful. In this course, students use case study discussions, readings, and hands-on projects to form a framework for designing compelling customer experiences. In addition, students flesh out this framework through project-based assignments and presentations applying the principles of human factors, design for usability, and interaction design to analyze, create and present customer experience solutions. 3 credits. Staff. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Design Thinking and Innovation

The success of established companies and entrepreneurial ventures depends upon their ability to identify customer needs and then develop products and services that meet these needs in an affordable and effective manner. A disciplined design thinking process leads to successful innovations, particularly with regard to value creation and market impact. Starting with an understanding of empathy, ethnography, and interviewing techniques, moving on to the iterative process of defining, ideating,
prototyping, and testing, and then developing final designs, this course is a highly engaged opportunity for students to develop a deep set of skills in design thinking and innovation and includes current approaches such as agile development, biodesign, and lean startup. 3 credits. Amato. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Engineering Entrepreneurship

This highly interactive, team-based course (students, instructor, and guest lecturers) is centered on learning how to identify and analyze technology with credible commercial potential, develop the elements of a start-up business around the technology, understand the market opportunity, and explore the financial aspects of launching such a venture. Real ideas are sourced from university technology transfer offices, from existing companies, imported by a student or groups of students, or other sources. Past projects have included ones in IT, medical (drugs, drug delivery, devices, services), chemistry, consumer products, environmental, and needs in under-developed countries. A set (2 to 4) of potential technologies will be accessed by each Team (usually 3-4 students) and a process undertaken to decide which opportunity is the strongest. That opportunity will then be developed during the semester, ending with an investor-quality presentation, a concise business plan, and top-level financials. In short, the course will take you through the key, common steps of forming a technology-based business as well as the uncommon steps that may be unique to each opportunity. A strong emphasis is placed on real-world experiential teaching, involving people who have "been there/done that", and student participation from class Q&A, formal presentations, and cross-team critiques. 3 credits. Price. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Fundamentals of Data Science

Students practice a critical business skill: analyzing real-world data and communicating actionable findings in compelling form. This is a small group, project-based class. Students can design their own project (with approval of the instructor) or join one of a number of exciting projects already underway. Available project areas include: 1)financial fraud detection, 2) earthquake risk modeling, 3) analysis of eye-tracking data for medical diagnosis, 4) the latest methods for machine translation and speech recognition. Prior to Fall 2017, this course was listed as "Data Mining". 3 credits. Egger. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Innovation Management

This course takes students through a variety of issues related to managing innovation in the context of a technology-based organization. This includes managing know-how and innovation processes as well as creating an organizational culture that fosters and supports innovation. Students study best practices and benchmarks but must develop their own approach to managing innovation given each unique situation, including the organizational strategy, the competitive landscape, the strengths/weaknesses of the employees involved, etc. Nonetheless, there are accepted practices and concepts that will help guide students in developing a deeper understanding of this area. Learning objectives include: i) understanding the different processes related to innovation in a technology-based firm, ii) how to create a culture of innovation in an organization, iii) the critical role of champions, and iv) key concepts of innovation strategy. 3 credits. Glass. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Intellectual Asset Management

All major corporations, mid-sized firms, and small or start-up ventures including University efforts involved in any technology field have basic needs that include considering all forms of intangible assets. The field of intellectual property and the associated need to value that intellectual property has evolved to the point that all Merger and Acquisition (M&A), venture capital, and R&D activities should include a thorough understanding and review of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, etc. to strategically determine how to proceed with these activities. A complete review of the US and international patent processes including writing and obtaining a patent, licensing and licensing negotiations, technology transfer, as well as a full understanding of valuation and valuation techniques to manage the intellectual property (IAM - Intellectual Asset Management) are the primary focal activities of this course. Students normally work in teams with existing technologies to develop an IP portfolio, which is valued and presented at the end of the semester. 3 credits. Staff. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Managing Product Development

How do companies ensure innovative ideas are transformed into a product or service? Irrespective of their size, location, number of employees, revenue margin, or industry segment, all companies transform their innovative strategies into real world products/services. Some companies have well defined transformation steps that they call product/service development process; others simply just do whatever it takes without organized planning. But in general, they all go through major iterative phases such as: discovery, definition, development, demonstration, qualification, deployment, and life cycle management. Furthermore, there are factors that impact all these phases such as: source of funding, people relations, supply chain, design/development tools, time constraints, internal/external regulations, etc. Adequate management of these factors enables the development process to be executed on time and on budget in order to meet customer needs and stakeholders' expectations. This course intends to provide an understanding of the product/ service/development process elements and the factors influencing the execution of the process. 3 credits. Requena. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: New Opportunities in Big Data

This course is intended for students who have a strong interest in the IT infrastructure of Big Data. Topics covered include: (1) Advanced data-mining methods now possible in business and research. (2) Introduction to software for data-visualization and pattern recognition in Big Data. (3) Information Architecture of the Big Data Cloud: introduction to the latest technologies for distributed data storage, indexing, search, retrieval, and analysis. Prerequisites: The course is open to students who have taken Data Mining (EGMGMT 590), or with prior approval of the instructor. Limited to maximum of 20 students. 3 credits. Egger. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Product Management in High Tech Companies

In today's international high tech business environment, the Product Manager is considered the CEO of their company's particular product or service. Central to creating customer value are a firm's product innovations and its portfolio of products and services. It is essential that the Product Manager understand the need to identify and develop strategies that capitalize on the firm's unique capabilities and provide value to the customer.

In this course we will explore the entire product management challenge in a way that goes beyond the typical MBA product marketing and brand management course with emphasis on managing products & services in a high tech environment. We believe that it is essential that our graduates understand all elements of product management including problem identification, market opportunity analysis, customer needs analysis, product strategy development, technology & product road mapping, product development, competitive analysis, product sales & marketing, brand management, financial management, and product life cycle management. The course places emphasis on developing specific strategies to support new and existing products and to help develop and manage a portfolio of products and services. This engineering management elective will provide an in-depth exposure to the analyses, decisions, and implementation issues relevant to a typical product manager in a high tech company and help prepare you for your first industry product management opportunity. A successful product manager needs a broad set of skills and this course is the first step in helping you develop those skills. Your new skills will be developed using a mix of individual and team based assignments, case analysis and presentations, computer simulations and projects.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Perform a wide range of analyses involved in managing product and services.
  • Understand the essential elements of product management in a high tech environment.
  • Develop product plans, product strategies, and supporting tactical plans.
  • Propose and justify marketing plans for a specific product or service.
  • Understand the interface challenges between the marketing, sales, engineering, operations and management teams.
  • Develop a strong understanding of the issues central to product management.
  • Present coherent, concise analysis of business cases.

3 credits. George. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Problem Identification

This is the first of four required courses in the Masters of Engineering Management Technology Founders Focus. This course implements the earliest stage of innovation: problem identification. Students will develop a personal vision and goals which will direct them to a specific problem space and application area. Students will follow a guided process of observation to identify previously unrealized problems. Students will quantify the potential impact of solving observed problems and consider the potential range of technological solutions to these problems. Observational insights will be tested through direct customer interviews. The key deliverable for the course is a succinct and well validated problem statement that describes the focus area of their nascent venture. This course is taught by serial entrepreneurs with practical experience in problem identification. 3 credits. Staff. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Software Quality Management

This class will introduce students to five different business personas that play a key role in the software development lifecycle. These are: customer, software engineer, software release/quality manager, customer support engineer, and general manager. The students will better appreciate the perspectives that each of these personas brings to their role and how that affects the "delivered" quality that customers actually experience. The course will also help students understand how to assess customer business outcomes, expectations and measure customer experience. Finally, the class will provide exposure to current industry practices and include guest speakers who can give real world examples relevant to software quality management. 3 credits. Morales. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Software Quality Telemetry

Telemetry is the remote collection of data that is collected and analyzed to turn data into actional insights. For software quality, telemetry is important for its use to drive continuous improvements in product quality and customer experience. The real-time nature of the data and the advent of machine-learning algorithms have set the stage for a new era of adaptive customer experience. Telemetry is a by-product of today’s technology trends like digitization and Internet of Things, and the class will cover the concepts behind these trends as they affect the global economy and drive changes in customer expectations, value delivery and business modes across industries. Leveraging Telemetry requires a solid foundation on data. Therefore, this class will provide a strong understanding of basic concepts such as data structures, database types, big data, data quality and data security. 3 credits. Morales. (Fall Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Technical Innovation

This is the second of four required courses in the Masters of Engineering Management Technology Founders Focus. The course will begin with a process of brainstorming potential technological solutions to a previously identified problem. Students will consider multiple potential solutions and assess the technological and market risks of these approaches. Preferred solution spaces will be explored by building and testing proof of concept designs to assess the most significant technological risks. The key deliverable for the course is a data set quantifying the function of the proof of concept experiment. This course is delivered by serial inventors with experience bringing multiple products to market. 3 credits. Staff. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 590.XX: Uncertainty, Design, and Optimization

Principles of design as a creative and iterative process involving problem statements, incomplete information, conservative assumptions, constraining regulations, and uncertain operating environments. Parameterization of costs and constraints and formulation of constrained optimization problems. Analytical and numerical solutions to constrained optimization problems. Evaluation of design solutions via sensitivity and risk analysis. Application to design problems in civil and environmental engineering. 3 credits. Scruggs. (Spring Semester)

EGRMGMT 591: Independent Study

Students may set up an independent study for a topic of their choosing. It is the responsibility of the student to find a professor that is willing to lead the independent study. Some popular independent studies in the past have included Global Engineering Education, the Duke Smart Home, the Duke Virtual Reality Cave, and Technology Assessment with the Research Triangle Institute. 3 credits. Staff. (Fall and Spring Semesters)

Duke's official schedule of courses to be offered in summer, fall, and spring terms is available online.