MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


The mission of the System Design and Management Program is to educate future technical leaders in architecting, engineering, and designing complex products and systems, preparing them for careers as the technically grounded senior managers of their enterprises; to set the standards for delivering career-compatible professional education using advanced information and communication technologies.

The System Design and Management Program is a joint offering of the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management, leading to a Master of Science degree in Engineering and Management. During 1996-97, Thomas L. Magnanti, George Eastman Professor of Managment Science and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, served as the program's Management codirector.

The program is targeted for professional engineers with three or more years of experience and offers a 14-course curriculum in systems, engineering, and management subjects, including a project-based thesis, in two program formats: a 13-month in-residence format and a 24-month distance education format, requiring one academic semester in-residence at MIT. The program was conceived as an alternative to the MBA for professional engineers and allows working professionals to pursue a degree without interrupting their careers and relocating themselves and their families.

This year the SDM program admitted its first class of 35 students representing 11 different companies, including two sustaining enterprise companies: United Technologies sponsored 13 students and Kodak sponsored 6. Eight students enrolled in the on-campus program and 27 enrolled as distance learning students. The program began in January with an intensive month in residence for all students, including completion of one and one-half courses, leadership and teamwork exercises, and projects and activities designed to promote cohort-building among students, to mitigate the isolation of the remote education experience.

The SDM program made significant strides in solidifying its new program, bringing together faculty, staff, and students to work out program format and content issues, establish policies and procedures, formulate a strategic action plan, and work on long-term staffing. Specific program accomplishments include:

Thomas L. Magnanti, John R. Williams

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97