Engineering Leadership for Early Career Professionals
Date: TBD 2016 | Tuition: TBD | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): TBD
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
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Since the industrial revolution, engineering has increasingly fueled discovery, innovation, and economic growth. Almost everything in the world, including infrastructure, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, health, communication, information technology, and social networking, was created or profoundly transformed through the practice of engineering.
Engineers and applied scientists today lead complex technical projects and imagine and develop exciting new products that profoundly impact societies around the globe. These projects are progressively more multidisciplinary and the working environment more multinational and multicultural. This complexity increases the requirement for practical skills in leadership, communication, and project management, as well as the traits of commitment and perseverance. Early career professionals must possess this broad skill set if they wish to succeed in the global economy.
This course addresses the essential skill set necessary for early career technical professionals who already possess strong technical abilities. Participants are engaged with 12 core elements of technical leadership, from the fundamentals of leadership theory and styles to practical tools for initiating and leading a project to completion. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed upon experiential learning. Participants are confronted with hyper-scenarios that challenge them to think, communicate, negotiate, motivate, and act. Self-reflection and peer feedback provide essential post-scenario learning elements. Like the practice of leadership, this course is high-contact and high-energy. If you are looking for a traditional “chalk-and-talk” experience, this course is not it.
This course has been developed by the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Leadership Program. Founded to prepare MIT students for engineering leadership, the program is now expanding to fill a need in early career engineering, further strengthening its commitment to develop effective engineering leadership. The course curriculum is designed specifically to educate and prepare future engineering and science leaders of innovation, invention, and implementation. You will leave this course with the essential skills and tools necessary to become an effective technical leader in today’s competitive global economy.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (20%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (40%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (40%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (20%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (30%)
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (50%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (10%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (80%)
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (10%)
The participants of this course will be able to:
- See the world through a systems lens and develop simplifying conceptual models
- Recognize ethical challenges and respond to them methodically
- Listen, understand, and communicate effectively with others to persuade, advocate, and negotiate
- Think critically and make structured decisions in the face of uncertainty
- Plan actions from conception through completion; recognize risk and manage change as it arises
Who Should Attend
This course is targeted for early career engineers and scientists from across the disciplinary spectrum with less than 10 years of experience who are new to project management. Those who should attend include: design engineers, research engineers, project engineers or managers, product engineers, members of the technical staff, applied scientists, and research scientists. The course would also be of interest to those who supervise early career professionals in industry or those who supervise engineering and science graduate students and post-docs in academia.
Day One – Engineering Leadership
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Introduction to Program and Week: Introduction of instructors and participants; schedule and expectations. (Niño and Schindall)
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Engineering leadership and leadership development: Overview of perspectives on management and leadership and how early career professionals develop leadership capabilities. (Niño)
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Lunch
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM: Developing and leading teams: Overview of models of teams and actions needed to develop high performing teams. (Niño)
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM: Break
2:15 PM – 3:45 PM: Creating a strategic vision: Review and practice methods for creating a shared vision and purpose. Review "Communicating a Vision" assignment. (Niño)
3:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and action plan based on the day's activities.
4:15 PM – 5:00 PM: Group Case Assignment: Participants work in teams on creating and Communicating a team vision
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Special Networking Event (light buffet will be provided)
Day Two – Engineering Project Leadership
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Communicating an inspiring vision: Discuss strategies and tactics for communicating an inspiring team vision. (Niño)
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Break
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Project Scoping and Planning: Identifying and defining a project's scope, strategy, and plan. (Magarian)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Project Risk and Dynamics: Identifying and planning for uncertainties and risk, responding to change, identifying and removing obstacles. (Magarian)
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and document day's activities.
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Break
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Group practice and feedback on communicating a vision: Participants deliver their visions to the group and everyone provides feedback
Day Three – Motivation and Negotiations
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Creating a motivating environment: Building team drive to act in support of project mission and goals. (Niño)
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Break
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Building positive relationships: Assessing your personal networks and discuss strategies for building and maintaining your networks. (Niño)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Managing conflict and negotiations: Assessing your personal conflict management styles and practice negotiation skills. (Niño)
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM: BREAK
2:45 PM – 3:15 PM: Introduction to case study: Case study is presented, expectations established, and questions answered.
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and document day's activities.
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Case Study: Participants work in teams on case study.
Day Four -Effective Decision-Making
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Managing oneself: Building a foundation for continuing to develop one's leadership capabilities. (Niño and McGonagle)
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Break
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Engineering Reasoning: Applying qualitative models of decision making; using elements, standards, traits, and processes of critical thinking in engineering to assess decision-making. (Schindall)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Tour of MIT
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Ethical Decision-Making: Recognizing and framing ethical issues; applying ethical decision-making models. (Niño)
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and document day's activities.
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Case Study: Participants work in teams on case study.
Day Five - Final Presentations
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Case Study Presentations: Analyzing a technical case study; uncovering leadership elements and effectively packaging and communicating these to an audience.
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Break
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Case Study Presentations: Analyzing a technical case study; uncovering leadership elements and effectively packaging and communicating these to an audience.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Reflection: Participants review and reflect on week's activities; assess program.
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Certificate ceremony, final remarks and completion
Course schedule and registration times
Registration is 7:40-8:10 am on Monday.
Class runs 8:30 am - 5:00 pm each day except Friday when course ends at 2:00 pm.
There is a networking dinner on Monday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
Laptops/devices with word processing capability are required. Advance materials may be sent by email or posted to the MIT Stellar system; please expect an email from the course directors with information about how to access these materials.
mission operations engineer, nasa jet propulsion laboratory
"The class was very nicely structured, with more practical advice than theory. I came out of it with concepts that I could apply immediately in my workplace. I also liked the format - the lecturing was kept to a minimum, and concepts were reinforced using hands-on exercises. This was a focused course that outlined practical concepts. The course itself taught useful methods, and it also provided a basis for future learning. As such, I would recommend this class for any young engineer."
validation engineer II, shire hgt
"The course content was formalized in a way that was very clear, made a lot of sense, and had examples as to how to put these theories into practice. I learned highly valuable tools to make me a more effective leader at my job."
project engineer, stryker imt
"The course was very well designed and executed. It gave me both practical skills and insightful perspectives. The course was very engaging beginning to end. I have already started recommending this class to my colleagues."
team leader, schlumbeger
"It provides real-life experiences such as how to manage and act as a manager. In addition, exercises given through the course provide an understanding of how the course tools are being used and at the same time, reflect on some of the different methods that the different teams employed. Lastly, the sharing of different organizational ways of leadership was also very inertesting and enlightening."
About The Lecturers
Professor Joel Schindall
Co-Director, Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program
Professor Schindall re-joined the MIT faculty in June of 2002 after a 35-year career in the defense, aerospace, and telecommunications industries. His research includes the invention and development of a nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitor which holds the promise of being superior to electrochemical batteries as a means of efficient regenerative electrical energy storage, and he has also supervised research on dynamic simulation and reliability analysis of complex safety-critical systems.
Professor Schindall has co-developed and taught a required senior course in communication skills, including units on conceptual thinking, giving presentations, how to be effective in industry, cross-cultural skills, and engineering ethics, and he is developing a course on engineering design. As co-director of the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, Dr. Schindall is actively engaged in a program to enhance, expand, focus, and disseminate the teaching of engineering design and leadership within the MIT School of Engineering.
Prior to joining MIT Schindall was vice president and chief technology officer of Loral Space and Communications (a manufacturer and operator of commercial satellites), senior vice president and chief engineer for Globalstar (a 48 satellite LEO mobile phone system), and president of Loral Conic (a manufacturer of telemetry systems for missiles and satellites). Dr. Schindall received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1963, 1964, and 1967. During his graduate years he was lecturer and wrote the text for a 140-student introductory electronics course, received an award for excellence in teaching, and was chief engineer for WBCN, a commercial FM radio station.
Senior Lecturer, Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program
David Niño will join MIT in June 2015 as a Senior Lecturer in the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. He is currently a Professor in the Practice of Engineering Leadership at the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas. During the past four years at Rice, he has led the development of innovative programming that bridges and integrates the academic disciplines of engineering, leadership, and management. He also serves as a founding officer of the new Leadership Development Division of the American Society of Engineering Education.
A former management professor, Niņo has published on the subject of leadership, focusing specifically on the topics of organizational culture, ethics, and the development of professional skills. He has conducted research in high technology environments and is currently interested in exploring how leadership is uniquely developed among engineers and engineering organizations. He has taught leadership since 1998 at the undergraduate, professional master's, executive, and doctoral levels. As a consultant, Niņo has advised senior corporate leaders and elected officials in both the U.S. and Mexico. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also earned his B.A., B.B.A., and M.A. degrees.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.
Links & Resources
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