Mastering engineering management

Posted by ap507 at Apr 11, 2016 10:49 AM |
New University of Leicester Master’s course outfits technical experts with leadership skills

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 11 April 2016

Photographs of students on an industrial visit available from:

Engineers at the University of Leicester are driving skills development in industry with a new degree that equips aspiring leaders with the tools for effective management.

The Master of Engineering Management MEM allows people trained and working in engineering, as well as recent BSc/BEng graduates with no previous industrial experience, to acquire the business and management skills needed to successfully lead projects in industry.

Most undergraduate and postgraduate courses in engineering focus on creating technical experts and there are limited opportunities to develop valuable leadership and team working skills that are sought by employers.

While an MBA might be too broad in approach, the Master of Engineering Management MEM is specifically designed to train and develop future leaders of technological organisations and the unique challenges they face.

Martin Rhodes, Lecturer in Engineering Management at the University, said: “All engineers who wish to progress in a career in industry will have to lead activities or work packages that are part of larger projects. This means they will need the necessary leadership skills to deliver objectives efficiently. The soft skills or people skills, team leading for example, and the technical skills such as project management that enable success as a leader are therefore a critical part of an engineer’s toolkit and a key to employability.”

The MEM course covers a unique combination of technical and business skills essential in the development of innovative solutions to complex technical business challenges. The course is a balance of theory with practical opportunities to demonstrate engineering management capabilities and deliver solutions to real problems through assignments and projects.

It combines modules in management that give an understanding of a generic business framework and language with engineering modules that are specifically aimed at providing the student with an understanding of how engineering and engineering decisions impact on, and improve, engineering business performance.

Modules on systems engineering and engineering project management recognise that all engineering activities are projects and that all products are essentially systems thus skills learned here are essential to all levels of technical leadership.

Other modules are specifically tailored to address ‘emerging skills’ that are becoming increasingly critical to the success of future engineering organisations and will enhance the employability of MEM students. These include Lean Manufacturing, Product and Service design, Cost Management, cost modelling, Value Driven Design and Engineering Business Management.

Martin adds: “The Department of Engineering has taken the bold decision to recruit staff from industry rather than just academia. This means that our educators are practitioners teaching leadership from experience rather than textbooks, with courses based on ‘doing’, not exams.

“This practical approach is relatively novel as these skills are not easily mastered or taught by ‘traditional’ engineers and outside the comfort zones of most engineering academics. Best practice is found in leading edge technology companies and we have attracted staff from such organisations to teach these subjects in a manner that will inspire students.

“These topics are also subject to frequent change and improvement which means teaching staff keep current by engaging with industry and professional bodies regularly to keep them up to date and, crucially, aware of best practice.”

More information, including entry requirements, is available online:


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Martin Rhodes on 0116 252 2570 or

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