New degree program: technology leadership and innovation

With a focus on globalization and entire technology systems, the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation has restructured its curriculum.

Three separate degree programs are being consolidated into an umbrella major: technology leadership and innovation. Within the major, students will be able to choose from three concentrations: technology systems management, supply chain management technology, and technology leadership.

“All areas will start with a common core of courses that address systems management, leadership and innovation,” said Ragu Athinarayanan, head of the department. “Students can then select an area of specialization to build depth. The program and its concentrations are designed to provide a strong technological background and prepare graduates for an accelerated path to leadership.”

Current degree programs – industrial technology, industrial distribution and organizational leadership – have traditionally had a manufacturing focus. The updated program expands the focus to include all technology-rich organizations.

The new curriculum also includes capstone experiences for each concentration and a globalization requirement for all majors. The capstone experiences will allow students to apply their accumulated knowledge to a real-world project. The globalization experience can be either study abroad or internships with organizations that deal with international or global operations.

The concept of innovation and innovative organizations will be a constant theme across the curriculum as well.

Each of the concentrations builds on the strengths of current programs while expanding their reach.

Technology systems management

The technology systems management concentration will combine technical and human-centered skills to prepare students for leadership roles in engineering operations, from design to implementation. Graduates of the program will have skills that translate to other industries, including healthcare, government agencies, retail, as well as manufacturing. Students will be asked to choose a technology focus as part of the program: quality/reliability, human factors, biometrics, or production/manufacturing management.

Coursework will prepare graduates for professional certifications, such as Certified Quality Engineer, Six Sigma and Total Productive Maintenance.

Supply chain management technology

The focus on this concentration is expanding from distribution to the entire supply chain enterprise. Courses will provide a systems approach where students can understand how each area of the supply chain interacts with or relies on the rest. Within the concentration, students will be able to focus on purchasing, distribution management, sales management, or logistics and materials handling.

Coursework will prepare graduates for professional certifications, such as Professional Sales Certificate, Six Sigma, and those offered by the Association for Operations Management and Institute for Supply Management.

Technology leadership

Within this concentration, students will be able to focus in leadership development, global leadership and leading innovation. Courses will emphasize leadership within technology organizations and global teams, technology strategy and innovation management while adding discussions about legal and policy issues and international standards and regulations.

These changes to the undergraduate program are being finalized now for students who will be freshmen in the fall of 2015. While they are being rolled out, the department will begin to make similar tweaks to the graduate programs.