An engineering innovation can have a ripple effect that is felt far and wide. It can make an impact on individuals or even on an entire society. From the advent of the first horseless, steam-powered carriages to today’s driverless vehicles, from the electronic pacemaker which could only fire for three hours in 1958, to today’s nickel-sized pacemakers that get both chambers of the heart working quickly, engineers have built some of the most life-changing inventions of the modern world.
Now, in a world facing a pandemic, a climate crisis and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need many more engineers who can rise to meet growing societal demands. There are more renewable energy systems, robots to disinfect hospital rooms and smart home machines to be built – the world is counting on the engineering profession once more to take the lead.
It will take knowledge and skills to lead technical organisations or processes into the future – and engineering managers with the right qualifications and advanced knowledge will be the ones who will be able to take this on.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has one of the oldest and most established graduate-level engineering management programme that leverages an engineer’s education and experience in applying technology to solve business problems. It was designed to provide practising engineers with an educational experience that balances technical depth with: leadership, project management, ethical and legal perspectives, team relations, organisational behaviour, and more. It can be conducted online and culminates in either a graduate certificate, a master’s degree or a doctoral degree.
Product engineering specialist Jason Brawner had always wanted to go back to university to earn his advanced degree in engineering. As a husband and father of three, however, life commitments held him back. Then he found out about UT’s engineering management programmes. “The University of Tennessee offered a master’s programme that seemed to be in touch with modern-day manufacturing practices. I felt that this would help me apply the things I have experienced within the industry to the applications I would be learning to utilise with the programme,” Brawner shares.
Alum Paul Rengifo concurs. The industrial engineering and engineering management programme expanded his repertoire of analytical, finance, and economic-related skills. “I now better understand the terminology and the finance calculations used in our budget sessions. I am better able to use my economics knowledge to put together project justifications. I use FMEAs and fishbone diagrams with more frequency to help me with problem solving, etc,” he says.
The best part? Students like Brawner and Rengifo were able to access a great curriculum at a distance, at their own pace and learn from one of the most experienced online faculty around. To make sure students who are learning from home get the full experience, the university utilises electronic media for recording and interaction, ensuring distance learners never miss out. Online material and recorded lectures and seminars allows one to “go to class” when busy schedules permit.
“The online course format was excellent; despite the distance, I was able to communicate with my professors and successfully execute group projects. I believe this virtual experience will be valuable experience and preparation for engaging with colleagues in our global society. Platforms like Google Drive and Slack do not let distance limit productivity, and Google Hangouts proved to be an effective way to host a virtual meeting,” says Michelle Halsted, who completed a graduate certificate in engineering management.
The online experience was designed for people like Brawner, Rengifo and Halsted, working professionals who are looking to upskill and gain mastery in their fields. What makes it even easier for professionals to choose this option is how affordable it is. Non-Tennessee residents are charged a nominal US$75 per credit hour above in-state tuition fee, a financially feasible figure that is within the tuition benefit many UT students – who work and live in geographically diversified locations – receive from their employers.
For students who are only looking to learn virtually for a certain amount of time, or while waiting for their US study visa to be approved, the option to move to campus grounds to complete your course will always be there. Students can also complete the programme in the US with an OPT experience.
To study at UT is to study with a university that embodies excellence through their teachings, research, scholarship, creativity, outreach and engagement. With UT’s online engineering management programme, you’ll be able to do it all: be part of this dynamic university and attend to your professional and personal commitments. To find out more about this Nationally Top Ranked programme, click here.