Two years in the Engineering Management Program at CU-Boulder and a rigorous hands-on project are preparing graduate student Michael Turner for a new business opportunity.
For his capstone project, Turner is developing a customer quality assurance program for one of the largest business hotels in Switzerland. He became interested in the project, and the possibility of establishing his own consulting business, after accompanying CU Professor Jeffrey Luftig on a visit to Lucerne, Switzerland.
Luftig is an internationally recognized business consultant and co-founder of the Center for Business Performance Improvement at CU-Boulder. He also is a visiting professor at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
After learning of the opportunity, Turner jumped at the chance to do a long-term study and analysis of the factors that lead the hotel’s customers to re-book or not—a project that Luftig says could result in as much as a 25 percent increase in re-bookings.
"A lot of people work on improving things they think will help their businesses, but they don't have any relationship to their bottom line," Turner says. That's why it's important to identify the trends and prioritize the factors that correlate directly.
The Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program at CU- Boulder provides a qualitative, graduate-level curriculum that engages and attracts working engineers and technical professionals, providing them with the education to effectively assume management responsibilities, whether as members of a team or within an organization’s formal management structure.
Students may complete the master’s of engineering, or any of 10 graduate certificates and two professional certifications, 100 percent at a distance (participating live or asynchronously), or in the classroom interacting directly with faculty and fellow students.
CU’s Engineering Management Program integrates the technology, policy, and regulatory worlds, completing the set of skills and knowledge that executives and business leaders need. Courses are taught by PhD faculty with executive-level experience in the private sector as part of a curriculum with immediate applicability.
Although the EMP does not engage in traditional research projects, many students and alumni play active roles in research endeavors as part of their curriculum, internships, and careers. EMP students actively participate in market research, statistical modeling, data analysis, and research methods. Many students also are given an opportunity for direct application of their research through participation in EMP’s Center for Business Performance Improvement, a program offering clients world-class professional consultation by university faculty in their area of specialty as well as graduate student project work, depending on the objectives of the organization.
CU-Boulder alumni work across all engineering disciplines and technical industries from aerospace to telecommunications, as well as in government agencies. EMP graduates are working at AT&T, Ball Aerospace &Technologies, COBE Cardiovascular, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, Level 3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Micron Technology, NASA, U.S. West, to name just a few.
Employment of engineering managers is expected to grow 8 percent over the next decade, as fast as the average for all occupations. However, two industries experiencing more rapid growth include biomedical and environmental engineering, presenting the most promising job opportunities for future EMP graduates. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Earnings vary by specialty and level of responsibility. Median annual wages of engineering managers in the U.S. were $115,270 in 2008.