Sunday, March 2, 2014

Engineering Management - The Definition, Scope and Content


What is Engineering Management? Definition,
Engineering Management Journal,
American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) Handbook
Books, Articles and Papers

Definition of Engineering Management

by Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.

Engineering management is management applied to functions, departments, and organizations where engineering is the primary technical skill. (Narayana Rao)  31st January 2010

Management - Definition

Management of an organization is the process of establishing objectives and goals of the organization periodically, designing the work system and the organization structure, and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish their aims and objectives and goals of the organization effectively and efficiently (Narayana Rao). (3rd December 2008) ( Management - Definition and Process )
The above definition was a modification of the definition given by Koontz and O'Donnell.

The definition implies the following.

(i) Management is a process.
(ii) Management applies to every kind of organization, government, profit making, or nonprofit making.
(iii) It applies to managers at all levels in the organization.
(iv) Management is concerned with effectiveness and efficiency.  Effectiveness is producing the product or service the customer wants in business context with the required functional benefits and product attributes at the price he is willing to pay. Efficiency is minimization of resources to produce the saleable output.

The following functions or departments are natural choices for engineering management

Research and Development
Design department
Process Planning department
Tool Design department
Production departments
Maintenance departments
Utilities departments
Vendor development department
Industrial Engineering department
Information systems departments
Safety Engineering department
Environmental Engineering department
After Sales Service Department in case of manufactured products
Project Construction
Operation of Power Plants
Operation of Telecommunications Facilities

At organizational levels the following are natural choices for Engineering Management

Engineering companies
Manufacturing companies
Power Plants
Civil Construction Organizations
Telecommunications services
Software companies
Transport companies

 Other Explanations and Definitions of Engineering Management


“Engineering Management is the discipline that addresses making and implementing decisions for strategic and operational leadership in current and emerging technologies and their impact on interrelated systems.”

IEEE, “Editorial: Research and Education Characteristics of the Engineering Management Discipline,” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, vol. 37, no. 2, 1990, p. 1.

Based on the above definition, and other literature Hongyi Sun et al. concluded that Engineering Management can be expected to cover the following topics:

• Management of engineering projects
• Management of the design process
• Personnel and communication skills for engineers
• Management of scientific methods for engineering
• Human resources for engineering
• Variation, quality, and reliability

(  )

The ABET  Engineering Criteria 2000 requires that: “the Engineering Management curriculum must emphasize the application of the management function in the technological setting while recognizing the basic and applied sciences in engineering systems. Emphasis shall be placed on the engineering relationships between
management tasks of organizing, staffing and the human element in production, research and service organizations.”

(“Engineering Criteria 2000: Criteria for Accrediting Programs in Engineering in the USA”, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, USA, 1997.)


Engineering Management is a specialized form of management that is required to successfully lead engineering or technical personnel and projects.
•Management of technical functions
•Direct supervision of engineers and/or the engineering function
•Engineering managers typically require training and experience in both general management and the specific engineering disciplines that will be used by the engineering team to be managed

Included in a presentation by Muhammad Asif Akhtar,

As an MSEMT student, you will learn how to lead technology projects as well as manage teams, engineering functions, and companies.  (University of Souther California)

Engineering management professionals deal with the planning, organization, scheduling, monitoring and control of engineering projects. (Univerisity of the Pacific)


Kansas University College of Engineering

What is Engineering Management?

A graduate program designed specifically for engineers and scientists who want to add management skills and knowledge to their technical undergraduate base. It’s not as technical as a master’s in engineering nor as general as an MBA—it’s the intersection of technology and management.

The Engineering Management Mission

The mission of the Master of Science in Engineering Management (EMGT) program is to prepare technical managers from fields of engineering, science, math and computer science to manage more effectively within technologically-based organizations and to promote entrepreneurial activities in the formation of new business enterprises.

The EMGT program integrates management with technology by focusing on three dimensions.

TECHNICAL: an understanding of and proficiency in engineering and science.

HUMAN: the ability to build a collaborative effort within a group.

CONCEPTUAL: the ability to apply analytical thought to the management process and to enterprise as a total system.

Why a Graduate Program in Engineering Management?

The scope and complexity of engineering management responsibilities has changed dramatically during the past 10 years.

Stiff competition in the marketplace and the need to eliminate the trade and service deficit have put an emphasis on technology. It is the source of new products and improved productivity in manufacturing and service delivery. Today's engineer-manager simply must incorporate technological innovation.

Today's engineer-manager also must satisfy design and safety requirements, manage human resources to boost productivity, use natural resources efficiently, stay on top of other environmental concerns and emphasize total quality in operations.

To meet these challenges, engineers require better education and training in technology management. Precisely these needs led in 1982 to the development of the Master of Science program in Engineering Management at the KU School of Engineering.

Accessed on 31.1.2010

Engineering Management Journal

EMJ is the quarterly journal of the American Society for Engineering Management. EMJ is designed to provide practical, pertinent knowledge on the management of technology, technical professionals, and technical organizations.

EMJ strives to provide value to the practice of engineering management and engineering managers.  EMJ's goals are to:

1.     Improve the practice of technology organizations and engineering management.
2.     Improve the reflective practitioner skills of the practicing engineering manager.
3.     Improve the research skills of faculty to produce useful and relevant knowledge for engineering management.
4.     Improve student's understanding of the engineering management field.

Engineering management focus areas.

To support the practice of engineering management, EMJ publishes papers within key engineering management focus areas. 

Strategic: the processes and tools by which the organization positions itself externally and aligns itself internally. Focus areas include:

Strategic & operations management
Management of design & consulting engineering organizations.

Core: the processes and tools by which the organization produces it products and services for its customers. Focus areas include:

Systems engineering/systems engineering management
Program & project management
Technology management: Research & development, technology transfer, commercialization
Technology management: technology forecasting, emerging technologies
Innovation & new product development.

Enabling: the processes and tools by which the strategic and core processes are supported with the necessary facilities, equipment, personnel, and supporting business functions. Focus areas include:

Organization and work system design
Economics of engineering
Quantitative methods & models
Knowledge & information management
Quality management
Developing engineering management professionals.

Perspectives of the Profession: articles to provide an evolving historical perspective to the profession. Focus areas include:
Engineering management: Past, present, & future

Accessed on 31.1.2010

American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM)

To speak for the Engineering Management profession

Provide Engineering Management Solutions to leadership and management challenges to create and lead technical organizations

Promote the development and practice of the engineering management profession


Be the custodian of the engineering management body of knowledge
Grow and share the engineering management body of knowledge
Guide and enhance engineering management educational programs
Advance the careers of engineering management professionals

Connect engineering management professionals

Foster and recognize engineering management best practices

ASEM Engineering Management Handbook

Purpose Statement
The Engineering Management Handbook provides engineering management practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and analysts with a singular, easy-to-navigate web site through which continuously updated, peer reviewed information and tools can be readily accessed and easily utilized. The EM Handbook will further provide a medium through which users, subject matter contributors, and subject matter experts can communicate on items of mutual interest.

At the 1995 American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) Annual Conference held during September in Washington, D.C., Dr. Greg Sedrick, ASEM Member and then professor (now Acting Dean) in the College of Engineering Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, presented an idea for using the Internet as a information resource and distribution medium for what he referred to as a "virtual engineering management (EM) handbook." This virtual EM handbook, once developed, was envisioned to place a variety of EM "resources" at the ready disposal of practicing engineering managers, engineering management researchers, policy makers, and analysts.


Articles and Papers

Engineering Management: Past, Present, and Future
By Farr, John V
Publication: Engineering Management Journal 
Date: Tuesday, March 1 2005 

Read the article in

by Professor John W H Price PhD, FIEAust
Mechanical Engineering Department,
Monash University, Australia.


The practice of engineering management: a new approach By Patrick D. T. O'Connor, 1994


Related Knols

Industrial Engineering Definitions - 1911 to 2009
"Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort and system efficiency in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved."(Narayana Rao, 2009)
Articles and Books by B.S. Dhillon

Engineering Product Usability: A Review and Analysis Techniques

Design Reliability by Dhillon - ebook available on net (Search)

Robot Safety Analysis

BECOMING LEAN ENTERPRISE: THEORY AND CASE STUDIES - Management Development Programme at NITIE, Mumbai, India by Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.

Updated on 2 March 2014
Published on this blog on 17 March 2012
Original knol - 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2224


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  3. sir, doing masters in engineering management in germany is a better option than US ??

  4. from email:

    what about a project to design a greenfield warehouse and systems requirement to operate a warehouse for a particular company. Is this a valid engineering management project for mater's degree in EM?

  5. Yes. Designing a warehouse and managing the design process is certainly part of engineering management.

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