Course 1: Management Science for Engineering Management
The overall learning objective of this course is the introduction of various Management Science (MS) techniques (formulations and algorithms) for manufacturing, service, and public sectors. MS can be considered as a group of state-of the art management tools to enhance administrative capabilities of managers and corporate executives in various organizations. In this class, it is expected that our students obtain various analytical capabilities to formulate and theoretically explore economic and managerial issues. The managerial skills discussed in this class are useful in various decision making situations within the perspective of relational marketing (e.g., effective interactions with peers, technologists, and customers).
Compared with a General MBA Program Operations Management Course. An important feature, compared with graduate classes in other business schools, is that this class is based on theoretical aspects of MS techniques. Specific topics relevant for working scientists and engineers include:
- Formulation of MS problems in the context of the underlying mathematics of solution algorithms
- Discussion of birth and death processes that allows for generalization to complex systems
- Overall connection with theoretical foundations that provides students with a fundamental understanding of critical skills utilized by MS professionals
This approach, which is possible because of the backgrounds of the students in the New Mexico Tech MEM program, differs from the conceptual basis for the Operations Management course found in many general MBA program core requirements. This course also provides the foundation for NMT MEM elective courses, such as the Energy Markets and Policy course, that have been developed based on our unique areas of research and expertise.
Course 2: Financial Management
The Financial Management course in the NMT MEM program is directed toward development of cash-flow models for risky, innovative projects. Spreadsheet models are used to generate pro-forma analyses of prospective projects. Once students have developed templates encompassing key variables, probability models – and modeling – are implemented. Monte Carlo simulation is then used to generate proforma distributions for key variables such as Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, and Value at Risk. Discount rates are discussed in the context of certainty equivalents, rather than conventional finance
approaches such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model.
Compared with a Conventional General MBA Corporate Finance Core Course. The key difference between EMGT 502 and a conventional MBA Corporate Finance course – such as is typical in many MBA curricula – is the emphasis on project-level decision making. Specific distinctive topics that are relevant for technology managers evaluating investment in new projects and/or innovations include:
- Development and use of spreadsheet models of financial statements
- Development of probability models for critical risky variables
- Use of risk aversion levels to determine discount rates in a portfolio context
- Use of Monte Carlo Simulation to develop distributions for project evaluation
Analytic approaches to assessment of risk and return in the context of individual or firm risk tolerances differentiates this course from the more conceptual approach encountered in MBA Corporate Finance core courses. The introduction of spreadsheet-based Monte-Carlo simulation models provides the foundation for both advanced, unique (to the NMT MEM program) elective courses based on a complex-systems view of financial markets. The analytical techniques gained in this course also provide the foundation for many student independent study projects.
Course 3: Technology Marketing
Technology marketing is designed to provide an advanced understanding of the marketing mix variables (the 4 Ps: product, price, place and promotion) relative to technology-driven markets and products. The overriding objective is to provide students with a stateof-the-art curriculum for assessing the value of new technologies and anticipating their future impact in the marketplace. Thus we focus on an interactive relationship with buyers; identifying new product opportunities, and configuring and differentiating products and services in accord with the potential growth of consumer and business markets.
Compared with a similar MBA Program Marketing core course. The conceptual content of the course differentiates itself from the standard MBA core marketing course by examining the marketing mix variables (the 4 Ps: product, price, place and promotion) relative to technology-driven markets and products. We consider the following topics:
- How high-tech products create value for businesses and consumers
- How consumers value changes in product/service bundles
- How high-tech firms develop/retain competitive advantage
- How regulatory and anti-trust policies impact the pricing, promotion and distribution of technology-driven products and services
The analytical content of the course differentiates itself from the standard MBA core marketing course by applying the following tools:
- Multinomial logit analysis of product attribute and values
- Microeconomic analysis of market segmentation and targeting
- Real option analysis and managerial game theory to investigate the R&D investment and development decision
- Market response modeling using joint forecasting/simulation of the marketing mix
- Microeconomic analysis of product and industry cost structures
Finally, the course differentiates itself from the conventional marketing curriculum in treating the marketing problems posed by emerging technology from the perspective of both large incumbent firms and small start-up organizations.
Course 4: Managing Technology Resources
The focus of this course is management of technical projects and the technically-trained people working on them. Differences Between EMGT 506 and a General MBA Organizational Behavior Course Ideas from Organizational Theory presented in this course are specifically oriented toward managing people and projects in complex technological environments. This course provides students with ideas and techniques needed by technology managers, such as:
- Specific focus on management of new products and processes
- Application of well-known quality management ideas in a technology context
- Understanding how organizational and corporate structures can facilitate innovation
- Implementation of Quality Control techniques in manufacturing Managing projects, firms, and organizations in an environment where innovation is a strategic goal presents unique and complex challenges. Students completing this
- course often choose to implement the techniques and ideas presented in this course for workplace-specific final independent study projects.
Course 5: American Legal System and Intellectual Property
in Technology Organizations
The law and intellectual property course in the NMT MEM program includes an introduction to American jurisprudence and legal procedure. Students develop an understanding of civil law, including theories of negligence, administrative law and contract law. Following the foundations of contract law, the material is taught from the perspective of technology issues including hardware, software, systems integration and functionality. The course includes theories of property law as a foundation for the study of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. The students are engaged in analysis of current court cases to understand the trends in intellectual property law with a focus on supporting business plan development and new product innovation. Unique Characteristics of EMGT 508 Most general MBA programs offer a core business law course oriented toward general business situations, and do not offer core courses with an Intellectual Property component. EMGT 508 is a core requirement which develops in students a working knowledge of patent, copyright and trade secret law. Students gain working knowledge of the trends in IP law that will support product and service planning and development. The unique qualifications of NMT MEM students, their capabilities, and their interests combine to make this course a defining feature of the NMT MEM Program.
- Intersection of Ethics and Innovation
- Intellectual Property (IP) issues in an innovation environment
- The legal environment of innovation
Final Independent Study Project
A final independent study project is required of all NMT MEM program participants. This requirement provides MEM students with the opportunity to use ideas and techniques from the program to define, model, and solve a technology-management problem. Working professionals are encouraged to use the project to assume a leadership role in addressing and solving a workplace-related issue or problem.
Examples of some recent final independent study projects include:
- Assessment of power-generation alternatives for a major, diversified source electric utility. This project used decision analysis in a real options context to assess technological alternatives in potentially difficult regulatory and rapidly-changing technology environments
- Use of real options to determine optimal decision-variable vectors for triggering the decision to proceed with enhanced oil recovery in a mature Southeastern New Mexico oilfield
- Use of Monte Carlo simulation to develop cost and benefit data for the marketing group of a New Mexico startup company
- Defining best practices for resourcing and planning a high technology production program
- Development of an improved risk management process for Department of Defense (DOD) projects
- Designing a blueprint for manufacturing process transfers in industrial corporations
- Development of a formalized process to design, fabricate, test, inspect and integrate cable connections for an advanced space satellite system
- Performance evaluation of high-tech companies for strategic development
This requirement is a major differentiating factor for the NMT MEM program vis-à-versa a general MBA degree. Most (if not all) MBA programs have no formal major project stipulation in their curricula. This NMT MEM requirement has resulted in projects that have been well-received at their organizations, as well as papers presented at research conferences.