case western reserve university

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Case program is national model that breeds success for graduating students

The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME) at Case Western Reserve University is reporting one success story after another this year. According to its 2004 annual report, TiME graduated its second set of master’s of engineering and management (MEM) students last year – not only a larger graduating class than in 2003, but an even more successful second year of job placement, with 71 percent of its graduates placed in high-paying jobs.

The MEM program, described by the Ohio Board of Regents as a “national model” for its emphasis on providing companies with engineers who have the people management skills needed to be effective in today's workplace, also is designed to help the graduate quickly integrate technical solutions to meet the needs of a company’s bottom line. Case is the only university in the country to offer a fully integrated academic program. The program treats engineering and management as they occur in the real world.

As business becomes more technologically sophisticated, the key change agents in business find themselves leading their organizations with the technology they manage, says A. Dale Flowers, co-director of TiME and a professor of operations management at the Weatherhead School of Management. That means a shift in focus from tactical application of engineering and technology to strategic business development driven by technology.

“Engineering and business management do not happen independently in industry,” Flowers said. “For the first time, they are fully integrated into a 42 credit hour program that only takes three semesters to complete. It’s clear that this new breed of engineer has been discovered by corporations all over the country because our placement activities have exploded in the last year.”

The combination of a better economy and the success of TiME’s first class led to 71 percent of 2004 graduates receiving quality job offers, Flowers says. Including signing bonuses, the range of reported first year compensation for 2004 MEM graduates averaged between $55,000 and $77,500. Some of the companies hiring the recent graduates include Accenture, Newell Rubbermaid, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Automation, IBM, PCC Airfoils, Dow Chemical, Eaton Corp., Hyland Software and the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

“Graduates of this program will quickly contribute to not only the technology of an organization but also to its bottom line,” Flowers said. “The early returns for MEM students graduating in 2005 suggest a further dramatic improvement in placement results, indicating that companies like our ‘business-minded engineers.’ They’ll be able to take on additional responsibility more rapidly than their peers who have not had the integrated training.”

Gary Wnek, co-director of TiME and the Joseph F. Toot Jr. Professor of Engineering at the Case School of Engineering, said TiME and its MEM program are continuing to make “excellent progress” toward its vision of becoming known worldwide as the place to come to integrate engineering and management.

“This is not students going over to the management school and taking courses there and then figuring how it fits together with engineering,” Wnek said. “These two sets of disciplines have a special relationship unlike that of any other set. Engineers and managers work hand-in-hand in industrial organizations all over the world to invent products and services of benefit to society and to bring them to market in both a socially responsible and profitable manner. It is important to educate engineers who can hit the ground running, and to offer students more than the standard technical skills engineering students usually get.”

The MEM program has been praised by business and education leaders as a prototype for budding programs at other universities.

“I think it is obvious to everyone in the academic and business communities that the MEM program at Case has become a national model,” said Harry Andrist, director of research and graduate programs at the Ohio Board of Regents. “The university has every reason to expect truly exciting developments to grow out of this program. The MEM program has already provided direct support for Northeast Ohio’s efforts to position itself as a leader in regional economic development.”

The Institute for Management and Engineering at Case, formerly known as The Institute for the Integration of Management and Engineering, brings together the resources of the Case School of Engineering and Weatherhead School of Management. TiME’s mission is to foster the integration of these disciplines through academic programs, technology transfer and scholarly research. Besides the MEM program, TiME manages the $100,000 CASE Business Launch Competition each spring. The competition promotes and supports the development and formation of new start-up technology-based ventures in Northeast Ohio and to provide entrepreneurial experiences to students in the TiME academic program as well as entrepreneurs from the area.

 

About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work. http://www.case.edu.