New Economy Engineer v.1

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An outline of ideas for educating the engineer of the 21st century - the skills to thrive as a New Economy Engineer

An outline of ideas for educating the engineer of the 21st century - the skills to thrive as a New Economy Engineer

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  • 1. The New Economy Engineer Positioning for a Sustainable and Rewarding Career Gary E. Wnek The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME) Case Western Reserve University gew5@case.edu The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 2. Engineering is Key “…Engineering schools beget engineers. Engineers beget ideas. And ideas beget companies.” Guy Kawasaki, Reality Check (2008) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 3. ‘Engineering 2020’ – Grand Challenges http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=02152008 • Make solar energy affordable • Provide energy from fusion • Develop carbon sequestration methods • Manage the nitrogen cycle • Provide access to clean water • Restore and improve urban infrastructure • Advance health informatics • Engineer better medicines • Reverse-engineer the brain • Prevent nuclear terror • Secure cyberspace • Enhance virtual reality • Advance personalized learning • Engineer the tools for scientific discovery The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 4. Technical Fundamentals are Key It is impossible to address Grand Challenges (or any technology-based challenge, no matter how ‘small’) without strong technical fundamentals, such as thermodynamics, circuits, quantum theory, physical properties of solids, optics, fluid mechanics, physiology, and molecular biology. But… The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 5. Personal Opportunity and Challenge “…Today’s engineer is on a different planet. He or she faces of life of multiple project assignments with an almost interchangeable array of employers, clients, start-ups and established firms; these assignments require an extraordinarily broad set of technical, business, and interpersonal skills performed as part of ever-changing and shifting interdisciplinary teams.” David Goldberg, The Entrepreneurial Engineer (2006) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 6. Personal Opportunity and Challenge “This period is one of the most exciting, opportunity-rich times in history. It is also fraught with disruption and change.” Curtis Carlson and William Wilmot, Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want (2006) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 7. Personal Opportunity and Challenge • There has never been a more exciting time to study, and do, engineering • Engineering is the economic engine for global prosperity • Routine analytical work is being outsourced • Engineers need broad-based skills to compete in a global environment • Be both relevant and unique • It is possible to not only to compete but to thrive The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 8. Important Stuff Beyond the Purely Technical Technical Depth Teamwork Opportunity Analysis Design Thinking Value Creation Intellectual Project Management The Property Necessary for ‘New Economy’ Ethical Leadership Sustainability Successful Engineer Global Thinking Marketing Technology Communication Skills Entrepreneurial Thinking Commercialization Need: The New Economy Engineer The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 9. Three Core Attributes of the New Economy Engineer Ability to analyze (technical as well as business issues) Ability to translate important concepts and Quantitative conclusions into the language of different and qualitative thinking; constituencies (e.g., your boss, investors, Left and right non-technical colleagues, reporters) brain; Analysis + synthesis Ability to perceive new opportunities - connecting disparate ideas from different disciplines in new ways The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 10. Three Core Attributes of the New Economy Engineer Key Words: Analysis Translation ‘softer’ skills, but critically important Perception ‘ATP’ The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 11. Analysis “Engineers in 2020, like engineers of yesterday and today, will possess strong analytical skills. At its core, engineering employs principles of science, mathematics, and domains of discovery and design to a particular challenge and for a practical purpose. This will not change as we move forward.” National Academy of Engineering The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century (2004) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 12. Analysis • Engineering analysis is a fundamental skill • Routine analysis (‘transactional,’ meaning pay in return for calculations or code without a broader context) is readily outsourced • Analysis today should include business- related topics (e.g., statistics and Six Sigma methodologies, and concepts of accounting including time value of money and cash flow) • Analysis in context, with its meaning and implications for all stakeholders, is key The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 13. Translation “…there is a growing need to pursue collaborations with multidisciplinary teams of experts across multiple fields. Essential attributes for these teams include excellence in communication (with technical and public audiences), an ability to communicate using technology, and an understanding of the complexities associated with a global market and social context. Flexibility, receptiveness to change, and mutual respect are essential as well.” National Academy of Engineering The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century (2004) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 14. Translation • To repeat: analysis in context, with its meaning and implications for all stakeholders, is key • Ability to write (short memos, reports, good emails) is important • Ability to speak and present (speak with confidence, use PowerPoint appropriately,* understand your audience) is important *Kawasaki’s ‘10-20-30 rule’: 10 slides per 20 minutes with no smaller than 30 point font Guy Kawasaki, Reality Check (2008) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 15. Translation • Be customer-focused in how you translate technology and analysis into languages others can understand • Practice a lot • Use feedback and criticism to improve • Communicate via your résumé - make sure to focus on the ‘so what?’ factor - what was the impact of past experiences (research, co-ops, internships, employment)? The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 16. Perception “…perception is not something immutably hard-wired into the brain… It is a process that is learned through experience… To see things differently than other people, the most effective solution is to bombard the brain with things it has never encountered before.” Gregory Berns, Iconoclast (2008) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 17. Perception • Our brains are lazy – take shortcuts and make assumptions based on limited information to conserve energy • Can get too comfortable with the familiar • Need fresh experiences and environments to think (perceive) differently (‘out of the box’) • Enable connecting different ideas in new combinations – where most opportunity lies • Multiple and diverse experiences serve as a neural ‘toolkit’ to provide fresh approaches to problems and to connect disparate ideas The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 18. Perception • Look for lots of new experiences: internships, co-ops, research, travel, multi-disciplinary projects, and any connection to the arts • Don’t resist ‘unusual’ assignments simply because they are outside of your major area of expertise • Work to frame and define problems in new ways; frequently definition of the problem is a greater bottleneck that its eventual solution The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 19. Use ‘ATP’ to be Relevant “Work on important customer and market needs, not just what is interesting to you.” Curtis Carlson and William Wilmot, Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want (2006) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 20. Use ‘ATP’ to be Relevant • Must understand needs of multiple constituencies (boss, colleagues, investors, customers, society) • Have a compelling value proposition for all constituencies • Understand the value chain (customers, suppliers, investors, collaborators, co-workers) • Deliver on the value proposition • Analysis, translation and perception are important for success The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 21. Use ‘ATP’ to be Unique Many can do routine analysis (outsourced to lowest bidder); translation of analysis for different audiences will be more broad in quality and scope, leading to more variety; perceiving things/situations in new ways (thinking ‘out of the box’) affords highly unique and personal responses. 10n more personal, more individual, more ‘you’ # of ‘like’ responses Few; limit is 100 Analysis Translation Perception The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 22. A Combination of ‘ATP’ Linked to Needs = Personal Ingenuity • Build skills of translation and perception on a strong technical (engineering) base • Virtually any combination of the three is unique and personal • Combinations are effectively infinite • Couple to value propositions Engineers will be far better able to compete on their own terms in a global economy The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 23. Three Core Attributes of the New Economy Engineer Analysis, Translation, Perception Leverage ‘ATP’ to enhance: Entrepreneurial Thinking Innovation Design Leadership Your Personal Value Proposition The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 24. Entrepreneurial Thinking and Entrepreneurship Most commonly, the term entrepreneur applies to someone who creates value by offering a product or service. Entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and organize their resources effectively to accomplish an outcome that changes existing interactions. Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities. Wikipedia The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 25. Entrepreneurial Thinking and Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurial thinking - creative opportunism leading to success of the enterprise, public benefit, and personal satisfaction and growth. All organizations – companies large and small, educational institutions, governments – need entrepreneurial thinkers. Be resourceful. For example: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/health/16incubators.html?_r=1&ref=science http://www.case.edu/orgs/create/index.htm The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 26. Entrepreneurial Thinking and Entrepreneurship “We don’t have the money, so we have to think.” Ernest Rutherford Look for creative ways to use existing resources and to identify new opportunities. Mitigate risk by careful opportunity assessment (technical, financial, markets, competition) Use ‘ATP’ The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 27. Innovation Innovation is the successful creation and delivery of a new or improved product or service in the marketplace. Or to put it another way, innovation is the process that turns an idea into value for the customer and results in sustainable profit for the enterprise. Curtis Carlson and William Wilmot, Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want (2006) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 28. Innovation Idea → Invention → Innovation (customers) Break down the barriers Barriers include not fully understanding (among other things) markets, customers, value propositions, intellectual property protection, manufacturability, sustainability, and effective project management. ‘ATP’. Note: innovation is a term of economics, not of technology; i.e., there are non-technical innovations such as new business models The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 29. Innovation ‘ATP’ loop can help to feed continuous, sustainable innovation Translation Perception Analysis The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 30. Innovation “Innovation depends on harvesting knowledge from a range of disciplines besides science and technology, among them design, social science, and the arts.” John Kao, Innovation Nation (2007) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 31. Innovation “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Japanese proverb ‘Open Innovation’ aims to leverage collective ideas and talent. Leverages collective ‘ATP’. The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 32. Design “Engineers are not the only professional designers. Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” “Engineering, medicine, business, architecture and painting are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent - not with how things are but with how they might be - in short, with design.” Herbert Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial (1993) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 33. Design Product Design Product Design: 2009 Common View Function and cost Needs not enough Ideas Abundance of choices begs for new ways to Selection differentiate Manufacture Design process non- linear, iterative The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 34. Design 2009 Again: Ability to analyze (technical as well as business issues) Ability to translate important concepts and Quantitative conclusions into the language of different and qualitative thinking; constituencies (e.g., your boss, investors, Left and right non-technical colleagues, reporters) brain Ability to perceive new opportunities - connecting disparate ideas from different disciplines in new ways The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 35. Leadership • Leadership is expected at all levels of an organization, and immediately upon employment (e.g., how you accept responsibility, show respect for others, be mentored and be a mentor) • Even when seeking a job, you can exhibit leadership throughout the process (your level of interest, preparation, interview and follow-up) • Democratic v. autocratic leadership (aspire to the former) • Lead by example The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 36. Ethics and Leadership “There absolutely are absolute rights and wrongs.” Guy Kawasaki Reality Check Ethical leadership is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of title “If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.” Mark Twain The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 37. Your Personal Value Proposition “…companies are looking for candidates with good communication skills and who can demonstrate to employers that they can solve problems specific to the company's goals. We have so many people who are graduating and who have talent, but they're just totally incapable of relating it to the problem that the customer might have…That skill of positioning yourself as a problem solver is what industry is really looking for.” William Suits, ACS career consultant (C&EN, Nov. 17, 2008) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 38. Your Personal Value Proposition A CWRU alum and successful entrepreneur on advice to anyone looking for a job at his company: “Keep pestering me, and be prepared to tell me why I must hire you.” In other words, be both relevant and unique, and communicate well why you are both. Your personal value proposition is to understand how you add value to an organization. Know your customers. The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 39. Your Personal Value Proposition “Luck is seizing an opportunity that you were not looking for.” John Grisham, commencement address, University of Virginia (5/20/07) “Innovation: the ability for individuals, companies and entire nations to continuously create their desired future.” John Kao, Innovation Nation (2007) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 40. Your Personal Value Proposition Luck requires your active participation The ability to analyze, translate and perceive significantly increases your chances of being ‘lucky’ Don’t be afraid of uncertainty, unpredictability, and change Always seek out good mentors Be relevant and unique The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 41. For the New Economy Engineer… The Interdisciplinary Master of Engineering and Management (MEM) Program “The MEM Experience” The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME) http://www.time.case.edu The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 42. Institute Mission The Institute is dedicated to the integration of engineering and management to educate the next generation of business-minded innovators. It seeks to achieve this objective via: Education The Master of Engineering and Management Program Experiential Learning Commercialization Associate Program; Real-Time, Real-World Classroom Projects Industry Corporate Advisory Board; Classroom Projects, Internships; Engaged Alumni The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 43. MEM Curriculum (3 Semesters) Course Title (Credits) Professional Development (3) Project Management (3) Materials and Manufacturing Processes (3) Accounting, Finance, and Engineering Economics (3) Product and Process Design, Development, Delivery (6) Design for Manufacturing and Manufacturing Management (3) Information Technology and Systems (3) Understanding People and Change in Organizations (3) Engineering Statistics and Quality (3) Engineering Entrepreneurship (6) Electives (6) The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 44. MEM Points of Distinction Integrated curriculum and faculty help students acquire the critical skills needed in engineering management tracks and leadership programs. Experiential real-world projects in product design, quality management, and entrepreneurship Growing Commercialization Associate Program (CA Program) provides valuable experiential learning, which enhances the curriculum in real-time. Unique value-added group experiences for the “business- minded” engineer such as Lake Effect Innovation, LLC and the CREATE design group. Accelerated career tracks and unique employment opportunities The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 45. MEM Points of Distinction Engineering MEM Design Management The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 46. More on The New Economy Engineer http://www.mem.case.edu/index.html Blog coming soon The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 47. References and Selected Readings Berns, Gregory (2008), Iconoclast, Harvard Business Press Brunner, Robert and Stewart Emery (2009), Do You Matter?, FT Press Carlson, Curtis and William Wilmot (2006), Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want, Crown Business Books Friedman, Thomas (2006), The World is Flat, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Goldberg, David (2006), The Entrepreneurial Engineer, Wiley Interscience; see also http://www.entrepreneurialengineer.blogspot.com Graves, Heather and Roger Graves (2007), A Strategic Guide to Technical Communication, Broadview Hawkins, Jeff (2004), On Intelligence, Times Books Kawasaki, Guy (2008), Reality Check, Portfolio The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009
  • 48. Liker, Jeffrey and Michael Hoseus (2008), Toyota Culture, McGraw-Hill McGirt, Ellen (2008), “How Cisco’s CEO John Chambers is Turning the Tech Giant Socialist.” http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/131/revolution -in-san-jose.html. Norman, Donald (2007), The Design of Future Things, Basic Books Pink, Dan (2006), A Whole New Mind, Riverhead Books Rover, Diane (2005), “New Economy, New Engineer,” J. Engineering Education., Oct. issue Schramm, Carl J. (2006), The Entrepreneurial Imperative, Collins Press Shirky, Clay (2008), Here Comes Everybody, Penguin Press Tapscott, Don and Anthony D. Williams (2008), Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Portfolio The New Economy Engineer ©TiME 2009