Integrating the Engineering Manager
Engineering managers are pulled in many directions. Small doses of Continuing Professional Development, CPD, can follow those directions, but when the managers want to build up to a higher degree the choice available often forces them to specialise. The industry based Automotive integrated graduate development scheme, IGDS MSc at Hertfordshire – one of the largest of its kind in the country - manages to focus on Design, Manufacture and Management. Adding the varied content of modules within this part-time programme to the managers’ already busy scedules creates a risk that the learners themselves may compartmentalise their development, treating each module as a self-contained unit and not consolidating the total experience. Positioning an MSc in between the specialist engineering degree and the MBA, requires a balance of depth, breadth and integration. This paper discusses how this balance can be achieved. There is the blend of taught modules across a number of disciplines. The choice of external contributors keeps the programme fresh. The unique integrating examination and the industry based but academically stretching project bring the learning together. Industry and Government provide expert speakers who input directly into the modules. This year the module on Product Engineering mushroomed to the status of a national conference. An external audience increased the depth of discussion in the sessions. The inclusion of the industrial mentors at the final project presentation seminar also encourages another conference atmosphere and demonstrates the vitality of the project part of the course. The effectiveness of the whole programme can be seen in the career moves of its graduates and the associated impact on the sponsoring companies.