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Responding to emerging demands of the global economy

October 1, 2007

An expanding global marketplace is creating greater demand for expanded education and expertise. Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and W. P. Carey School of Business are combining forces to respond to that emerging need.

In January, the schools will begin classes for a second online program offering graduate degrees in both business and engineering.

Earlier this year the schools launched a online program offering a master’s of business administration and a master’s of science in engineering with a focus on electrical engineering.

The new program offers the same MBA degree with a master’s of science degree with a focus on industrial engineering.

It will enable students to earn the degrees in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost than if the two degrees are pursued separately.

The program is designed for working professionals with undergraduate engineering, science or mathematics degrees and at least one year of professional work experience who are beginning to take on management responsibilities in their jobs.

It also is geared for technical managers who want to stay current in their technological fields and acquire more business expertise.

Applications are due by Dec. 1 to enroll in classes that begin after a Jan. 8-11 student orientation at ASU’s Tempe campus.

Global economic trends, more complex business competition and rapid technological innovation are broadening the role of industrial engineering in the 21st century, says Ronald Askin, chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Industrial engineers are being called on to expand their expertise into the business side of many industries, in particular financial, retail, manufacturing, semiconductor, telecommunications and health care services, Askin says.

Intel, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Raytheon and Boeing are among corporations partnering with ASU to produce students with the range of business and technology skills necessary to compete in such an environment.

“Our corporate partners are seeking a flexible, collaborative program from the university’s business and engineering schools that can develop managers who will drive innovation from both technical and strategic economic perspectives,” says Jeff Goss, executive director of the Fulton School of Engineering Center for Professional Development. The center develops and manages online education programs.

“By combining expertise from business and engineering faculties, the dual-degree program will offer students the opportunity to learn about both the management methods and technical tools essential to four industrial engineering specializations,” explains professor John Fowler, associate chair of the industrial engineering department, who has taught in the W.P. Carey MBA Program for the past 10 years.

The specializations from which students can choose are:

– Information systems and management systems engineering

– Operations research and production systems

– Quality and reliability engineering

– Logistics/supply chain engineering

Students will be arranged in teams for studies in eight courses in the MBA program and eight courses in the engineering program over a three-year period.

“I applaud ASU for combining their tier-one MBA and industrial engineering programs into a dual-degree program,” says Edward Jaeck, an engineer with Intel’s Sort Test Technology Development group. An ASU alumnus, Jaeck earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and a graduate degree in industrial engineering.

“As competitors such as China continue to expand their manufacturing capabilities, our industry needs the people who are working with suppliers to have a thorough understanding of both the commercial side of supplier management and the quality engineering side,” Jaeck says.

“A dual-degree program from ASU that includes advanced education in supply chain management and quality engineering should be a world-class program,” he says.

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Fulton Schools

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