It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.
Our program for early career professionals focuses on the needs of engineers and other technical professionals who are leading others for the first time or aspiring to do so. We know from research that transitioning from individual contributor to first-time manager is one of the most promising but challenging promotions in a leader's career. The promise of this promotion comes from assuming greater responsibility and potential for impact. The challenge comes from learning to work in an entirely new way; from relying solely on oneself to deliver individual results to leading others to deliver collective results. This program is designed to prepare individuals to succeed in this transition.
The course begins with an overview of what differentiates leadership from management and then progresses through a series of practical skills that are crucial for leading in today's engineering and high technology environments. In addition to short modules on specific skills, the course includes two hands-on learning projects: one individual project on "communicating a team vision" and one group project focusing on a topic of special interest (topics of interest to participants that are not covered in the program). Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on experiential learning and self-reflection. Mirroring the practice of leadership itself, this course is high-contact and high-energy.
Takeaways from this course include:
- Developing a foundation of skills for leading teams in engineering and technology environments
- The ability to create and manage positive interpersonal and group relationships
- Articulating a personal point of view about what it means to lead others
Who should attend:
This course is targeted to engineering, science, and technology professionals with less than 10 years of experience who are supervising others for the first time, or aspiring to do so. Those who should attend include: design engineers, research engineers, project engineers or managers, product engineers, members of technical staffs, applied scientists, and research scientists.
Laptops/devices with word processing capability are recommended. Advance materials may be sent by email or posted to the MIT Stellar system; please expect an email from the course directors with information about how to access these materials.
Day One — Fundamentals of Engineering Leadership for Early Career Professionals
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Introduction to program instructors, participants, and learning goals. (Niño and Schindall)
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Fundamentals of engineering leadership: Overview of perspectives on management and leadership and implications for early career professionals. (Niño)
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Lunch
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Creating a team vision: Review and practice methods for creating a shared team vision. Review "Communicating a Vision" assignment. (Niño)
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM: Tour of MIT
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM: Break
3:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Introduce group project: Discuss how program participants will form groups to address topics of special interest.
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM: Learning from reflection: Participants review, assess, and document day's key learnings. (Niño)
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Special networking event (light buffet will be provided)
Day Two — Leading Engineering Project Teams
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Project leadership: Identifying and addressing challenges of leading complex engineering project teams. (Magarian)
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM: Break
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Project leadership – continued (Magarian)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Communicating an inspiring vision: Discuss strategies and tactics for communicating an inspiring team vision. (Eng)
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM: Break
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and document day's key learnings.
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Form special interest groups and begin working on group projects.
Day Three — Motivation and Negotiations
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Creating a motivating environment: Building team drive to act in support of group mission and goals. (Niño)
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break
10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Building positive relationships: Discuss strategies for building strong relationships within teams. (Feiler)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Managing conflict and negotiations: Assessing your personal conflict management styles and practicing negotiation skills. (Niño)
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM: BREAK
3:15 PM – 3:45 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and document day's key learnings.
3:45 PM – 5:15 PM: Group work on projects and final presentations.
Day Four — Managing Oneself and Decision Making
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Managing oneself: Building a foundation for continuing to develop one's leadership capabilities. (McGonagle)
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break
10:15 AM – Noon: Engineering reasoning: Applying qualitative models of decision making; using elements, standards, traits, and processes of critical thinking in engineering to assess decision-making. (Schindall)
Noon – 1:15 PM: Special guest lecture: Ray Stata
1:15 PM – 3:00 PM: Vision presentations and feedback: Individuals will deliver their vision presentations and receive feedback from others.
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Break
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM: Vision presentations and feedback (cont.)
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Group work on projects and final presentations.
Day Five — Final Presentations
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Special topics presentations: Groups will deliver their final presentations on engineering leadership topics of special interest.
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break
10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Special topics presentations (cont.)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Course reflection: Participants reflect on week's activities and assess program. Awarding of Certificates of Completion.
Class runs 8:30 am - 5:00 pm each day except Friday when course ends at 1:00 pm.
There is a networking dinner on Monday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
MISSION OPERATIONS ENGINEER, NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
"The class was very nicely structured, with more practical advice than theory. I came out of it with concepts that I could apply immediately in my workplace. I also liked the format - the lecturing was kept to a minimum, and concepts were reinforced using hands-on exercises. This was a focused course that outlined practical concepts. The course itself taught useful methods, and it also provided a basis for future learning. As such, I would recommend this class for any young engineer."
VALIDATION ENGINEER II, SHIRE HGT
"The course content was formalized in a way that was very clear, made a lot of sense, and had examples as to how to put these theories into practice. I learned highly valuable tools to make me a more effective leader at my job."
PROJECT ENGINEER, STRYKER IMT
"The course was very well designed and executed. It gave me both practical skills and insightful perspectives. The course was very engaging beginning to end. I have already started recommending this class to my colleagues."
TEAM LEADER, SCHLUMBEGER
"It provides real-life experiences such as how to manage and act as a manager. In addition, exercises given through the course provide an understanding of how the course tools are being used and at the same time, reflect on some of the different methods that the different teams employed. Lastly, the sharing of different organizational ways of leadership was also very interesting and enlightening."
David Niño, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer in the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, where he heads leadership education for graduate students across the Institute. He is strongly committed to the development of leadership among engineers and other professionals in technology and is active in an international consortium of engineering leadership centers. He is also a founding officer of the Engineering Leadership Development Division of the American Society of Engineering Education.
Prior to MIT, Dr. Niño was a faculty member in the schools of engineering and business at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He was director of Rice’s university-wide program in leadership development and later played a leading role in designing and establishing the university’s first four-year academic certificate in engineering leadership. He also organized a premier international conference on engineering leadership, which garnered participation from the President of the National Academy of Engineering, 28 universities, and leading engineering companies such as Boeing, NASA, and Shell.
Dr. Niño has served as an advisor and board member to startups and has consulted with managers and senior executives from many industries and governments. His current research interests focus on how leadership is uniquely developed among engineers and within high technology organizations. He has published on the topics of organizational culture, ethics, and the development of management and leadership skills. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also earned his B.A., B.B.A., and M.A. degrees.
Co-Director, Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program
Professor Schindall re-joined the MIT faculty in June of 2002 after a 35 year career in the defense, aerospace, and telecommunications industries. His research includes the invention and development of a nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitor which holds the promise of being superior to electrochemical batteries as a means of efficient regenerative electrical energy storage, and he has also supervised research on dynamic simulation and reliability analysis of complex safety-critical systems.
He has co-developed and taught a required senior course in communication skills, including units on conceptual thinking, giving presentations, how to be effective in industry, cross-cultural skills, and engineering ethics, and he is developing a course on engineering design. As co-director of the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, Dr. Schindall is actively engaged in a program to enhance, expand, focus, and disseminate the teaching of engineering design and leadership within the MIT School of Engineering.
Prior to joining MIT, Schindall was VP and Chief Technology Officer of Loral Space and Communications (a manufacturer and operator of commercial satellites), Sr. VP and Chief Engineer for Globalstar (a 48 satellite LEO mobile phone system), and President of Loral Conic (a manufacturer of telemetry systems for missiles and satellites). Dr. Schindall received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1963, 1964, and 1967. During his graduate years he was lecturer and wrote the text for a 140 student introductory electronics course, received an award for excellence in teaching, and was chief engineer for WBCN, a commercial FM radio station.
Tony Eng is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He graduated from MIT with degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics and Biology. He teaches courses and runs workshops in oral communication at MIT and elsewhere.
John Feiler joined the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program as Leadership Specialist and Student Programs Coordinator in July 2015. He previously served for over 26 years as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and brings extensive experience developing engineering leaders. Among his relevant positions in the Army were as the First Sergeant of a 90+ soldier Engineer Company in Iraq and his service throughout the United States, Europe, Korea and the Middle East as an Engineering Platoon Sergeant with the 1st, 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions.
John is passionate about developing leaders and has spent over four years of his military career on college campuses or instructing leadership for the U.S. Army where he was directly involved in the instruction, advising, mentoring and coaching of emerging leaders and students. During his time as the Senior Instructor of Military Science with West Virginia University’s Army ROTC program, he was responsible for the leadership and professional development of hundreds of students from West Virginia, Waynesburg and Fairmont State Universities as they progressed on their 4-year journey to becoming Commissioned Officers in the United States Army.
John is a decorated combat-veteran with nearly 3-years of experience in leading engineering soldiers in combat for which he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals and the Combat Action Badge. Additionally, the U.S. Army has presented him individual medals for Meritorious Service, Commendation or Achievement on over 25 occasions.
John is a graduate of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Primary, Basic and Advanced Leadership Development Courses, the U.S. Army’s Recruiting Management, Instructor, Battle Staff and Equal Opportunity Leaders courses and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University.
Jim Magarian is an Engineering Leadership Instructor on the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program staff. He joins the program staff after more than nine years in industry as an engineering manager and mechanical engineer in the aerospace/defense sector.
Jim holds his BS and MS in mechanical engineering as well as an MBA. While in industry, he specialized in mechanical design and packaging of airborne electronic equipment, aircraft systems integration, system qualification flight testing, and project management. In his most recent position, Jim led a staff of electrical and mechanical engineers at BAE Systems, Inc.
Jim’s graduate research focused on process optimization and real-time quality control for engine block manufacture for the automotive industry. He worked with engineers at General Motors Powertrain/Metal Casting Technologies on a methodology for identifying abnormalities during the lost-foam casting process.
Prior to joining MIT, Jim helped develop training materials for a corporate leadership development program. In addition to his passions as an engineer and engineering leadership educator, Jim is an enthusiast of commercial and military aviation. He also enjoys playing the drums.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.
|Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (40%)||40|
|Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (20%)||20|
|Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (40%)||40|
|Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (20%)||20|
|Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (40%)||40|
|Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (40%)||40|
|Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (50%)||50|
|Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (40%)||40|
|Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (10%)||10|