Engineering Leadership for Mid-Career Professionals

Lead Instructor(s): 

David Niño
Joel Schindall


TBD Summer 2017

Course Length: 

5 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Closed

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.

This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.


Are you gaining greater responsibilities but also feeling increasing levels of pressure in your organizations? One source of these pressures is the unprecedented pace of change that senior engineers and technology professionals are experiencing in today’s global context. While this environment is a major source of stress, it also gives rise to extraordinary opportunities for capable and visionary leadership; leadership that energizes people, unleashes creativity, galvanizes teams, and produces results effectively.

Our mid-career program is designed to equip you with the skills and perspectives needed to lead yourself and lead others in today’s challenging environments. You will improve your leadership skills by learning from the latest breakthroughs in the practice of leadership within a program that draws on many learning methods, especially experiential learning coupled with feedback. Like the practice of leadership itself, this course will be high-contact and high-energy.

Engineering Leadership for Mid-Career Professionals will enable you to:

  • Enhance your understanding of your leadership strengths and weaknesses.
  • Develop and communicate an inspiring and distinctive leadership point of view.
  • Discover new ways to lead and motivate others in technical environments.
  • Create high performing cultures that foster innovation and quality.
  • Manage conflicts through negotiations and constructive dialogues.

Who should attend:

This course targets engineers and technology professionals with seven or more years of experience who are managing others, preparing to manage others, leading projects or initiatives, or who are preparing for these types of roles. Those who attend include: Managers, engineers, project engineers, technical staff, crew chiefs, administrators, directors, researchers, and scientists.

Computer requirements:

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.

Program Outline: 

Day One – Engineering Leadership for Mid-Career Professionals (Monday, August 1, 2016)

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Introduction to program and week: Introduction to program instructors, participants, and learning goals. (Niño and Schindall)

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Leadership development for mid-career professionals: Based on a personality assessment, we review characteristics of successful engineering leaders and discuss how to use the assessment to individualize your development. (Niño)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Leading effectively: Discuss how to effectively lead other managers and the common traps that cause mid-career leaders to fail in executing their roles. (Niño)

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM: Break

2:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Developing an engineering leader’s point of view: Review what is uniquely important about leadership in engineering and how engineers can develop their own leadership perspective. (Schindall)

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM: Developing from our program: Participants review, assess, and action plan based on the day’s activities. (Niño)

5:15 PM – 5:30 PM: Introduce group project: Discuss how program participants will form groups to address topics of special interest.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Special Networking Event (light buffet will be provided)

Day Two – Creating a Strategic Vision and Leading Decision-Making Teams (Tuesday, August 2, 2016)  

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Leading decision-making teams: Review and practice methods for leading decision making in management teams (Niño)

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 PM – 12:00 PM: Creating a strategic vision: Review and practice methods for creating a shared vision as a mid-level engineering leader.  Review “Communicating a Leadership Point of View” assignment (Niño)

12:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Communicating a leadership point of view: Discuss strategies and tactics for communicating an inspiring vision as a mid-level engineering leader. (Eng)

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and action plan based on the day’s activities.

3:45 PM – 5:30 PM: Group Project: Participants assemble into teams and begin their group projects.

Day Three – Leading Quality, Risk, and Change (Wednesday, August 3, 2016)

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Leading quality: Discuss how engineering leaders create and sustain project environments that foster quality.  Recognize potential impediments to quality, and discuss how leaders can overcome such impediments. (Magarian)

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 AM – 12:00 AM: Intelligent risk-taking: Discuss and practice methods for analyzing and managing risk under situations of uncertainty in engineering environments. (Marcovici)

12:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Motivating others: Learn and practice methods for motivating individuals and delivering constructive one-on-one feedback. (Niño).

3:00 – 4:00: Tour of MIT

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM: Reflection: Participants review, assess, and action plan based on the day’s activities.

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM: Group Project: Participants work on group projects.

Day Four – Leading Engineering Environments and Developing Leadership Capability (Thursday, August 4, 2016)  

8:30 AM – 10:15 AM: Leading innovative cultures: Discuss the engineering leader’s role in creating a culture that fosters creativity and innovation (Niño)

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM: Break

10:30 PM – 12:00 PM: Negotiation: Review skills and frameworks for negotiating in global environments. (Niño)

12:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Individual presentations of your leadership point of view

2:30 AM – 2:45 AM: Break

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Individual presentations of your leadership point of view

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Reflection and final preparations for Friday: Participants review, assess, and action plan based on the day’s activities and begin final preparations for the vision presentations on Friday.

Day Five - Final Presentations (Friday, August 5, 2016)

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: Final course reflection: Participants reflect on week's activities, assess program, and receive program certificates.

Course Schedule: 

View 2016 Course Schedule (pdf)    

Registration is Monday morning, 7:45 - 8:15 am.

Class runs 8:30 am - 5:00 pm each day except Friday when it ends at 1:00 pm. There will be post-class homework that will take approximately 1.5 hours on Monday and 2 hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

There is a networking dinner on Monday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.  



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

Delivery Methods: 

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 (40%) 40
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (50%) 50
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (10%) 10