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2020 Virtual International Annual Conference

American Society for Engineering Management

"Leading Organizations through Uncertain Times"

October 28th - 30th, 2020

Workshops and Panels

Please visit the vIAC Platform for details:


Systems Engineering 101 for Engineering Managers

Systems engineering (SE) is the key to achieving reliable, efficient, cost effective products and services in diverse fields such as communications, network systems, software engineering, information systems, manufacturing, command and control, R&D projects, etc. This 60 minute seminar (workshop) teaches practitioners the art of systems engineering. The seminar will focus on the SE processes and skills required to integrate user needs, manage requirements, conduct technological evaluation and build elaborate system architectures. It is targeted for engineering managers and practitioners who are new to the aspects and process of systems engineering.

A Top-Down Systems Approach for Eliciting System Security Requirements

This tutorial will provide an introduction to the Systems Theoretic Process Analysis for Security, STPA-Sec. STPA-Sec is a holistic top down approach for understanding and eliciting security requirements. In this tutorial we will walk through employment of STPA-Sec on a notional Small UAS system case study to detail the development of functional-level security requirements, design-level engineering considerations, and architectural-level security specification criteria early in the system life cycle when the solution trade-space is largest rather than merely examining components and adding protections during system operation or sustainment. This tutorial will educate the attendees on the methodology and walk through several examples to demonstrate the utility of the method. This tutorial will expose the audience to identifying, understanding, and managing stakeholder security concerns in complex systems of interest. The tutorial will be led by a faculty and student researchers.

An Engineer's Formula for Public Speaking Excellence

I'm an engineer whose passion is speaking in public about the benefits of public speaking for engineers. Passion? Speaking? These are not engineering words. That's true. However, without taking those words seriously I would never have become a successful engineering manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Public speaking excellence is about expressing one's ideas in a clear, concise and compelling manner. For engineering managers it's an indispensable skill that must be sharply honed in order to lead technical teams to deliver high quality solutions. Effective engineering managers know that it's their level of presentation excellence that creates the collaborative environment for their teams to thrive. In a highly technical world ideas must be presented with laser focus and precision to avoid the risk of misunderstanding.

I've recently written a paper called "An Engineer's Formula for Public Speaking Excellence". In it, I break down the full world of public speaking into five specific elements. They are:

  • Crafting a Crystal Clear Message
  • Developing the Right Mindset
  • Preparing a Strong Structure
  • Practicing with Authenticity
  • Engaging with Your Audience or Team

In my talk, I'll provide an overview on how the five elements can be applied by engineering managers to their daily team-leading efforts. I'll give specific instructions on how engineering mangers can utilize these elements to communicate their messages to their teams, their supervisors and their colleagues in a highly efficient manner. Excellence in communication equates to engineering management success. It's all about applying the engineer's formula for public speaking excellence.

How to MAKE it Better? A Manufacturability Assessment Tool to Guide Companies through a Broad Evaluation of Manufacturability of Product Designs

The objective of this workshop is to introduce the attendees to a Manufacturability Assessment Knowledge-based Evaluation tool entitled MAKE. Through partnership with the U.S. Army’s Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) MAKE was developed to guide subject matter experts through the assessment of the manufacturability of product designs. This tool was designed to assess the broad outlook of manufacturability through focus on defined aspects of manufacturing: Process, Supply Chain, Capital Tooling and Equipment, Labor, Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) & Ergonomics, and Capacity & Scalability. Participants will be shown a demonstration of the tool, followed by a Q&A session to gain valuable input from the audience on such areas as weighting the importance of aspects of manufacturability across various industry segments, and possible other features of interest from industry experts.

A game-based approach to Agile engineering management

Serious games are powerful teaching tools that overcome many barriers to learning. Most significantly, through experiential learning, games provide a quick, effective path to learning how to apply new concepts and methods to practical scenarios.

Games are especially effective when teaching Agile approaches to innovation. Agile is, for many engineers, both unfamiliar and counter-intuitive. It turns many assumptions about the development and delivery of new innovations on their heads, and it even challenges some core assumptions about the nature and organization of work, for both individual contributors and managers alike. Games help overcome these barriers to Agile adoption, by inviting participants into the "magic circle," where the normal rules of how to do work are changed. Because these experiences are short, structured, and purposeful, they demonstrate how Agile can work more effectively than any number of well-crafted PowerPoint slides.

While this workshop is focused on using games to introduce Agile, it is also helpful to understand the power of games as engineering education tools. Therefore, you can take Agile games as an example of how games can overcome even the most determined resistance against learning new approaches, since Agile frequently creates a great deal of resistance in traditionally-minded engineering organizations.

Strategies for Successful Design and Delivery of an Asynchronous Online Program

Online delivery is popular because of its flexibility of time and space, especially for those who, for various reasons, are unable to pursue their educational dreams, such as those in remote locations or those who work full time. But, the definition of an online class is loose. Some institutions’ online offering is live stream of a face-to-face class, or a video recording of it.

The Master of Engineering Management (MEM) Program at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) has no face-to-face component or requirement, and it is offered only in an online space. The entire program is web-based and delivered asynchronously. To ensure student success, design and delivery of course offerings in such a format requires pedagogical design strategies and delivery practices that are carefully planned. The right combination of technology, pedagogy, and content is required to produce an environment in which students thrive and succeed in achieving learning outcomes and objectives.

This workshop will cover these topics:

  • MEM Program Overview
  • Onboarding practices of Students
  • Onboarding practices of Faculty
  • Course Design & Development practices
  • Success Practices
  • Post Graduation

Projecting a Voice of Confidence in an Uncertain World: Virtual Communication Skills for Leaders

The world as we knew it may be changing, but you still have projects that need to move forward. With people working from home and added safety measures for those who are in-person, what worked before isn’t working now. Online meetings allow us to connect in ways that were not possible just a few years ago, but they require a different way of thinking and communicating. You can’t just walk across the hall to brainstorm ideas with a colleague, and it feels strange delivering a presentation or update to a computer screen instead of a room full of people. The communication styles that worked well a few months ago are not as effective in our current climate. The good news is that it doesn’t require a huge shift to adjust the way you interact so you can keep making progress. Join us to learn the most effective communication strategies to use in uncertain times, how the sound of your voice and the words you choose can impact the quality of your team interactions, and the importance of collaborations and celebrations to keep morale high all the way to the finish line.


ASEM International Panel: Leading Organizations through Uncertain Times

This panel will continue with the conference theme, Leading Organizations through Uncertain Times, while focusing on the disruptive events that occured in the countries our panelists' reside in. Our speakers, Dr. Leonie Kay Hallo and Dr. Alex Gorod will join us from Australia and DR. Fernando Deschamps from Brazil while Dr. Yesim Sireli will moderate from the U.S. Dr Leonie Hallo is an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide and a Co-director of the Complex Systems Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (CSIEL). Dr. Alex Gorod is also a Professor at the University of Adelaide and an Adjunct Professor at Zicklin School of Business, City University of New York. And, Dr. Fernando Deschamps is a Professor at Pontifical Catholic University of ParanĂ¡, Curitiba Campus in Brazil.

Drs. Hallo and Gorod will provide insight on best practices, lessons learned, and discuss new ideas and approaches in engineering management for crisis preparedness and response, by focusing on the recent bushfires followed by the Covid-19 pandemic in Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Similarly, Dr. Deschamps will discuss how the pandemic has been affecting Brazil in general and the management of engineering projects in particular, based on a series of interviews that have been conducted to explore the impacts of Covid-19.

The Future of Engineering Management Profession & Discipline: Perspectives of Engineering Manager of the Year Award Recipients

The role of engineering managers (EM) and issues and challenges they face are getting more and more complex. Today’s EM must respond to challenges that even a decade ago did not exist. From technology that grows and changes at the speed of light, to issues and ethics surrounding capture, process, and use of Big Data, to the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, today’s engineering managers must stay abreast of these and other developments on a continual basis. Coupled with social and environmental concerns and events such as balancing the triple bottom lines of sustainability to epic events like the COVID-19 pandemic that has engulfed the entire world and stifled global economy, today’s engineering manager must understand the impact of such issues, formulate and execute timely responses in thoughtful and responsible manner, and develop plans for minimizing and mitigating risk of similar occurrences in the future. A panel of distinguished engineering managers who have been recognized for their career accomplishments by ASEM’s EM of the Year Award will discuss challenges facing today’s engineering management profession and will paint a picture of how EM as a discipline of study must respond to prepare our graduates for these new times and new challenges.

Industry, University, and Students

Three perspectives are operating in the ever complex university ecosystem: industry, academia and student. A synthesis of the previous workshop to identify the academic perspective will be balanced out by industry representatives and students. The output of this workshop will be the start of a gap analysis that attempts to answer the questions: What are the 21st century workforce needs and What are the competencies?

Publishing in EMJ

This session will bring together the Editors and Associate Editors from the ASEM Engineering Management Journal to discuss strategies and opportunities associated with publishing in the journal.

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