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  • 30 Nov 2017 7:00 AM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    Fellow ASEM Members,

    As the incoming President, I am honored and excited for the opportunity to build on the great foundation laid by my predecessors. In my new role, I will focus on enhancing communication, continue to work toward expanding the value of ASEM membership, and improve industry recognition of the value of ASEM. We are in the process of expanding our ASEM Strategic Plan with the addition of metrics that will be posted on the ASEM website.

    I would like to welcome our new Board and Committee members. After our annual conference, the Board of Directors welcomed new members: Simon Philbin as Secretary; Teresa Jurgens-Kowal as South Central Regional Director; Yesim Sireli as International Director; Ean Ng as Conference Director; and Patricia Anzalone, representing Council of Engineering Management Academic Leaders (CEMAL). I would also like to thank all our continuing Directors for their ongoing support of ASEM and its mission. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge our outgoing President, Dr. Heather Nachtmann, who deserves a huge thank you for her leadership and contributions, guiding the society so ably during the previous year.

    This year (2017) was an eventful and successful year as we engaged in various activities and several collaborations that are continuing to move the organization forward. We had a successful conference in Huntsville during October with record attendance. I would like to thank Dr. Bryan Mesmer and his staff for a job well done hosting this conference. During the conference, we recognized many members and professionals for their contribution to ASEM and the field of Engineering Management. I would also like to congratulate all this year’s award winners – Great Job!

    We have an exciting year ahead of us with not one, but two international conferences. Be sure you check out all the deadline dates, you don’t want to miss out.

    I look forward to working with and serving all of you as we move into 2018 together.

    Frances Alston, PhD, PEM 

    ASEM President 2017 - 2018

  • 30 Sep 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    We are deep into the final preparations for ASEM's annual conference. Our WHQ team and conference committee is in overdrive ensuring that conference is a great experience. Our registered attendees represent 15 countries, more than 30 different companies and agencies, and more than 70 academic institutions. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Huntsville. If you haven’t met our leadership team, please introduce yourself. We are always looking for more engineering managers to join our leadership team (or simply to say hello!).

    Speaking of our leadership team, we are excited to introduce our 2017-2018 ASEM leadership team. Simon Philbin is joining the executive committee as our incoming Secretary. Our membership elections also resulted in four new members with Ean Ng, Yesim Sireli, and Teresa Jurgens-Kowal joining our board of directors. Our officers will transition into their new roles on Friday October 20th during the IAC. I am sure they will find serving this Society to be as rewarding and leadership skill building as I have.

    We are currently searching for a new Editor-In-Chief (EIC) for the Engineering Management Journal. Toni Doolen and Eileen Van Aiken have tendered their resignations as of December 2017. Toni begun her role as EIC in 2009 and Eileen joined her as a Co-EIC in 2012. The journal’s impact factor more than doubled from 0.250 to 0.548 during their leadership and its 5-year impact factor increased from 0.452 in 2012 to 0.932 in 2016. Their implementation of a strategic vision and efficient operational procedures have made lasting contributions to EMJ and all of the work that was published during their tenure. If you see Toni and Eileen in Huntsville, please thank them for their excellence in leading EMJ over the past eight years.

    I am grateful to all members of our executive committee and board of directors for their dedicated service this past year. I thank Angie, Paul, and Bill for their significant efforts in supporting my role as President. Thank you to our ASEM membership for giving me this tremendous and humbling opportunity to serve as your 2016-2017 President. I look forward to continuing my ASEM service as Past President under the leadership of incoming President Frances Alston.

  • 31 Aug 2017 12:11 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    I am pleased to announce ASEM’s newest Professional Section – China, which was approved by our Board of Directors this month. Their local team developed an impressive application and formed a renowned set of engineering managers from academia, government, and industry to serve as the founding members of their section leadership team. Formation of this new section was spearheaded by Simon Philbin, Geert Letens, Steve Wang and other members of the ASEM International Committee and leadership team who formed and developed this significant partnership. We are very excited to see how ASEM’s global reach will expand with the formation of this new section. Congratulations to the new China Section’s Honorary President Jishan He of Central South University and President Professor Hong Ren of Chongqing University!

    There is lots of great information about our upcoming International Annual Conference in this month’s eNews. Details about industry tours, workshops, speakers, sponsorship information, and the newly released program schedule are now available on ASEM website along with registration and hotel information. I cannot wait to visit with all of our members who are able to join us in Huntsville.

    I am sure all of our members from the United States are looking forward to the upcoming 3-day Labor Day weekend. We can feel the heat breaking slightly here in Arkansas. Our entire leadership team hopes for a safe and quick recovery to our South Central members who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

  • 09 Aug 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    (This piece was submitted for an earlier Practice Periodical and was set aside due to space constraints; my apology. ~ TSK)

    Workshop Held: Thursday, Oct 27, 2016, 9:30-11:45am

    Workshop Delivered by: Dr. Alice F. Squires, Washington State University (WSU)and Dr. Jim Boswell, The Aerospace Corporation

    Workshop Vision and Purpose

    The American Society of Engineering Management (ASEM) Systems Engineering Workshop was held in Concord, NC during the ASEM 2016 International Annual Conference on Thursday morning, October 27, 2016. The workshop addressed early phases of the systems engineering life cycle starting from identifying the right problem, deficiency, or opportunity to developing an initial system functional architecture.

    The vision for this workshop was to provide a sample approach (one of many) that included a minimum subset of the initial steps needed for defining a set of system level functions in support of a desired system capability for a known and well-understood system. To relay the concepts, a system of low complexity was chosen for the example, a coffee maker, and teams were encouraged to use a commonly known and understood system of relatively low complexity that they defined, to go through the steps as the workshop progressed.

    To this end, the goals and outcomes of the workshop were:

    • Identify the right problem, deficiency, or opportunity

    – Use the five ‘whys’ to narrow in on the root problem

    • Develop a need/opportunity statement that describes the problem and can be met with the design of a system
    • Identify stakeholders and their requirements

    – In the voice of the customer

    – Listening to both wants and needs

    – To be translated (later) to the system requirements

    • Identify operational scenarios

    – Address how the system will work in its intended environment

    – Identify the capabilities of the system

    • Define the input, transformative, and output functions of the system

    – Include feedback

    • Develop a system context diagram

    – Bounds the system within the intended operational environment

    – Defines the external interfaces to external systems and users

    • Develop an initial system functional architecture

    The workshop balanced topic presentation with active learning through group work and team reporting. The entire report (PDF) is available here: ASEM2016SEWorkhopReport.pdf

  • 09 Aug 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. Grand Central Publishing: New York (2016). 303 + xv pages. US$28.00 (hardcover).

    Like many companies today, ExxonMobil’s new campus at The Woodlands, Texas, features an open work space without traditional offices. The theory behind open work spaces is to drive collaboration and the chance encounters that will trigger an idea that leads to the next great thing.

    Unfortunately, as Cal Newport argues in his new book, “Deep Work,” such open work spaces not only fail to drive magical chance encounters but are indeed quite harmful to the productivity of workers. Newport defines “deep work” as “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit” (pg. 3). He contrasts deep work with “shallow work,” defined as “non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted” (pg. 6).

    The full book review (PDF) is available here: ASEM_Book_Review-Deep_Work-TJK.pdf

  • 31 Jul 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    Please note that there is still time to register for our last webinar in the four part webinar series on Management Practices of Learning from Errors in High Risk Industries. Details below.

    August 8 - Management practices of learning from errors in high risk industries (Nicolas Dechy, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire) - 1:00 PM EDT. Register here:

    As part of our selection process of the annual ASEM Eschenbach Award for the Best Engineering Management Journal (EMJ) Paper, I recently reviewed all papers in the 2016 volume (28) of the EMJ. There is a great array of current EM topics covered in this issue including a special issue focused on military applications in engineering management. I know selection of this year’s best paper will be difficult for the selection committee as the quality of the papers in this issue is excellent. Thank you to our co-editors, Toni Doolen and Eileen Van Aken, for their outstanding leadership of EMJ. The 2017 Volume 29, Issue 2 is now available at Taylor and Francis online.

    We are terribly saddened by the death of one of our past leaders of ASEM. Joette Sonnenberg made significant contributions to the engineering management field and to ASEM as a Society. She will be missed by all who knew her. 

  • 30 Jun 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    As I reviewed this month’s eNews, I was struck by ASEM’s tagline, Serving Engineering Managers Worldwide. I am very proud of ASEM and how we have expanded our global reach while continuing to preserve our EM community. No matter how much we expand, I continue to interact with and grow from my interactions with EM pioneers, practitioners, and students. I believe it is the diversity of our membership that bring a unique professional opportunity to our members. ASEM is an organization of practitioners and academics, diverse technical skills, many generations, and wide array of cultural backgrounds. All of the makings of a great team. ASEM strives to bring value to all of its members. If you would like to get more involved with ASEM or have ideas on how we can increase value to our members, please let me or any other members of the ASEM leadership team know.

  • 09 Jun 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    By Paul Kauffmann

    A delegation from ASEM recently visited China as part of our ongoing collaboration efforts with the Division of Engineering Management of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE). The CAE is a highly-regarded organization and is roughly equivalent to the National Academy of Engineering in the US.  Details on the meetings and the various initiatives will be provided in the next E-news. The purpose of this article is to provide one global perspective (in this case, China) on engineering management and the scope of areas generally considered under our EM umbrella. This question is an important one for the society since we are currently working on the next editions of the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK) and the Engineering Management Handbook. It is critical that these revisions reflect the global views and implementations of our profession. 

    Photo credit: Simon Philbin

    The meetings with the CAE were held in the context of an international conference covering several critical topics: Engineering Science and Technology Development Strategy- Clean Energy Technology and Engineering Management.”  Along with the CAE, the other co-sponsor was the Shenua Group. If you Google this firm you will see it is the largest integrated coal and mining organization in the world with 210,000 employees. So what is the first “take away” from this basic information? Considering that the CAE has a Division of Engineering Management and the Shenhua Group (a major industrial presence in China) supports a major conference (attended by three Nobel laureates) with engineering management as a focus, a logical conclusion is that the importance of EM is well recognized and has a high profile in China.  

    The second take away is based on a sample size of n=1 (this conference) and involves the question of what China considers to be engineering management. We have this good-natured debate within the society. Some of our members are “people and team” oriented, some are “systems” oriented, and still others might be “quantitative methods” oriented (e.g. risk, decision science, etc.). I was curious if there was a particular spin at this conference. Based on the papers/ presentations, one could make the argument that this group sees EM covering these key areas:

    • Innovation: Several presentations and papers addressed the concept of EM and innovation driving clean energy technology.
    • Technology Strategy: EM was seen as having an important role in driving the move to cleaner technologies by influencing corporate and government policy. 
    • Major Construction Project Management: Several presentations addressed this critical issue in the continually evolving Chinese economy. Driving through Beijing, it is clear that the construction and major project boom is continuing. 
    • EM Represents Diverse Technical Fields: It was obvious from the representation and tracks of the conference that disciplines such as the sciences and information technology are considered a part of the “E” in engineering management.

    This conference appears to be an indicator that the China perspective of EM is doing well and is big picture oriented: innovation, strategy, project management, and broad science related disciplines. We look forward to growing our collaboration and involvement in China. Globally, it is critical the society stay abreast of these evolving views and we particularly need our practicing professionals from all countries and parts of the world to get involved and provide input to the next editions of the EMBOK and Handbook.  Please contact me or Hiral Shah if you want to become involved.

  • 31 May 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    Registration for our 2017 ASEM International Annual Conference is open! I realize as I look forward to our conference each year that it feels like a family reunion where I get to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues who are also passionate about EM. I hope to see each of you there. Huntsville is a great town, especially for engineers! Our IAC committee has planned an excellent technical program coupled with lots of opportunities to enjoy yourself with fellow EMs.

    Our ASEM Delegation to China received a warm welcome from the Chinese Academy of Engineering. I love the photo below of our Executive Director Paul Kaufmann and Associate Executive Director Dave Wyrick on stage discussing the importance of EM towards building clean energy sourcing around the world. What a distinguished panel! More details about our partnership will be published in our upcoming issue of the Practice Periodical.

    Please take the time to nominate your fellow ASEM members for a 2017 ASEM award. Nominations are due June 30, 2017 and are summarized below. As summer approaches, I hope you are able to relax and rejuvenate as we work to make the world a better place through EM practice.

  • 30 Apr 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

    ASEM’s tagline is Serving Engineering Managers Worldwide.  I have been a member of ASEM  for almost 20 years and it has been exciting to watch our Society’s global research expand tremendously over the past two decades.  Just a quick glance at the membership of ASEM’s International Committee is clear evidence of this as our committee includes members from Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Great Britain, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.  This committee under the leadership of International Director Simon Philbin has increased ASEM’s service to our global members through formation of new international ASEM sections, support of more expansive, online professional certification, focused international activities at our annual conference, and international engineering management conference planning efforts.  Just last year our international student membership increased 210%!  Our Society has made great strides in creating an inclusive global professional network for all of our members, and I look forward to seeing where our reach expands in the coming years.

    Please consider nominating your peers and colleagues for a 2017 ASEM award.  Each year ASEM recognizes our members, chapters, sections, and community leaders who have made significant contributions to the engineering management practice and to ASEM itself.  Nominations are due June 30, 2017, and are summarized below and detailed on our website.


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