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We are exactly one month away from our International Annual Conference (IAC) when I am writing this president’s message for the September newsletter, and I can assure you that everyone involved in the organization of our major annual event is starting to feel the vibes. Good vibes, as once more this year’s conference is promising to be the ASEM highlight of the year.
Our hosts Ertunga Ozelkan and Mike Ogle from the Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM) Department of the UNC-Charlotte have selected a great venue, less than a quarter mile away from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Could there be a better place to inspire engineering managers to reflect on how to achieve top performance of organization, man and machine around the world? Ertunga and Mike have lined up inspiring keynote speakers from industry and academia (checkout their bio here). They have organized interesting industry tours to Daimler’s Truck Manufacturing Plant and Siemens Turbine Manufacturing Plant, and have planned a social event that will allow you to get a taste of Uptown Charlotte as well.
Thanks to your massive participation, our experienced technical program committee (thank you Suzie Long, Ean Ng, Craig Downing, and Bimal Nepal!) has been able to create an impressive program of close to 200 presentations, eight workshops, and three panel discussions. I particularly want to thank Alice Squires and Ken Sexe for bringing an elite group of industry leaders together for our second industry roundtable that aims to uncover the most challenging issues in engineering management. I see this roundtable as an important instrument to keep us grounded in reality. Discussions on overcoming obstacles, implementing best practices, and sharing lessons learned, are vital to keeping our EM Body of Knowledge current and to orient future products and services of ASEM. Further, our many international participants will find value in attending the international panel, organized by our International Director, Simon Philbin, in collaboration with speakers from around the world, who will share their experience as international ambassadors of ASEM in their countries.
Last but not least, the IAC allows us to recognize volunteers who have provided exceptional service to the society, as well as individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of engineering management in general. You will be impressed by the winners of our various awards. They all have been elected through a new awards election process that over the last months has been optimized under the professional guidance of our president-elect Heather Nachtmann.
It is a pleasure to announce that through this new award process, the ASEM Board has elected Major General Albert Husniaux, the First Chief Scientist of NATO’s Science and Technology Organization, as the winner of this year’s Engineering Manager of the Year Award. I cordially invite you to the Awards Banquet on Friday evening, October 28, to welcome our winner and to learn from his experiences in engineering management throughout his career.
In short, if you didn’t sign up for the conference yet, then please do so right away. You don’t want to miss any of this!
Geert Letens, PhD, PEM(TM)
ASEM President 2015-2016
Now the summer has come and passed, the harvest season is about to start in the Northern Hemisphere. September and October are critical months for our society that lead to our annual conference, where we typically recognize important contributors with awards, and take the time to evaluate the overall performance of the society while we prepare the transition to a new leadership team. And there is good news to be shared. EMJ achieves submission rates that almost double our previous records, international collaboration continues to grow and closely related to this, our professional membership levels are up again. I see two main drivers for this.
First, ASEM has developed a strong value package that is attractive for young and senior managers for industry, government and academia. The Engineering Management Journal, our Engineering Management Body of Knowledge, the Engineering Management Handbook, certification and professional development (don’t miss the chance to register for our exam preparation training at the conference: https://asem.org/event-2305685 (there are still a few seats left), webinars, practice periodical, newsletter, etc.
Second, we have invested in growing professional sections and strategic partnerships around the world. This creates visibility for ASEM to engineers from all continents and stimulates membership growth of the society while at the same time further increasing our value proposition. Returning home from a successful meeting in Xi’an and Beijing with our partners from the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), allows me to illustrate this. While the ASEM delegation supported the 10th International Forum on Engineering Management focusing on Large-scale Infrastructure Projects with six keynote speakers (Dave Wyrick, Beth Cudney, Steve Wang, Lida Xu, Fei Dai and Geert Letens), we also managed to prepare agreements to translate and publish our EM BoK in China, to setup an ASEM section in China, to explore options for certification events in China, etc. Last but not least, we identified ways to intensify our support of the Frontiers of Engineering Management Journal of CAE. This will not only drive our value and growth strategy for new members in China, but will provide current members of ASEM additional opportunities to publish their work and to learn from engineering managers around the world.
However, as Engineering Managers, we realize better than anyone else, that the long term success of an organization is determined by the development of new products. This is no different for ASEM. As a result I am happy to announce that, thanks to the leadership of our editors John Farr and Jimmy Gandhi, the new edition of our Engineering Management Handbook is ready to go to print. At the same time however, Dr. Alice Squires, Director of our Product Development Committee is putting a core team together to develop a strategic roadmap for products that will further support the field of engineering management. This includes planning the future editions of the EM Bok and the EM Handbook, as well as defining a suite of new products such as an EM pocket guide, EM checklists, and an EM Glossary to be part of a complete EM Toolbox for engineering managers.
I look forward to sharing more details on all these exciting evolutions at the annual business meeting of our conference. See you soon in Charlotte!
Please send your thoughts and comments directly to Geert at: President@asem.org
I have so much exciting news to share with you this month that I hardly know where to start.
Let’s begin with an incredible summer deal offered by our Product Development and Continuous Education Committee (PDCE Director Tricia Simo Kush).
At the occasion of its International Annual Conference (IAC) in Charlotte, the American Society for Engineering Management is proud to offer a special professional development value package. The package includes a two-day (15 PDHs) professional development and continuing education seminar on October 25 and 26, a one year complimentary ASEM membership and a Professional Engineering Manager (PEM) certification voucher. While the seminar provides a general overview related to the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge (EMBoK), it focuses on a number of important topics in preparation of the PEM certification exams. The ASEM membership includes free electronic access to the EM Handbook, the Engineering Management Journal, the EM Practice Periodical, and webinars on diverse EM topics, allowing you to continuously develop your EM skills throughout the year. With the PEM voucher, you will be able to take the PEM exam whenever you feel you are ready for it. This maximizes your chances for successful completion of the exam that provides you the only internationally recognized certification of Professional Engineering Managers. All this for…$950! Read the details on our website and be quick: we only have sixteen seats available.
Our international committee (International Director Simon Philbin) continues to increase ASEM’s international presence.
While an international delegation is getting ready to present ASEM at the International Forum for Engineering Management (IFEM) in Xi-an (China), we are happy to announce our first webinar in collaboration with the Chinese Academy for Engineering (CAE), presented by Dr. Dayuan Li entitled "Practice and Impacts of Chinese Emission Trading Scheme". At the same time, our Brazilian ASEM section has started the translations of the EM BoK in Portuguese. Under the leadership of the section’s president, Fernando Deschamps, a team of more than 30 translators and reviewers will assure the quality of this work. A similar effort for the translation of the EM BoK in Chinese will follow after our discussions with CAE at IFEM 2016.
Mark your calendar for ASEM’s first international event in Europe (Valencia, Spain) during the summer of 2017. ASEM is proud to become the co-organizer of an international joint conference organized in collaboration with ADINGOR (Asociación para el Desarrollo de la Ingeniería de Organización), ABEPRO (Associação Brasileira de Engenharia de Produção), AIM (European Academy for Industrial Management) and IISE (Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers). Precise dates will follow soon, but this is clearly another important milestone for our society.
John Farr and Jimmy Gandhi are doing the final editing of the second edition of the EM Handbook. With several new chapters and various significant revisions of previous chapters, the new handbook addresses current globalization trends that make engineering management more relevant than ever, but also require engineers to develop new management skills that are essential to be successful in a economy characterized by geographically dispersed organizations and multi-cultural employees.
Let us know if your organization would like to benefit from the increased (international) visibility that our organization is receiving. Our sponsoring Director Rafael Landaeta will be more than happy to explore all our options (EM Handbook, conference, LinkedIn, website,…) with you, to identify the opportunity that really fits your purpose.
‘Go ASEM International’!
Geert Letens, PhD PEM
The last weeks have been exciting for ASEM. Bringing the free electronic benefits to our members was an important milestone for our society as it really provides easy access to the core knowledge of Engineering Management, wherever you are, whenever you want. If you didn’t get a chance yet to check it out, I certainly would encourage you to login to the ASEM Website and claim your membership benefits
While all this illustrates what our society’s wealth of knowledge can do for you, I would like to focus in this newsletter on what you can do for our society.
And that is perhaps more than you would think. As we work towards the implementation of our strategy, there are many opportunities to serve.
ASEM's core mission is to bridge the gap between engineering management theory and practice. This implies that we continue to expand our offerings of webinars to showcase success stories of engineering management. ASEM students would love to hear about your experience in transitioning from a student to a professional engineer, from an engineer to a manager. Our industry members love to know your thoughts on new books on engineering management. They would appreciate tools or templates that you would be willing to share with them.
We need to continuously update our Handbook and Body of knowledge, making sure they include both state of the art knowledge and practice that addresses the challenges that engineering managers face in a turbulent world. Let us know if your expertise in one of the engineering management domains (project management, engineering economics, strategic planning, leadership, …) could strengthen our teams that continuously seek to improve and develop the core of engineering management.
As we continue to develop our network for certification and training, we would value your ideas on how to create local partnerships. Consultants and industry professionals that are interested to serve as ASEM trainers are more than welcome. The support of universities, professional sections and student chapters in setting up local certification events would be much appreciated.
There are many opportunities for international members to become active as well. As we are working towards the translation of our core knowledge in Portuguese and Chinese, we would love to welcome you on our team that supports this effort. We also continue to seek connections with other engineering societies around the world. It would be great if you would be able to help us understand how to connect to engineering managers in your part of the world.
Maybe you are even interested in a higher leadership position in our society. Elections for board members are coming up soon – let us know about your intentions and ambitions!
In short, I encourage you to stand up and to become an active contributor of ASEM. Help us to assure Engineering Management obtains the world-wide recognition that it deserves. That it succeeds to guide engineers around the world towards success, over and over again. That it inspires us all to become better engineers and better managers, today and tomorrow.
As the summer is approaching and a yet another academic year is coming to an end, many of us are getting ready to take a short break with their family: a deep breath that will allow us to pick up our plans for the future again when August arrives. For me this is a period of the year that I always very much look forward to. It generally allows me more time for family, friends, creativity and reflection. The big question that I would like you to reflect on is simple, yet perhaps not trivial. Have you been able to get the full value of your ASEM membership benefits?
We definitely hope so, but as we realize that there is such an overflow of information that hits us all nowadays, I thought it may not be a bad idea to point you to some benefits available to all our members on our website.
ASEM provides you a wealth of publications. I would like to start with the Engineering Management Journal (EMJ), our top-tier refereed journal with technical papers spanning the entire spectrum of engineering management, designed to provide practical, pertinent knowledge on the management of technology, technical professionals, and technical organizations. Since our partnership with Taylor and Francis (T&F) in 2015, submissions and visibility of EMJ have continued to increase. Members of ASEM have access to the full suite of articles that EMJ has published since its early years. Make sure you have tried the full-text search functions provided by T&F that allow you to easily filter on specific topics that you are looking for.
I already mentioned our archive of webinars in the previous newsletter. Members can easily watch our recorded webinars at a time of their convenience. Today, I can announce to you however that our Chrysalis team (Bill Sabados, Patrick Kush, Trish Simo Kush, Gana Natarajan, Angie Cornelius and Paul Kauffmann) also has been able to add 10 years of archive of conference CDs to our website: another treasure of information that can inspire both research and state of the art applications of engineering management. And last but not least (let the drums beat!)…we have added the EM Handbook and the The Guide to the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge for members to download on our website. We will provide specific instructions to access these documents to all our members in a separate email next week. I strongly encourage you to take full advantage of this new exciting membership benefit.
And there is more to be found on the website of course: two years of practice periodicals, all our newsletters, Blogs, job announcements, forum discussions, etc. As a member, you have free access to all these sources related to the latest challenges of socio-technical management in engineering.
Sometimes we only realize what we've got, when it’s gone. I just wanted to make sure that doesn’t happen to you with your ASEM membership. In fact, I would rather ask you to help us promote the society. Especially towards young engineers that may be eager to understand the language of business to develop their careers. ASEM membership will put them in a position to prepare for professional AEM/PEM certification, allowing them to seek the recognition that they deserve.
Enjoy your time off with your family and friends over the summer – but when you can, also shine a light on the benefits of our society!
Please send your thoughts and comments directly to Geert at: President@asem.org.
Author: Don Kennedy
Biographical details – Dr. Kennedy spent most of his career on heavy industrial projects in the fields of oil & gas, pipelines, electrical power generation and mining. He has also lectured at universities on financial and project management. He has written two books and dozens of articles on the practical application of management theories, with special interest in how our own misperceptions often lead us down paths of fantasy.
Author: Geert Letens, ASEM President
Where you able to attend our recent webinar on ‘The Art and Science of Business Performance Management’? The webinar was provided by one of the world’s most renowned speakers on performance measurement, Professor Dr Umit Bititci of the Heriot Watt University, School of Management and Languages in Edinburgh (UK). We received some very positive feedback on the webinar and I must say I really enjoyed his presentation for many reasons as well.
First, it was really interesting to see how he presented himself. The summary of his intro just sounded so familiar: ‘I started my career as an engineer, then became a manager, worked as a consultant for several years, and currently I am active as a researcher and scientist’. I couldn’t think of a better profile to address the various customer segments of ASEM: engineers, engineering managers, EM consultants and scientists.
So no wonder that the core message of his presentation was completely aligned with the spirit of engineering management as it is reflected in our EM Body of Knowledge and EM Handbook. The science of business performance management can help you to develop the maturity of your organization’s performance measurement system. You could think of this as the technical dimension of performance measurement. The engineer inside of us really likes this dimension. The art of business performance measurement however, is to link the performance measurement system to a culture that stimulates empowerment and learning, versus a culture that simply uses measurement for better (read – ‘more’) command and control. This is the people dimension of business performance measurement which is really critical to achieve sustainable business results. Bring these two dimensions together and you will be surprised about what can be accomplished. I can’t think of a better way to promote ‘engineering – management’. This is what we need to do early in our careers when we manage a team of project specialists, what we further develop throughout our careers to become successful managers, and what we really focus on as leaders in a technology-oriented context.
The other thing that I really liked about the webinar was its international character. Umit presented the webinar from his office in Edinburgh (UK), Gana Natarajan (our Communication Director) hosted it from his university in Oregon, I attended from a hotel room in Tallinn (Estonia), and some of the attendees included folks from our partners in China and Brazil. Amazing isn’t it? What a way to attract the attention of engineering managers around the world! As a result, we plan to do this more. We already identified speakers from China and Brazil that will talk about their experience as engineering managers of some amazing engineering projects. This will also allow us to seek balance on another dimension that is so important for our society: to share the best of theory and practice. This is a foundational principle of our constitution that only further grows in importance as we reach out to collaborate with other engineering societies around the globe.
I want to thank Gana as well as Simon Philbin (our International Director) for their leadership on setting up these new international webinars. Engineering Management: People and Technology - Theory and Practice. Does it make sense to you too? Sad you missed the webinar? It is currently available for members on our website at https://asem.org/Webinar-Archive – way to go ASEM!
Geert Letens, PhD PEM
ASEM President 2015-2016 President@asem.org
On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to announce that Paul Kauffmann will serve as the new Executive Director of ASEM!
Paul graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering and worked for 21 years in industry, living and breathing engineering management. In the early 1990s, Paul earned his PhD in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University. He has been a member of the faculty at Old Dominion University and East Carolina University for most of his academic career. For the last four years, he has served as an ABET program evaluator. Paul’s profile is a clear match with the ambition of the society to serve as a bridge between engineering management theory and practice.
Paul has done an outstanding job as ASEM’s Treasurer for the last three years. He was instrumental in relocating the World Headquarters from Rolla to Huntsville and facilitated the transition to ASEM’s new IT platform. As a current member of the executive team, Paul has been involved in shaping and executing ASEM’s current strategy to be the premier organization that advances, promotes and unites the engineering management profession worldwide. We have exciting times ahead of us. His first official day as the ASEM Executive Director will be June 1.
This also means that on this day, Bill Daughton will pass the torch to Paul after more than eight years of service as the ASEM Executive Director. I would like to extend a special thank you to Bill for his devotion to the society, which has guided ASEM through many years of turbulence to a period of stability that has enabled us to focus on value, growth, and retention. Bill’s history of society service has been foundational for many critical decisions that we have undertaken to enhance products and services, increase productivity, and stimulate collaboration.
Please join me in welcoming Paul to his new role for ASEM and expressing our appreciation to Bill for his many years of ASEM leadership!
Geert Letens, PhD, PEM
Author: Paul Kauffmann, Upcoming ASEM Executive Director
It is my honor to be a new member of the line of outstanding and revered ASEM Executive Directors. I hope I can partially live up to the standard of commitment and accomplishments they have set. I also want to express my thanks to the board for its vote of support and confidence in making this appointment.
The transition with Bill Daughton is under way and will take place over the next few months as we work to get a new Treasurer into place. I am thankful to Bill that he plans to continue to be involved in the work of the society on special projects and as our source of corporate knowledge. We all owe Bill a big thank you for his years of leadership and service.
This is an exciting time to become Executive Director since we have many opportunities ahead of us. My primary goal is to continue our progress to develop and build the “back office” capabilities to support the various activities, committees, and board member projects we need to move forward.
Upcoming ASEM Executive Director
Le nouveau est arrivé! Many among you may recognize this French expression as the official annual kickoff of the race that eagers wine lovers around the world to take part in the traditional tasting of the year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. In the context of our society however, I would like to use this well recognized marketing slogan to encourage you to get a taste of the new editions of two core products of our society: the first annual book version of the ‘Engineering Management Journal’ (EMJ) and the fourth edition of our ‘Guide to the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge’ (EM BoK).
As you may remember from previous newsletters, ASEM decided to partner with Taylor and Francis to publish EMJ in order to bring more visibility and recognition to our academic journal that during several decades already highlights the state of research and practices on the management of technology, technical professionals, and technical organizations. The partnership with Taylor and Francis provides ASEM members electronic access to all EMJ articles and allows them to use advanced search options to look for specific content. What is new however, is the book that most of you should have received by now that bundles all the knowledge from the EMJ articles of 2015. While I hope you will enjoy this new flavor of EM wisdom, I also want to encourage ASEM members to use the EMJ membership access on the ASEM Website and click ‘Alert me’ underneath the EMJ pictogram (this does imply that you register for Taylor and Francis Online) to continue to receive alerts when the new quarterly electronic edition of EMJ appears. It will allow you to stay tuned of all new recent developments in our field!
At the same time, I am very happy to announce the official release of the fourth edition of our ‘Guide to the EM BoK’. As the EM BoK continues to serve as our fundamental repository of concepts, principles, procedures, and practices in the field of engineering management, the fourth edition incorporates important feedback and extensions from various practitioners and international contributors. I want to thank our editor Hiral Shah and co-editor Walter Nowocin for their work on these important additions that are in line with the international growth of the society.
But there is more new wine coming to a theatre near you soon. During the recent Spring Board Meeting in Charlotte, the ASEM Board of Directors took two important decisions that certainly will further stimulate EM certification based on the EM BoK around the world. First, we agreed to start the translation of the EM BoK and the EM Handbook in Chinese and Portuguese, addressing a need brought forward both by our Chinese partners of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and our recently founded section of ASEM in Brazil. And second, and most important to our current members, we agreed to offer free electronic access to the EM BoK and EM Handbook for our professional members. We will send you specific information on how to gain access as soon as our IT specialists have addressed the technical details of this decision, but we hope you are as excited about this as we are – we strongly believe this allows ASEM to offer a very attractive value proposition for ASEM Membership: EMJ, EM BoK, EM Handbook, Practice Periodical, Webinars, newsletters, conference discounts,…
This is a strong value package addressing the needs of both academia and industry. It results from our continuous efforts to speak for the engineering management profession around the world. Still we want to do better. And with your help, we know we can do better. Are you interested to contribute to our success? Just send me an email – we have several options for new active volunteers available!
I have some good news to share. Over the last month the Board of Directors has approved two new exciting elements. First, we have been able to create an international section in Brazil. Fernando Deschamp, the first president of the section, has planned a kick-off event on February 24, 2016 to start working towards the achievement of the operational plan of the section. I will leave the honor to Fernando and his team to share pictures and details on their ambitions in the next newsletter.
Along with the creation of this section, we have been able to celebrate our 100th professional international member. This is a remarkable achievement that certainly deserves a big thank you to Simon Philbin, our International Director, and Dave Wyrick, our Associate Executive Director, who over the last two years have been boosting our international efforts with the help of a highly committed team of international volunteers: Beth Cudney, Ben Baliga, Fernando Deschamps, Steve Wang and Alberto Sols.
The second approval that sets another milestone for the society relates to the institution of an academic partnership program. This program that has been created under the guidance of Paul Kauffmann (ASEM Treasurer) and Ben Baliga (At-Large Director) provides a cost effective and simple approach to facilitate student membership registration and reduce the administrative load on faculty. This allows faculty to focus on what really matters - student value creation: providing students exposure to our standards and publications, access to webinars on current topics from research and practice, guidance for professional certifications, and last but not least, opportunities for student leadership. We believe that when you are running an EM program in your university, stepping into this partnership program is a must to support your ABET accreditation or ASEM program certification goals. But even if you are teaching EM introduction courses as part of other engineering programs, this partnership will be valuable for you, allowing engineering students from all orientations to experience the importance of engineering management in support of their career ambitions. Don’t hesitate to contact Bill Schell or Ona Egbue, our Membership and Associate Membership Directors, to find out details: they will be happy to set you up in no time!
While our board is getting ready for its spring board meeting to assess progress and define priorities for the upcoming six months, I want encourage you to take some time in the next week to submit your abstract for the upcoming International Annual Conference in Charlotte. You will find the details in this newsletter through a link to the conference submissions website. The submission deadline (February 29, 2016) is coming up soon – don’t miss the opportunity to share your research and to continue the discussion about the future of engineering management. Our technical program team (Suzie Long, Ean Ng, Craig Downing and Bimal Nepal) have put together an impressive group of track chairs to assure a program that will ‘Energize Engineers’. Our conference hosts (Ertunga Ozelkan and Mike Ogle) are lining up prestigious keynote speakers and inspiring industry tours. They are looking into exciting options for social events at the motor speedway: wouldn’t that be cool!
In short - ASEM is on the move – let’s continue to get connected!
Geert Letens, PhD PEM
ASEM President 2015-2016
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