27. July 2013

Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Christian C. Wagner

Today in conversation with Prof. Christian C. Wagner, Oakland University, Michigan (USA), Faculty Member

What do you think is special about the master program?
I have worked with Prof. Kopacek for many years with his excellent Masters of Engineering Management Program. A wonderful aspect of the program is how it brings together students from different countries and builds bonds of friendship among them so that throughout their careers they have colleagues abroad.

What can you tell future students about the program?
Every country has a different culture and perspective on the nature of engineering. By bringing together professors from many countries, the students get a wide variety of viewpoints from different real world settings in which engineering is performed.

What are the key aspects of your lecture?
The focus of what I teach is simple – how do engineers and engineering enterprises get better? We focus on the nature of learning, both in the company and in the individual engineer. We study how both company and individual design their path, carry it out, learn from it, and get better because of it.

How would you describe the students of this MSc Program?
The quality of the students in the program is quite high – each student already employed for a large company or for themselves. This gives the students, the professors, the class and the experience a reality and grounded-ness that is just wonderful. The curriculum is not about abstract theories – it is about making things work in the real world.

Women and Technology – which advices could you give interested females?
I would highly recommend that any woman enter the program. The way the male domination of engineering ends is by women just jumping in and getting the education and then the jobs. In the small class settings that this program provides, everyone is heard, everyone speaks, everyone learns. It is a great way to move into engineering management for women.

An economic education at a technical university - what do you think?
As is done in many places in the US, teaching management and economics in an engineering school is CRITICAL! A manager who is NOT an engineer, cannot fully appreciate the domains because of the mathematical rigor, scientific depth, and product and service complexity. An engineer can more easily learn the appropriate aspects of interpersonal skills and management knowledge to become a manager.

(Interview of July 27, 2013)

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