Program Tackles Complexity of Systems Management

Classes Meld Expertise From UT Dallas Business and Engineering Schools

Feb. 23, 2010

UT Dallas is offering two new graduate-level certificates that provide working professionals with the knowledge and skills to engineer and manage complex projects containing many interdependent pieces.

Dr. Duncan MacFarlane  

Dr. Duncan MacFarlane (above) and Dr. Rajiv Shah developed the program.

Rajiv Shah

Leveraging the University’s strengths in both engineering and business education, the Systems Engineering and Management Program is offered as a unique partnership between the UT Dallas School of Management and the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

“The program is designed for employees of local and regional companies who design, develop, engineer, manufacture, manage, plan or research all aspects of large and complex systems,” said Dr. Rajiv Shah, a clinical professor of entrepreneurship, who developed the program in collaboration with Dr. Duncan MacFarlane, a professor of electrical engineering.

The program is intended for working professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics or finance and at least five years of industry experience.

“Engineering training has traditionally involved the study of small systems, however there’s a large and growing unmet need for formalized engineering and management education in increasingly complex macro systems that have a large number of interdependent parts,” MacFarlane said. “These areas are at the intersection of the usually separate disciplines of engineering and management, hence the need for this program.”

The program’s objective is to produce graduates capable of undertaking challenging projects that encompass wide-ranging scientific, engineering and management disciplines. Two certificates are offered: a certificate in systems engineering and a certificate in systems management. Each requires the completion of four three-credit-hour classes.

Classes are provided in an executive-education format, meeting once a week for 10 weeks on Fridays or Saturdays for four hours each. The program’s four initial classes begin this fall and feature two classes from each certificate plan:

Systems Engineering

  • SYSM6301: Systems Engineering Architecture and Design
  • SYSM6303: Systems Engineering Risk Assessment and Management

Systems Management

  • SYSM6306: Engineering Economics and Finance
  • SYSM6317: The Management of High-Tech Products

For more information, visit

Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]
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Industry Executives Welcome
Interdisciplinary Curriculum

“HP Enterprise Services is excited to participate in the Systems Engineering and Management Program proposed by The University of Texas at Dallas. We have worked closely with the curriculum development team to ensure that the course content is relevant to our industry. Most importantly, the flexibility of the program provides industry partners the opportunity to tailor the degree to address current business needs, while the adaptable, interdisciplinary curriculum also allows students to gain the specific skills they require to successfully oversee complex projects.”

Tom Hill, director,
HP Enterprise Services Fellows and Distinguished Engineering Program


“I anticipate that ELCAN will encourage and support enrollment in this degree program as part of our ongoing talent development activities. Beyond ELCAN, I believe this program aligns well with the interests of the large number of high-tech organizations in North Texas.”

Paul Klocek, general manager,
ELCAN Optical Technologies,
a Raytheon Company


“This program satisfies a growing industry need for trained business leaders with formalized education in both engineering and management. By focusing on a candidate’s specific needs, this unique program’s flexible curriculum provides experienced candidates the necessary tools to manage complex ‘macro’ systems. Graduates of the program will be equipped to oversee these challenging projects that require knowledge of scientific, engineering and management disciplines. This is another example of the great collaboration taking place between the School of Management and the School of Engineering and Computer Science that will only make this region stronger.”


Steve Lyle, manager,
Texas Instruments Education,
Workforce Development & Diversity


“Successful management of large, complex engineering projects is critical for Raytheon, and in our industry there is a need to formally educate leaders who can oversee these multifaceted projects. This unique program leverages the strengths of both the Schools of Management and Engineering to train students based on their areas of need regarding systems engineering and systems management. In this way, experienced engineers and managers can focus on learning applicable skills that will enable them to architect, research, develop, engineer, manage, execute, and deliver complex systems programs while managing large teams and budgets.”

John T. McDonald,
chief engineer/chief architect,
Raytheon Intelligence & Information Systems Engineering


“The UT Dallas Systems Engineering and Management Program’s content is clearly relevant to competence development of top talent in pursuit of theoretical and practical knowledge of systems engineering and management of today’s ever-changing network. I can easily envision that companies that embrace this program will find appeal in associating the sequence classes with a rotation program through their organization to provide the student with the theory and the practical exposure to course context simultaneously. Such a flexible approach might ensure both the student and the company realize the greatest value return on their investment.”


Hal Thomas, vice president,
engineering and operations,
Ericsson Inc.

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October 19, 2019