Program Combines Engineering Skill with Business Acumen

The LMU systems Engineering and Leadership program helps working engineers and scientists become better leaders of highly complex technical endeavors. Seaver College established the program in 2003 in response to the local aerospace and defense industry’s need for leaders with combined engineering and business expertise.

“SELP provides students with a set of skills to take on problems that no one has taken on before and to resolve them successfully,” says Fred Brown, director of SELP. “We help our students build technical managerial skills and technical abilities.”

The SELP program confers dual degrees: an M.B.A. and an M.S. in systems engineering. “our graduates are highly revered in the companies from which they come,” Brown says. “Their education often leads to salary increases and promotions.”

For example, one sELp graduate went to work for pictage, a photo processing company in Torrance, Calif. The student was tasked with simplifying the company’s process to make it more efficient and profitable. Within a few months, the student produced a revised workflow and improved the interfaces between photo processing steps that resulted in savings of $1 million and higher customer satisfaction.

“Our graduate was a smart guy to begin with, but LMU’s graduate education gave him the tools that enabled quick results and an effective presentation to the company’s management,” Brown says.

Brown hopes to expand the program from an aerospace and defense industry focus into urban ecology, health systems management and medical device companies.