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SMU to offer master of science degree in engineering entrepreneurship in fall 2017

Program draws from combined strengths of Lyle School of Engineering and Cox School of Business

February 6, 2017

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s new master’s degree in Engineering Entrepreneurship, coming in fall 2017, will develop a cadre of engineers who look at the role of technology in society through a business lens, helping to fill the demand for managers and entrepreneurs to start and lead new technology ventures.

The highly selective program will be anchored in a yearlong project, the Technology Commercialization Studio, in which students will explore the commercial opportunities of a new technology – likely to be developed in one of SMU’s engineering or science research labs. The degree will be offered over two semesters, fall and spring, drawing from existing courses within SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and Edwin L. Cox School of Business.

“What happens when you bring together a top-ranked business school and an innovative engineering school? You create a program that will help the best and brightest achieve their dreams of bringing new technology to the marketplace,” said Marc Christensen, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering. “The master’s in Engineering Entrepreneurship will focus on shaping a small cohort of elite students, providing them the skills and experiences to have impact in the competitive world of high tech startups.”

Regular admission to the program will require a bachelor of science in engineering, but outstanding candidates from alternate STEM fields will be considered.

“We are looking for smart, confident engineers who want to understand the role of new technology in society from a business perspective, and who can lead and manage engineering projects that commercialize that technology,” said Duncan MacFarlane, associate dean for Engineering Entrepreneurship in the Lyle School. “We expect the program to encourage the incubation of novel technologies from SMU students and faculty.”  MacFarlane will direct the program with associate directors Jerry White, the Linda and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Cox School, and Simon Mak, associate director of the institute. MacFarlane, White and Mak have been meeting on a regular basis since Fall 2015 to coordinate entrepreneurship activities and develop this program.

The two-semester Technology Commercialization Studio required of all students in the Master of Science in Engineering Entrepreneurship program is a group project that will:

  • Focus on the management of products with high technology content
  • Encourage the incubation of novel technologies from students and from SMU’s research laboratories
  • Include C-level mentors from successful small and medium-sized engineering firms and venture capital firms
  • Feature lectures from experts in intellectual property, the legal aspects of business, ethics, financing, fundraising, sales and other topics

Program directors expect a beginning cohort of 12 students in fall 2017, intending to grow the program to 16 students enrolled annually.  Individuals interested in pursuing the Master of Science in Engineering Entrepreneurship should contact Duncan MacFarlane at dmacfarlane@smu.edu.

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