In the Industrial Engineering bachelor program, students learn to critically observe, analyze and improve business processes. The program is set up as a “major” program in Eindhoven University of Technology’s bachelor college. ITEM contributes to this program by offering four core courses, one free elective course, and two USE programs. The figures below outline the program and the ITEM courses.
The first opportunity for students to get in touch with the ITEM group lies in the second quartile of the first year. The course Organization, Strategy & Innovation explains the influence of strategy and organizational characteristics on innovation processes in organizations. In the same quartile, the elective course Designing Organizations from an Industrial Engineering Perspective learns students to (re)design production departments, performance management systems, and innovation processes on the basis of socio-technical principles and functional requirements.
In the second year of the Industrial Engineering major, ITEM offers three core courses that every Industrial Engineering student enrolls in. First, Methodology for IE Research is scheduled in the second quartile and offers students the methodological knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific rigor to business problem solving projects (aimed at improving performance) and research projects (aimed at increasing knowledge). The course covers basic knowledge on research design, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Second, in the third quartile, Buying Behavior & Innovation teaches students how individuals and organizations make their buying decisions and how such insights help firms to create and commercialize innovations. Finally, in the fourth quartile, Product Innovation Processes focuses on the structure, organization and activities of new product development processes.
Typical for the second year in the Industrial Engineering program is that the number of electives increases. ITEM offers students two valuable opportunities to use these electives for further specialization of their knowledge, by means of two USE programs. These programs are scheduled in quartiles 2, 3, and 4 and consist of a set of three courses that provide in-depth knowledge on 1) designing and marketing new products, or 2) the identification and creation of new independent or corporate business initiatives. The first program is called New Product Development and Marketing, the second is called Technology Entrepreneurship. Unique about these programs is that not only Industrial Engineering students can take these courses as an elective, all other Eindhoven University of Technology students can as well.
The New Product Development and Marketing USE program, building on state-of-the-art marketing and product innovation insights, helps engineering students to identify the origins of product specifications and ensure a good link between product features and customer benefits, which is key in the design of winning products. The program consists of three courses. First, New Product Marketing introduces a contemporary marketing view, in which identifying customer needs takes center stage. Students learn how firms identify target markets and analyze which are most suitable to launch their new product or service to build a competitive position and increase their rent earning potential. The follow-up course, Marketing research and design methods offers an orientation on qualitative and quantitative market intelligence and design tools. The New Product Development and Marketing USE program closes with a management game that requires students to interpret market intelligence from market research, to develop new products, and to manufacture and launch them in a market with competition from other firms (student teams). The aim is to outperform rivals. Alternatively, students can choose for the practical project Innovating by Design, where students learn how to use the cultural probing methodology to involve customers as a way to discover radical new product (and service) designs.
The Technology Entrepreneurship USE program is created to help the engineers of the future to stand out on the market. Students learn how to identify and create new opportunities for business developments, and how to design new independent or corporate business initiatives. In the end, finding a purpose for a particular technology or set of resources and matching it to the right business model is what transforms ideas into economic outputs such as sales and profit. The first course of the program is Introduction to Technology Entrepreneurship. (For more information about this course click here) It concentrates on creating, evaluating, and presenting a portfolio of entrepreneurial opportunities, and on designing a business model for a selected entrepreneurial opportunity, thereby recognizing the main challenges surrounding new business development for high-tech products and services. Its follow-up, Organizing Entrepreneurship, examines how entrepreneurial activities can be successfully organized and facilitated within larger, established organizations. It thereby focuses on various aspects such as corporate structure, strategy, negotiation and entrepreneurial teams. The project Entrepreneurship in Action completes the USE sequence Technology Entrepreneurship. In this course, students are challenged to develop a business concept for a certain theme, such as a specific technological innovation, and to conduct a feasibility study for that business concept (for an overview of the Entrepreneurship courses in the Bachelor click here).
Finally, students have the opportunity to do their Bachelor Thesis (i.e., BEP) with the ITEM group. The bachelor thesis is a report on an individually performed research as a test of scientific competence. With this thesis, the students show they can fairly independently analyze and report on an Industrial Engineering research question. Under the supervision of one of our ITEM knowledgeable scholars, students undertake projects in which they work within a company to solve a business problem in the field of innovation, technology entrepreneurship, or marketing.