Northwestern University established the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program in 1976 to provide high-quality engineering management education for engineers and scientists in the Chicago area. Professor Al Rubenstein was one of the leading forces in creating the program and based on the idea that high-tech to traditional “rust belt” companies, continuous technological innovation and effective technology base management was essential for maintaining a competitive edge.
The Chair of the IEMS Department agreed that an MEM degree would better fit the needs of technology company and the program was formed with a target enrollment of 50 students. They reached their goals in the third year of the program, the upper limit of 75-100 by the sixth year. The program currently has an enrollment of 110 students.
Many aspects of the original core curriculum have remained in the program, such as innovation and entrepreneurship, but the continued success of the program reflects an ability to adapt and change with the field. Now, all students graduate with a capstone Strategic Management course that teaches metacogntion and connects the content from all individual courses. A 2007 student survey showed that 70% of graduates who remained with their company received a promotion within a year of graduation, and all of the fulltime students to date have found jobs within nine months of graduation and the program continues to flourish today.