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Course teaches business and engineering students how to compete in a connected world

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Course teaches business and engineering students how to compete in a connected world

As part of an ongoing effort to help innovators capitalize on emerging technologies, Oakland University's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) will once again offer the course “Competing in a Connected World.”

Introduced in 2013, this advanced course teaches students how to find new ways to gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace. This year, the course will be conducted in partnership with Oakland’s School of Business Administration and will bring together students from engineering and business to develop and assess ideas for commercial viability.

“This will be a high-level course focused on strategies to bridge the disciplinary divide between engineering and business,” said Dr. Robert Van Til, ISE department chair. “Students from both fields will be working together to harness the power of the connected world.”

Through a series of projects and guest lectures, the course will examine a variety of strategic topics, including:

  • The basic architecture of the connected world
  • Building blocks to succeed in an ever-changing business environment
  • Different approaches to transform organizational leadership and governance to address challenges of the connected world.
  • Strategies and implementation models to manage value chains in a connected environment

This year, the class will be led by three faculty members: Mohan Tanniru, Warren Ritchie and Gregg Garrett, who taught the course in 2013.  Each brings a unique blend of professional experiences, along with an exemplary record of success in the corporate world. Their collective expertise promises to enhance the quality of the course and provide students with a rich variety of learning opportunities.

"We are excited to expand our partnership with Gregg by bringing Mohan and Warren in to help engineering and business students create value for customers and businesses,” said Dr. Van Til.

In addition, a $40,000 donation from Enterprise Interest Group will be used to develop the course’s curriculum of business and engineering.

"The world in which we all live and work is connecting. The Internet has transformed into a major trillion-node system that connects everyone everywhere, and now, everything,” said Greg Garrett. “In 2013, we launched a course to allow students to learn 'how to compete in this connected world.’ Through recent contributions, Oakland is now in the process of transforming this course into a joint business and engineering course that will allow students to truly prepare to work in the connected environment."

The course is open to any engineer as a professional development course, as well as Oakland engineering and business students. It will be offered from 7:30 - 9:17 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from Sept. 4 through Dec. 13. For more information or to enroll, contact Dr. Van Til at vantil@oakland.edu or (248) 370-2211. The course is cross-listed under ISE 495/595 ST: Competing in a Connected World for engineering students and MIS 680 ST: Competing in a Connected World for business students.

For more information on programs and partnerships in Oakland’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, view the website at oakland.edu/ise. To learn more about offerings in Oakland’s School of Business Administration, visit oakland.edu/business.

About the faculty members:

Gregg Garrett is the founder and managing director of CGS Advisors, LLC. He is a graduate of Oakland University’s Industrial and Systems Engineering program and winner of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the highest honor given to Oakland alumni. Garrett holds an MBA from Michigan State University’s Broad College for Executive Management, as well as certificates from the Helsinki School for Economics and Uppsala University in Sweden. He serves as an adviser to many Fortune 100 corporate leaders and is a contributing writer for Connected World Magazine. He has held senior-level positions at Volkswagen Group of America and Deutsche Telekom.

Warren Ritchie, Ph.D., is currently the director of Strategy and Architecture Services with CGS Advisors, LLC. He is retired from the Volkswagen Group where, over a 25-year career, he worked in Canada, Argentina and the United States. During that time, Dr. Ritchie held roles in a variety of functional areas, including Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Finance. He later moved to Information Technology, where he served as chief information officer with Volkswagen Group of America in Herndon, Virginia for his final four years. He holds a doctorate in Corporate Strategy from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, a Master of Business Administration from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University.

Mohan Tanniru, Ph.D., is a professor of Management Information Systems in the OU School of Business Administration’s Decision and Information Sciences Department. For the past 30 years, he has published extensive research in areas such as IT strategy, knowledge base/expert systems, decision support and business analytics, and supply chain management. Along with his research endeavors, Dr. Tanniru has taught at the University of Arizona, Syracuse University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the former dean of the OU School of Business Administration, as well as the founding director of Oakland’s Applied Technology in Business (ATiB) program. He has coordinated numerous graduate and undergraduate projects with more than 60 large companies, including General Motors, Chrysler, EDS/HP, Lear, Comerica, MONY, Bristol Myers Squibb, Honeywell, Intel, Raytheon and Kaiser Permanente.