IBE Curriculum

The Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) Honors Program has a challenging four-year curriculum designed to help prepare the next generation of business leaders to communicate across business and technical domains and to practice an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving.

IBE Cohort Courses:

  • Semester I: ENGR 1281.01H – IBE Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors I
  • Semester II: ENGR 1282.04H – IBE Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors II
  • Semester III: BUSMHR 2400 – IBE Competitive Analysis Seminar
  • Semester VBUSMHR 3400 – IBE Innovation Management Seminar
  • Semester VIIENGR 5901.02H – IBE Capstone I
  • Semester VIIIENGR 5902.02H – IBE Capstone II

Freshmen Cornerstone Project

The IBE Freshman Cornerstone course replaces the traditional freshman design-build-test project with one closely mirroring that of a senior capstone design project. Students work in teams to create a product, such as a hand-held device to provide independence for people with arthritis. The course culminates with a business plan pitch to seasoned industry representatives. This experience creates a solid foundation for their senior capstone design project.

Sophomore Competitive Analysis Seminar

Students transition from their first-year design project into their first of two IBE management seminars. The sophomore seminar helps students better understand how design decisions affect a firm’s ability to build and sustain a competitive advantage. The course exposes students to tools to help them identify relevant information embedded in massive amounts of publicly available data, assess the relationships among key variables highlighted by management theory, and interpret those relationships to develop educated opinions regarding the viability of a firm’s strategy in a specific context. Class discussions encourage students to communicate their business reasoning and judgments in a group setting.

Junior Technology and Strategy Innovation Seminar

The junior IBE seminar provides students with a strategic perspective on management in complex, knowledge-intensive and dynamic environments. These settings pose a different set of challenges to the identification and pursuit of competitive advantage than described in the sophomore seminar. Although tradeoffs between different resource allocation policies and organizational forms remain critical, the emphasis is now on whether and when a firm should shift from old to new sources of advantage. These distinctions often require new tools to consider:

(a) how to evaluate highly uncertain investment proposals
(b) whether and how to capture value from intangible assets
(c) how to design organizations that are able to assemble and organize the resources necessary to exploit existing advantages or explore new opportunities

Honors Senior Capstone Design

Equipped with a more rigorous business toolkit from their strategic management seminars, senior IBE students return to product design in their capstone course. IBE capstone projects are unique, requiring a company sponsor and a realistic, open-ended problem statement—focused on product and market development with emphasis on user-centered design. Project teams consist of engineering, business and industrial design students matched to project needs. Teams have access to top-notch facilities, including state-of-the-art rapid prototyping equipment.