Undergraduate Teaching 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4E4: Management of Technology, 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4E4: Management of Technology, 2019-20

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Module Leader

Dr L Mortara


Dr Mortara, Dr R Phaal, Dr C Kerr, Dr F Tietze, Prof T Minshall, Prof R Mitchell

Timing and Structure

Michaelmas term. Eight 2-hour sessions incorporating industry speakers. Assessment: 100% coursework


The aims of the course are to:

  • provide students with an understanding of the ways in which technology is brought to market by focusing on key technology management topics from the standpoint of an established business as well as new entrepreneurial ventures
  • place emphasis on frameworks and methods that are both theoretically sound and practically useful.
  • provide students with both an understanding of the challenges and the practical means of dealing with them in an engineering context.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • have a thorough appreciation of how technology is used to address market opportunities, and how technology management supports that process
  • assess and utilise appropriate technology management methods in different contexts
  • understand the core challenges of technology management and the practical means of dealing with them in an engineering context


Introduction: Technology in the business context

- The objectives, content and procedure of the course

- Technology in organisations and markets

- How technology is managed to generate value – the link between technology and innovation

- What are technology management processes and how are they used?

Strategic Technology Management: How do companies plan for future technology progression?

- Strategic technology management

- Planning for the future by linking technology, product and market considerations - Technology Roadmapping (TRM)

- Scenario planning tools to help manage the uncertainties of the future

Identification: How do companies keep up with scientific and technological developments?

-  Technology intelligence and its role for organisations

- Technology intelligence systems

- How do the technology intelligence systems operate: the process

Selection: How to select the right technology for the future?

- Selecting technology investments: specific problems

- Tools and techniques for technology selection

- How do companies manage a portfolio of R&D projects?

Protection: Protecting technology to ensure future business opportunities

- The relevance of intellectual property (IP) in today’s technology and business context.

- How to manage and enforce IP strategically for technology related business problems.

- How to organize for effective IP management.

Acquisition: Different routes to acquire technology from partners

- The process of technology acquisition

- Defining the motivation and what we want to acquire (e.g. Make or buy?

- Assessing the match (Internal drivers, technology and partners’ characteristics)

- Deciding the setup of the acquisition

Exploitation: Making money from new technologies: How to choose the right business model

-  What are the different ways in which an idea can be brought to market?

- Why do most innovations reach the market through new firms rather than established firms?

- How do new and established firms work together?

Technology managers:lessons from the trenches

·      Invited speaker(s) will reflect on their experience in technology management: Topics covered include

·      Managing technology in organisations

·      Managing technology projects

·      The job of the technology manager

·      People in organisations


Additional resources for this module will be available from Camtools. Details will be given at the start of the module.


The coursework objective is for the students to demonstrate knowledge of the technology management approaches and tools explored in class by applying this understanding to a specific context (a company that is facing an emerging technology). Information on the specific business and technology will be shared with the class at the start of the module.  The context (the specific company and technology) will be the basis to draft a 3000-words report which reflects on technology management practices and approaches which could be relevant for the managers in that company, drawing upon module material supplemented with students' own research on both industrial practice & academic theory. The details of the coursework will be discussed in class at the start of the course.  


Coursework Format

Due date

& marks

Final report

Coursework 1 brief description

Learning objective:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the core Technology Management concepts delivered during the module;
  • Demonstrate awareness of Technology Management concepts applied within different contexts; 
  • Demonstrate competence at producing a Masters level academic report.

Your report and presentation will be assessed using the following criteria: 

Application– Does the report illustrate an understanding and an ability to apply the technology management principles to specific situations, and consider alternative approaches? 

Use of course material –Does the report illustrate understanding of the material presented in the lectures and in the key readings? 

Additional effort– Is there use of evidence of substantial background research, with evidence drawn from sources other than the core lecture material? 

Organisation– Are the messages of the report clearly articulated? Do they clearly explain, in a substantiated way, how the technology management tools/approaches and practices work, and have been applied or could be applied? Do they outline what challenges need to be considered by the organisation? 

Presentation– Is the document itself well presented, clearly structured, with appropriate referencing of supporting evidence?



Anonymously marked

Friday 17th January 2020, 12:00 (noon)

100% of assessment for this module




Please see the Booklist for Group E Courses for references for this module.

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.


The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) describes the requirements that have to be met in order to become a Chartered Engineer, and gives examples of ways of doing this.

UK-SPEC is published by the Engineering Council on behalf of the UK engineering profession. The standard has been developed, and is regularly updated, by panels representing professional engineering institutions, employers and engineering educators. Of particular relevance here is the 'Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes' (AHEP) document which sets out the standard for degree accreditation.

The Output Standards Matrices indicate where each of the Output Criteria as specified in the AHEP 3rd edition document is addressed within the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Triposes.

Last modified: 29/08/2019 22:14