Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-703: Managing and Leading Research and Development




This course will provide an insider's look at issues in industrial research and development laboratories that future industrial R&D personnel are likely to face.
The instructor, Prof. Mark Kryder spent nine years as Chief Technical Officer and Senior Vice President, Research for Seagate Technology, the largest disk drive manufacturer in the world. In the course, he will try to give students an improved understanding of how research and development are done in a major high-tech firm today.

The course is built around the instructor's personal experiences, but also draws heavily from business management literature and business case studies. It is expected that the course will make the transition from the university to industry easier and faster for students who have taken it and enable them to become more effective in an industrial setting in a shorter period of time.
Examples of issues to be discussed will be the impact of various organizational structures upon R&D; What characteristics are desired in a research staff member vs. a staff development engineer?, What is the importance of diversity in a R&D setting? What are the relative importances of technology, marketing expertise and corporate business models in determining success of a product?; What is meant by "corporate culture" and how does it get defined?; How important are collaboration and teamwork in R&D and are they different?; What is Six Sigma and how important is it in today's business world?; How do you measure performance in R & D?, how do you effectively transfer technology from research to development?; how can you effectively leverage university research and industrial consortia?: How important is intellectual property in various industries? How important is corporate size?: What is the role of technology vision?; What are the effects of globalization on R&D?; What is a technology steering council and how can it be used to facilitate technology transfer and development?

The course will be taught via case studies and discussion. Grading will be based upon participation in class discussion, written case study analyses and written midterm and final exams.
It is recommended that this course be taken by graduate students in the year before they go into industry, rather than at an earlier time, as we all have a limited ability to retain new information unless it is put to use shortly after learning it.

This project/seminar course is not an approved ECE graduate course for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. (Please see

Prerequisites: Graduate Student Status. IMB students may only take this course in their final year at Carnegie Mellon.

Last Modified: 2015-08-25 3:41PM

Semesters offered:

  • Fall 2015
  • Fall 2014
  • Fall 2013
  • Fall 2012
  • Fall 2011
  • Fall 2010
  • Fall 2009
  • Fall 2008
  • Spring 2008