Business Management for Scientists and Engineers

Course length:

2 Days



Course dates

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The most successful scientists and engineers are those who can discuss deep technical details with other subject matter experts and then help the CEO understand what that technical analysis means to the business. This two-day course is intended to accelerate professional growth by helping individuals with a technical background develop an appreciation for, and understanding of, the types of business knowledge used by senior leadership.

Business Management for Scientists and Engineers will help technical professionals understand how to leverage technical excellence to create business success. The course is focused on conveying an understanding of basic business principles and illustrating how they intersect with the technical factors that govern an engineer’s career. This knowledge can make you a more effective engineer, by showing you how to tailor your message to address the key points business leaders look for when making decisions. It can also create opportunities to transition from the role of a technical contributor to that of a business leader. Most of the examples used are from the aerospace and defense industry, but the key lessons would apply equally well to other industries. 

Attendees will receive a digital copy of the instructor’s text, Business Management for Scientists and Engineers; course notes; and access to additional information.

What You Will Learn:

Business Management for Scientists and Engineers will help make you more successful as an engineer by giving you a better understanding of how organizations conduct business. 

This course is developed and led by a technical professional and is targeted toward other technical professionals. It focuses on presenting the type of business knowledge required by engineer’s vs a traditional business curriculum. 

A review of the course text that was published in the February 2019 edition of the journal Technical Communication reported that: “Business Management for Engineers should be required reading for all engineers…”

Course Outline:

First we will define some of the basic principles and set the stage for what follows.

  • The four factors of production
    • Land, labor, and capital – plus the entrepreneur
  • Free and controlled markets
    • Places where goods are exchanged, such as the stock market


The Business of Business
Starting with the stock market, (the ultimate judge of most publicly traded, for profit companies), we’ll explore some business basics.

  • Financial & Cost Accounting
    • Financial accounting is externally focused and helps create the balance sheet that measures how profitable an organization is
    • Cost accounting is internally focused and helps management understand what each product or service truly costs
  • Pricing
    • How to determine what you should charge for each product or service.
  • Value Propositions & Business Models
    • Why would a customer choose your product or service, and how will you make money if they do


Navigating the Corporation
What do all the non-engineers do in a large company, and when do you need to seek them out for their input

  • Organizational structures and hierarchies
    • What changes as you move up or across the organization
  • Roles and responsibilities
    • How to tailor your message based on the priorities of the different parts of the organization


Rules of the Road
An overview of the laws, regulations, and guidelines that Governments insist that businesses follow – and how they impact your day-to-day decisions

  • Working in the United States
    • US Laws and Regulation
    • Federal Acquisition Regulation System
    • Budgeting & Planning
    • Fiscal and Monetary Policy
  • Working Internationally
    • US Export Regulations
    • Foreign Import Regulations
    • Currency Exchange Rates
    • Cultural Differences


Planning for Success
How to take an idea from a concept to a finished product that is ready to generate sales.

  • Developing a Business Case
  • Program Management Basics
  • Business Development Basics


Evaluating Success
Metrics that are used to measure the business success of products or services

  • Project SuccessEarned
    • Value Management
  • Portfolio / Business / Corporate Success
    • BCG Matrix; GE/McKinsey Matrix; Stock Price


Learning to Lead
The best engineers know how to develop and present a business case for their ideas that will gather support from their management, and investors. We’ll finish up by showing how you can become a more effective leader.

  • What is leadership?
    • Leadership vs Management
  • What Aristotle knew about leadership
    • Persuasion, or influence, is a combination of Ethos, Pathos, Logos and Kairos,
  • How to develop the leader in you


Dr. Alan Tribble is an Associate Director of Program Management in the aerospace and defense industry. He started his technical career as a space environment effects specialist for a major spacecraft manufacturer and also supported airborne communications and navigation products before making the leap to the business side. He spent several years in international business development before moving into program management. He holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Arkansas, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Iowa; is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute; and is the winner of the 2008 James A. Van Allen Space Environments Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 

Mr. Alan Breitbart is a business development manager in the aerospace and defense industry. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois, and an MBA in International Marketing from Loyola University.


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