Technology Assessment

Fall Term 2012

Course Description

This project course is grounded in technology-focused areas and provides an opportunity for teams of students to conduct a thorough analysis of prevalent and emerging technologies in fields of critical interest such as health, energy, the environment, and other complex systems. The team builds the case to recommend and justify actions for the technology's further development or not. Technology in an assigned application field will be analyzed by each student team, along with emerging, complementary and competing technologies, leading to 1) findings of those impediments and incentives for its further development, 2) identification and quantification of the societal and/or commercial benefits achievable from further development, and 3) recommendations for inaction or for action in research funding, product and market development, public policy, and the like, that would most rapidly achieve the identified societal and/or commercial benefits.

This is a single term project course required in the MEM Program where students work in small groups to accomplish the course objectives. Evaluation is based on selected homework assignments as well as the results of written reports and oral presentations involving faculty, advisors, and review boards both at mid-term and end of term.


  1. Introduction and context
    1. Technology and technological innovation
    2. Technology assessment roadmap
    3. Professional presentations, teamwork, and presentation delivery skills
  2. Methods used in technology assessment
    1. Normative models
    2. Forecasting methods
    3. Cross-impact analysis
    4. Economic analysis
    5. Reliability analysis
  3. Project work on assigned technology topic


Grading is based on assigned homework, oral and written reports at mid-term and at end of term.


Students, upon completing the course, will be able to:

  1. Explain the current status of a technology and its field of application.
  2. Compare competing and complementing technologies in the field.
  3. Determine the impediments and incentives to further development of the technology.
  4. Analyze the future potential for the technology relative to commercial and societal benefits.
  5. Develop recommendations for commercial or public policy actions.


These documents provide general guidelines for presentations and writing the various reports that are required for ENGM 178.


Dr. Robert Graves
Professor, Thayer School of Engineering

Ms. Julie Lang
Lecturer, Tuck School of Business


Sharon Cooper
Murdough 332


Monday and Wednesday: 1:00-2:50 pm, B01 MacLean


More information about this course can be found at the Blackboard site. You can login to Blackboard using your DND username and password.