Basic ENGG 390 Project Requirements


Each project should be sponsored by a company, organization, or individual in a professional field of interest to the student. Professional fields may include engineering, management, marketing, consulting, finance, etc. Academic research projects, where there is no professional/corporate sponsor, are not acceptable.


While most MEM students choose to do their project over the summer, this is not a requirement. Students may undertake their project during any academic term.

Projects Within Internships

Most students work on their MEM project as part of a paid internship, typically over the summer. Many students find the experience of the internship valuable, and also a good stepping-stone to a full-time position. If an internship is undertaken, the student must have responsibility for a project, or a portion of a project, as part of the internship. This project is what the student will be required to report on academically. In general projects completed for aspects of a Six Sigma certification program do not qualify as ENGG 390 internships.

Relationship Between Sponsor, Student, and Thayer School

Thayer School does not enter into a formal relationship with project sponsors, and arrangements for the project or internship employment are at the discretion of the student and sponsor.

Project Objective and Content

The purpose of this course is for the student to learn from the experience of completing an engineering management project on their own, all the way from identifying a suitable problem to delivering a useful solution. Because each project is different, it is not possible to specify in detail just how to go about any particular project. Students will be judged by results. However, there are some common features of successful projects that may serve as guidelines. Successful projects allow a student to:

  1. Apply engineering problem-solving skills to a real-world project
    Some projects will involve creating a device or process that will satisfy a specific need, including economic factors. Others may involve a strategy, policy, or an emphasis on management. Whatever the appropriate blend of activities and objectives, students must demonstrate the ability to use an engineering problem-solving approach. That is, the ability to define a problem, derive specifications for a successful solution, generate and evaluate appropriate alternatives, produce a solution in an analytically sound manner, and show that it meets suitable measures of success.
  2. Manage a real-world project
    The student must be responsible for a project, or a discrete portion of a larger project. With guidance from the sponsor, the student should develop the project timeline, and have general oversight for the project. Students are not required to be in a management role over other employees.
  3. Work for a sponsor in a professional field that interests the student
    Gain real world experience.

Project Length

The typical project demands 30 - 100% of a student's time during a 12-week full-time internship.

Project Approval

The course instructor is the ultimate authority on what is allowed for a project. Before a student commits to a particular project, we strongly recommend they first consult the course professor.

For more information, see: