595.793.8VL - Applied Innovation for Technical Professionals

Engineering Management
Fall 2023


“Fail fast”, “crowdfunding”, “agile”, “open innovation”—the nature of innovation is radically changing in the 21st century. How can technical professionals thrive amidst the new models, tools and processes that are creating faster cycles of disruption? This course will address challenges faced by technical managers in creating and sustaining innovation across a wide range of organizations and environments: from government labs to Fortune 1,000 companies to small businesses and startups. Students will learn the many issues involved in turning creative ideas into a product or service and how to gain support for projects, demonstrate value of the innovation, scale to a profitable venture, and sustain the innovation through successive competitive life cycles. Students will also learn about the challenges and techniques for sustaining innovative cultures in large organizations and how to foster “intrepreneurship”—the concept of creating innovations within the processes and cultures of an already established organization. Case studies and interviews with experienced senior managers will provide students with the latest real-world insights. Course Note(s): The weekly seminar-type presentations/discussions are attended via web meeting. Please refer to the course schedule for updated information.


Default placeholder image. No profile image found for Michael McLoughlin.

Michael McLoughlin


Profile photo of Thomas Van Doren.

Thomas Van Doren


Course Structure

Overall Course Content Structure:

Weekly Module Structure:

Course Topics

Course Goals

This course will address challenges faced by technical managers in creating and sustaining innovation across a wide range of organizations and environments: from government labs to Fortune 1000 companies to small businesses and startups. ​

By the end of this course, you will be able to:​

  1. Explain how innovation models and the innovation project cycle are changing in the early 21st century and the resulting impact on a wide range of organization types.​
  2. Analyze the many issues involved in turning creative ideas into a product or service.​
  3. Identify key issues facing technical professionals at the major phases of a typical innovation project lifecycle and evaluate alternative approaches.​
  4. Formulate approaches to advance an innovative concept from idea to sustainment​
  5. Evaluate, select, and apply modern innovation tools and techniques to an innovation. ​

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


Not Required

Other Materials & Online Resources

Readings and videos provide through eReserves and/or embedded within course modules.

Student Coursework Requirements

Student Coursework Requirements: 

It is expected that each class will take up approximately 8 - 14 hours per week to complete. Here is an approximate breakdown:
▪ reading the assigned material (approximately 3 - 5 hours per week)
▪ listening to the audio annotated slide presentations and videos (approximately 2 - 4 hours per week)
▪ preparation and participation in Team Presentations (approximately 3 - 5 hours per week)

This course is intended to build expertise and skills required to move innovative concepts from an idea to practice,  apply the material to a term project and demonstrating creative thinking. Therefore, it is anticipated to require a larger time demand than other courses, with particular attention to the team mandatory weekly seminar-type discussions, team presentations, and participation in the field trip at the end of the semester.

This course will consist of four basic student requirements:
1. Class Discussions (Team Work / Team Grade) The discussion assignments are part of a semester-long case study where you will assume the responsibilities of a Team working to develop an innovative concept. Your team will be take the role of innovators in one of several work environments. Attendance at the scheduled virtual-live discussion is mandatory. You will be assessed on your understanding of the issue and application of the concepts presented in that respective course module.
2. Mid-Course Team Presentations (Team Work / Team Grade) Using the concepts developed in the first half of the course to develop a funding pitch for your idea. Your Team will be graded on how well you integrate the concepts presented in the first half of the class into a convincing funding pitch.
3. Final Team Presentation (Team Work / Team Grade) You will develop a future scenario that describes how you took your innovate idea from concept to sustainment. Your Team will be grade based on how you built your scenario around the concepts in the second half of the course.

Grading Policy

Module Discussions - 100 pts
Modules 2 through 6 and 8 through 12 - 10pts each 

Module Assignments - 100 pts
Module 1 (Individual) - 20
Module 2 (Team) - 10
Module 2 (Individual) - 10
Module 4 (Team) - 10
Module 4 (Individual) -10
Module 8 (Team) - 10
Module 8 (Individual) - 10
Module 10 (Team) - 10
Module 10 (Individual) - 10

Midterm - 100 pts
Module 6 Midterm (Team) - 50
Module 6 Midterm (Individual) - 50

Final - 100 pts
Module 12 Final (Team) - 50
Module 12 Final (Individual) - 50

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.