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Faculty and Courses

Technical Management Institute courses are taught by Krannert and Engineering faculty who have extensive applied experience working with executives in the classroom.

This professional development program offers people in both large and small companies best practices in managing a technical workforce, and an understanding of the management of business costs and the dynamics of cross-functional project management.

Key courses include:

Cyber Security

Taught by Scott Ksander, Executive Director, IT Networks & Security, Purdue University, Retired

Last year former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates said the “lights are blinking red” in a stern assessment of the cyber security risk to the United States.   Since that warning, little has changed and the risk continues to increase.  Every technical manager needs to have a basic understanding of the cyber security risks that are present in all technical work, regardless of the specific discipline.

These sessions will outline the concepts needed to actively engage in including cybersecurity in the planning and managing of technical projects.   The involvement of the Internet Of Things in almost every technical area creates new opportunities for great products but also comes with great risk. Coates went on to say the current cyber “attack” efforts are designed “to exploit America’s openness in order to undermine our long-term competitive advantage.”

You don’t want to be the manager who put your company’s Intellectual Property at risk by ignoring the cyber security aspects of your work.  This is not just an “IT problem” or the job of your company’s Chief Information Security Officer.  It is everyone’s job to be aware of the risks and to understand possible defenses. 

Executive Communications

Taught by Benjamin Crockett, Lease Portfolio Management, Farmland Reserve

In this short course you will learn the fundamentals of data visualization while utilizing Tableau. The course will touch on the art and skill set needed to build interactive dashboards that mash-up data from multiple sources, create and answer questions, and enable you to effectively communicate a message. The majority of the course will be hands-on active learning, with minimal lecturing time.

As managers, directors, and c-suite leaders you will differentiate yourself and your organization by mastering the ability to make rapid-fire decisions via powerful visuals. This course will give you the foundation to further develop those skills, or to facilitate the development of them in your teams.

Ben manages a large portfolio of agriculture investments in North America for Farmland Reserve. Prior to this role he led the Global Sales and Operations Planning for Dow Chemical’s AgroSciences division, where he launched and implemented the utilization of Tableau from the analyst level to the CEO. Prior to this role he led in roles within the Global Supply Chain and Competitive Intelligence at Dow AgroSciences, where his work and projects included time in Africa, China, and India. He has an MBA from Purdue University.


Taught by Dr. Benjamin Dunford
Professor of Management, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University

With an explicit focus on leadership of technical employees and the unique factors that help motivate them, this course is taught from a managerial perspective, with an emphasis on what practicing managers need to know to effectively lead and motivate employees, especially technical employees. The goals of the course are to:

  • Provide participants with a richer understanding of what managerial leadership involves;
  • Help participants formulate their own model of leadership;
  • Help participants identify specific approaches to motivating and leading technical employees;
  • Provide participants some feedback about their own leadership characteristics and skills.


Taught by Dr. Amanda Thompson – Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Krannert Visiting Professor of Finance and Purdue Foundry Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The financial management segment of the program, taught by Krannert Visiting Assistant Professor, Amanda Thompson, provides a survey of the concepts and tools required to make value-maximizing decisions. Financial management concerns itself with two fundamental questions that every firm faces: What projects should the firm undertake and how should the firm obtain the funds necessary to undertake them? The finance function with the firm seeks to answer these questions such that the value of the firm is maximized. Students will cover:

  • Key financial metrics for performance management.
  • Principals of financial markets and market pricing.
  • Capital investment decisions.

Personnel Management

Taught by Dr. Benjamin Dunford
Professor of Management, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University

This skills course is designed to give managers practical tools for improving their ability to negotiate deals and motivate people to improve performance. It utilizes a blended learning approach, combining interactive exercises and class discussion.

By the end of the session participants should be able to:

  • Avoid common negotiation mistakes that result in money being left on the table.
  • Improve problem-solving skills in day to day management situations.
  • Understand how to help employees “take ownership” of a task.
  • Conduct an effective performance appraisal interview and facilitate long term effectiveness.

Program and Project Management

Taught by Dr. Amy David
Clinical Assistant Professor of Management

This course is a fast-paced experience that will stimulate participants into looking for ways to incorporate project management into organizational processes or enhance those already in place. Dr. David will help participants acquire skills that will aid in completing projects on time, staying within budget, maintaining consistently high quality, and gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Participants will learn the essentials of defining, scheduling and staffing a program or project, as well as executing a program plan with the teamwork necessary for success. 


Taught by Dr. Umit Ozmel
Associate Professor of Management – Strategic Management

Strategic management focuses on the “big picture” questions of business: What determines total corporate performance of an entire business enterprise? Why do some companies succeed, while other companies fail? And what – if anything – can managers do about it? Within these “big picture” issues, we will also address more focused questions as well: How can a company anticipate how its competitors will respond to its strategy? Which industries/markets offer the best opportunities for sustained profitability, and why? How can a company build and sustain a competitive advantage?

Please note course offerings and faculty are subject to change.