Engineer working on a project,A major component of a graduate education is the final project. When it came to developing the final project for the Masters of Engineering degree with a concentration in Information Engineering Management we asked ourselves - what exactly should your graduate capstone project really look like?

Many times a final project looks like a research paper or presentation which is delivered to the faculty at the end of your graduate degree. Unfortunately, too many graduate projects are just that, papers and dissertations that are just turned in and have very little direct impact on your future career.

We understand that you had a purpose for beginning a graduate program. Maybe you wanted to start a company, get a new job, or develop skills that would help you move into a leadership position. We believe a graduate capstone project should take all the things you have done while working on your degree and help propel you forward with something tangible to show for your hard work.

IEM 695: Design Project

In IEM 695, your graduate design project will provide you with an opportunity to pursue an area of study that is relevant to information engineering and management, but also consistent with your professional development goals.

Thinking about starting a company? Your project should be geared towards clarifying what your company will do and who it will serve. You will be able to focus on your personal brand and positioning to capitalize in the future. Your project might be a business plan for a technology start-up including a working prototype, demonstration, or proof-of-concept related to your proposed start-up.

Looking to grow into a new position of leadership? You'll be able to focus on ways to network in your company, connect with other leaders, and increase your visibility. Your project could prepare you for a management position by studying and analyzing best practices of how specific practices are, or could be, deployed in your own workplace.

Want to get a Ph.D.? Your project can center on finding a Ph.D. program that fits your goals and needs, networking and connecting with key faculty, and developing a plan or a paper for future publication in your area of research.

Real Life Success Stories

Many of the projects completed by previous IEM students have spurred them on to secure leadership positions, start their own businesses, and confidently pursue their personal passions. Here are three stories of IEM students that have made the most of the IEM design project:

Ernie had helped companies in the oil and gas industry do a better job of getting past specific challenges when drilling for many years. While on the job as a contractor, Ernie was often asked by teams if they could “pick his brain” on how to solve problems. In our Master of Engineering entrepreneurship classes, we teach that “picking your brain” means you have valuable skills others would pay for. So, Ernie took that lesson and started developing a consulting business based on the information that people had "picked his brain" for before. Through the IEM design project, he developed a set of methods for getting past a specific drilling challenge and started to market his new intellectual properties. Ernie eventually found himself and his new business in South America working with drilling teams using his new methods.

Scotty wanted to start a company to help serve other people in his area. He had always loved working one-on-one with people, helping them solve problems; so, he decided to develop a handyman service to supplement his income and his growing family. Over the length of the IEM design project, he developed a business plan, a pricing model for his services, and began marketing his new venture. By the end of the term, he was growing his business and earning a solid second income.

Will was an engineer by day, but his true love was music, having played the guitar since he was very young. Over the past few years he was in a worship team in a recovery center ministry, but he did not see the possibility for his music to be anything more than a hobby. Through the IEM design project, Will decided to start laying the groundwork to become a paid musician and also started paying attention to the questions he was asked by his customers, a practice we teach in our Master of Engineering classes. After being repeatedly asked where his music could be found when he wasn't playing live, Will set out to record his music. Over the term, he planned YouTube videos and Facebook Live broadcasts, and even recorded multiple songs to begin to develop a platform and a personal music website,

Practice Innovation. Practical Implementation.

No matter what your goal - the final project in the Master of Engineering program is designed to be real and have real meaning for you now, and in the future. The final project takes what you learned throughout our curriculum and propels you toward meeting your next goal. We want to see you succeed at whatever your personal and professional goals are and we'd love to talk with you about how to make that happen. Fill out the form on this page to schedule a time to talk or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let us help you find your path to a technical or engineering management career.

About IEM

The Master of Engineering with a concentration in Information Engineering Management (IEM) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a specialized concentration designed primarily for engineers and people in technical positions. The concentration presents business systems and soft skills in a curriculum that is based on actual engineering industry needs and is offered completely online.