Communicating has never been easier than it is today. Between texting, email, and even video calling, we can get in touch with each other better and faster now than ever before. However, as we discuss in the Masters of Engineering with a concentration in Information Engineering Management (IEM) at UAB, the advancements in communication also bring some interesting hurdles along with it. 

 
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As engineers, we have our own technical language that makes communicating with other engineers easier. However, when we're communicating with others outside of our office, that language often takes more time and energy for others to understand. On the flip side, text messaging shortcuts and emojis have made communicating faster, but not entirely better. Electronic communication takes away human interaction, the tone of voice, and other nonverbal cues that work to send a complete message. While we've advanced communication to become more instantaneous, we've also left effective communication in the dust. 

At IEM, we aim to transform you into a competent professional communicator that understands how to effectively use all the communication channels that are at your disposal. You'll learn how to best use electronic communication in the workplace, and also how to take technical content and make it work for your audience in face-to-face presentations. 

Technical to Practical: IEM Testimonial, Adam Lansdon

When Adam Lansdon, Trauma Coordinator for Children's Hospital of Alabama (COA), was tasked with a presentation to thank donors and fundraisers at COA, he utilized skills and methods from IEM 610 to thoroughly communicate with his audience that might not understand statistics or technical terms that he uses in a clinical setting. 

"I was asked to talk about my trauma program. I didn’t go too deep into stats because I knew that this was a different setting. Had it not been for IEM 610, I have zero doubt that this would have not gone over near as well," said Adam. "I made a comparison of Netflix to our Trauma Program and told a story of my own. I used the sticky note process, SUCCESs model, and Presentation Zen ideologies."

Adam connected with the audience by comparing his COA trauma program to Netflix, a service that most people in the room were likely already familiar with. Hospital donors were compared to subscribers, movie titles were compared to types of care delivery available at the hospital, and the immediacy of picking something to watch on your Netflix binge was paired with the importance of having any type of equipment needed, at any moment, for any level of trauma that may come through the hospital's doors. 

He also used Netflix's emphasis on customer service, research and development, and original success stories as similar hallmarks of the trauma program at COA. 

Adam's story of his twin daughters being in the trauma unit at COA shifted his role from an employee of COA to a parent on "the other side", emphasized that the comfort they experienced while receiving care was due in part to these same donor's contributions.  

"Customer service is paramount at Netflix, and as you would imagine where I am going... it's paramount here," Adam said in his presentation. "Like Netflix, we strive to provide the best service with a focus on patient safety, patient and family comfort, and by bringing the family members into the trauma they feel like they are a part of the process and are well informed."

Adam's presentation earned several compliments, follow-up emails, and even requests to speak to more groups on behalf of the hospital. Adam is using his knowledge from IEM to move from his current position as a nurse into a consulting and public relations role and he even landed two new customers from his presentation. 

Be a Competent Technical Communicator

With all the messages being sent today, it's important to make sure what you're communicating is really being heard and understood. Effective communication ensures that your knowledge of a topic and the information you're relaying is actually received.

At IEM we want to help you learn the best communication strategies to focus your message, avoid miscommunication, and effectively communicate your worth in order to move from engineer to manager.  If you're interested in learning more about IEM, use 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 way 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.