Whittemore School of Business and Economics
 

UNH Center Helping New Hampshire Meet Needs in Management of Technology

By Mary Peterson
UNH Publications
(603) 862-3165

July 25, 2002


DURHAM, N.H. -- In its first full year of operation, the University of New Hampshire's new Hamel Center for the Management of Technology and Innovation reports several accomplishments that will provide opportunities for generations of business managers.

First among these is the design and development of a new master's of science degree program in the management of technology. The program is currently under review by the university and approval is expected. The first class of students will enter in September, 2002.

"The program was a faculty project," Whittemore School of Business and Economics Dean Steve Bolander says. "We've developed a new master's program and gained Whittemore faculty approval within a six month period. That's an outstanding effort."

The program will require students to take foundation courses in information technology, business fundamentals and science and engineering, along with core courses and electives in the management of technology, all incorporating case studies and simulations.

The Hamel Center, anchored in the Whittemore School, will not only manage the new interdisciplinary graduate degree program, but will partner with New Hampshire businesses to provide educational and technical assistance for managing technological change and commercializing emerging technologies.

Hamel Professor A.R. Venkatachalam, who assisted with development, calls the program unique.

"If you look at the economy, information technology, nanotechnology and biotechnology are all emerging at a fast pace," Venkatachalam says. "But development by itself is not enough; it has to be successfully commercialized. The real challenge is how to manage this rapidly changing technology -- how to commercialize it and bring it into the economic mainstream. Business managers need to know how to manage it, and technical managers need to understand the business aspect, so our program makes people 'bilingual,' that is, they are knowledgeable in both of these disciplines."

The inaugural class will include approximately eight to 10 students who are recent graduates with bachelor's degrees in such areas as mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, the biological sciences and earth science.

"We're partnering with a number of companies that may nominate students as possible candidates for the program," Warren Lackstrom, Hamel Center director, says. "We want to follow these students in their careers after they graduate to learn how the program has helped them. In exchange for that participation and feedback, we're prepared to give them financial aid."

On the state level, the Hamel Center this year helped design and conduct New Hampshire's biotechnology business incubator feasibility study, which looks at where the state should place office space and research capabilities to further the creation of new businesses.

"The study indicated the Seacoast area, Pease International Tradeport or UNH as suitable sites," Bolander says. "In any case, the Hamel Center may have a role in managing the high tech incubator."

The Hamel Center also has set up an advisory board made up of representatives from local and regional industry. Its members will provide advice and oversight as programs move forward.

The Hamel Center for the Management of Technology and Innovation was founded through a gift from Dana A. and Kathryn P. Hamel as an investment in New Hampshire's future.

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