Mastering Manufacturing Management

Chris Schreck ’07 will be one of the college’s first Master of Manufacturing Management graduates in May.

Chris Schreck ’07 will be one of the college’s first Master of Manufacturing Management graduates in May.

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Graduate program to award first degrees in May

Chris Schreck ’07 was working as a mold engineer at Samtec Inc. in Erie when he was promoted to a management position. While Schreck, who earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Penn State Behrend, certainly understood the technical side of things, he wanted to learn more about business and management.

He considered getting a Master of Business Administration degree, but at a local Society of Plastics Engineers meeting, he learned about Behrend’s new Master of Manufacturing Management program administered by the college’s School of Engineering in collaboration with the Black School of Business.

“I liked that it was a master’s degree program based on something beyond business, something (engineering) that I was familiar with,” Schreck said.

The MMM degree, unique among the Penn State programs and offered exclusively at Behrend, was a perfect fit for Schreck, who will be one of the program’s first graduates in May.

The 32-credit master’s program is designed to give students a unique set of engineering, business, quality-control, and communication skills that are considered to be essential to management success today. Students learn the fundamentals of materials, processes, and product design, as well as leadership and team-building techniques and process-improvement methods that focus on lean manufacturing and Six Sigma standards.

Schreck, who oversees a team of twenty associates in global mold design and build operations at Samtec, said he has been able to immediately apply what he is learning at work.

“Manufacturing Systems Planning and Control opened my eyes to EOQ, the economic order quantity, and how it can be used to make decisions when purchasing materials,” he said. “I learned the essentials on the business side from Randy Brown, lecturer in management, who helped me better understand net present value, income statements, and how the data can support making sound financial decisions.”

Classes in the MMM program are offered in evening sessions to enable working professionals to enroll, however, starting this summer, students can elect to attend full-time and earn their degree in as little as one year. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in an engineering, engineering technology, business, or science discipline with coursework in calculus, statistics, and computing. Schreck points out another important requirement: Commitment. “The MMM Program was as demanding of my time as I thought it would be,” he said, “but I’m fortunate to have an understanding wife and an employer who sees the value in education and allows me flexibility when needed.”

For more information about the MMM program, call 814-898-6153 or email [email protected]