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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Engineering and Technology Management

E M 505 Finance for Technical Systems

Course Description

Finance for Technical Systems focuses on economic studies and financial principles for evaluating technical systems in support of engineering management decision-making. The course builds successively on topics starting with the fundamentals of engineering economics and financial management. Topics include the time value of money, net present value, rate of return, benefit/cost analyses, and financial statement analysis. Next, the course moves to applications for better decision-making including project financing, noneconomic attributes, replacement and retention decisions, budget limitations, breakeven and payback analyses, activities-based management, financial modeling, and capital budgeting. The latter portion of the course incorporates inflation, cost estimation, indirect cost allocation, taxes and depreciation, sensitivity analysis, staged decisions, and decision making under risk and uncertainty. Students apply current topics to real-life experiences with a focus on ethics in financial management. The course enables technical managers to make and defend development, production, and capital expenditure decisions. The objective of the course is for students to become fluent and proficient with financial terms, methods, and concepts. Ultimately, the goal is to equip technical managers with the financial knowledge that is necessary to confidently participate in tactical and strategic planning and decision-making.

Course Objectives

This course teaches fundamentals and concepts for the engineering economy including aspects of financial management and managerial accounting.  Its specific objectives are:

  • To provide a general approach for performing engineering economic evaluations;
  • To provide technical leaders and managers with methods, processes, and tools to make high-quality engineering economics decisions under uncertainty;
  • To provide practice using analytical tools to analyze real-life economic situations;
  • To clarify, improve and broaden one’s personal philosophy of engineering economics, financial management, and managerial accounting;
  • To strengthen one’s communication and research abilities by exploring professional ethics and related economic decisions made in historic real-life situations;
  • To provide the student with opportunities to utilize critical thinking skills to analyze and solve complex economics-based problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Perform sound engineering economic evaluations of technical systems.
  • Integrate time value of money, rate of return, net present value, and benefit/cost analyses into financial planning.
  • Accurately interpret financial statements and apply them to tactical and strategic planning.
  • Use engineering economy as the mathematical foundation for on-the-job financial planning of production, cost estimation, activity-based management, capital budgeting, and related trade-off analyses.
  • Incorporate sensitivity analysis, real options, and risk and probability to address economic decision-making under uncertainty.
  • Explain the importance of a strong corporate ethics program.
  • Persuasively justify economics-based decisions to executive leadership using relevant tools and techniques.

 

Faculty Contact: Alice Squires (alice.squires@wsu.edu)
Semester Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

This course can be used to fulfill the following requirements:

Course Topics

  • Corporate Ethics
  • Time Value of Money Factors
  • Excel Financial and Optimization Functions
  • Nominal and Effective Interest Rates
  • Net Present Value
  • Future Worth
  • Annual Worth
  • Life Cycle Cost
  • Rate of Return for Single and Multiple Alternatives
  • Benefit/Cost Analysis and Public Sector Economics
  • Financial Statements Overview
  • Activity-Based Management
  • Earned Value Management
  • Project Financing and Non-economic Attributes
  • Replacement and Retention Decisions
  • Independent Projects with Budget Limitations
  • Breakeven and Payback Analysis
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Inflation
  • Cost Estimation and Indirect Cost Allocation
  • Taxes and Depreciation
  • Sensitivity Analysis and Staged Decisions
  • Decision Making under Risk and Uncertainty