MEng Electronic Engineering

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Commercial Technology Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MCEL30102
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit is intended to provide an introduction to how commercial technology development affects the way in which engineering should be practiced in terms of business sustainability.

Engineering is central to the well-being and economic development of every nation. Electrical and Electronic Engineers are responsible for providing fundamental services in the delivery of infrastructure as well as the manufacture of products synonymous with the modern world.

The challenge for many organisations is in finding robust ways of implementing sustainable commercial development at a practical level: addressing challenges whilst remaining competitive on a global stage. Recognising that research, technical innovation, technical development and business skills must be understood nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of commercially sustainable solutions.

The unit provides an introduction to commercial technology development and what approaches make it sustainable in the market from a business perspective and develops the concepts of integration between elements of the organisation and the wider environment.



The aim of this unit is to develop in EEE students an understanding of the fundamental principles of economical sustainability, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, ethical practice and their implications for commercial development.

The unit develops an understanding of mechanisms for change towards sustainable development in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role within organisations, appreciating essential business aspects. Emphasis is placed upon the relationship between management strategy, the pursuit of business and sustainable aims and objectives; and the benefits that arise for various stakeholder groups.



The unit provides an introduction to understanding commercial technology development that is sustainable in a professional context. A combination of lectures and group activities enable students to learn both the basic theory of sustainable development, business models, commercial development and understand its application in a professional context.

Where possible, examples are drawn from real life scenarios and lecturers from EEE are involved to introduce a range of different subject perspectives.

Lectures and group activities/workshops are used to apply theoretical concepts: equipping students with sustainable commercial development literacy and competencies, enabling them to understand and contribute to the social, environmental, economic and ethical responsibilities of potential future employers.


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures are delivered by the Business School and the Department of EEE to introduce the concepts and principles followed by in depth technical or industrial insight into the topics.

Workshops will be used to apply theoretical concepts and give students the opportunity to develop practical and transferable skills through participation and contribution to group activities that will support their coursework.


Knowledge and understanding

A1 Demonstrate knowledge of key business and sustainable development principles

A2 Demonstrate knowledge of the "three pillars" model of sustainable development, identifying, integrating and balancing social, environmental, economic and ethical considerations

A3 Demonstrate understanding of global challenges, and an awareness of their impact on industry

Intellectual skills

B1 Appreciate and critically evaluate and apply a whole lifecycle perspective to analysis of a scenario, predicting both short term and long term consequences

B2 Appreciate the changing environment in which businesses operate and the dynamic relationship between an organisation and its environment

B3 Apply appropriate concepts, models, frameworks, tools and techniques which facilitate the evaluation and development of sustainability in business

Practical skills

C1 Develop and apply problem solving skills

C2 Communicate effectively in presenting work in a professionally written report

C3 Research and critically analyse information from published literature and internet sources

Transferable skills and personal qualities

D1 Develop time management skills

D2 Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and effectively within a group in workshops

D3 Develop, analyse, structure and communicate information both written and verbally

Employability skills

The course attempts to give students the opportunity to develop those skills by providing opportunities for team work, finding and compiling information in the form of an individual written report and getting students thinking about the commercial aspects of their subject area.

Assessment methods

Formative assessment:    

  • Online Citation Quiz (0% - Blackboard Quiz)
  • Business and Sustainability aspects (0% Blackboard Quiz)                                      

Summative Assessment:

  • Coursework (100%) - Individual Report 3,000 words (in Week 12)


Feedback methods

For the formative assessment immediate feedback is available upon completing the formative Business and Sustainability quiz in blackboard. The test can be taken unlimited number of times.

Attending lectures and participating in short tasks set in the class. Your lecturer may provide brief replies to your e-mailed enquiry, or may arrange to meet at the scheduled class session.

Your lecturer may feedback messages to the whole class via Blackboard if the point that you have raised could benefit to the whole class. It is your responsibility to check Blackboard regularly.


Recommended reading

  • Mulder K., 2006, Sustainable Development for Engineers: A Handbook and Resource Guide, Greenleaf Publishing Ltd. (ISBN-10: 1874719195).
  • Tidd J., Besant J., 2018, Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change, Wiley.
  • Trott, P., 2016, Innovation Management and New Product Development, Prentice Hall, 6th edition.
  • Allenby, B.R., 2012, The Theory and Practice of Sustainable Engineering, Pearson (Prentice Hall).
  • Ashford, N., Hall, R., 2011, Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State, Yale University Press.
  • Rainey, D.L., 2010, Sustainable Business Development: Inventing the Future through Strategy, Innovation and Leadership, Cambridge University Press.
  • Swamidass, P., 2016, Engineering Entrepreneurship from Idea to Business Plan: A Guide for Innovative Engineers and Scientists, Cambridge University Press.

Additional reading:

  • Rulkens P., 2018, How Successful Engineers become Great Business Leaders, Business Expert Press.
  • The unit will also draw on relevant journal articles.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 14
Practical classes & workshops 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Kassandra Papadopoulou Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Programme Restrictions: Core forMEng/BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering,MEng/BEng Electronic Engineering andMEng/BEng Mechatronic Engineering.


For Academic Year 2022/23

Updated: March 2022

Approved by: March UG Committee

Return to course details