“Every business participates in technological change as an originator, user, or victim of technological invention and innovation. Managers who understand how they participate in the process of technological change have a powerful advantage.”
- Bruce R. Guile
What is Industrial Technology?
The Industrial Technology (IT) program within the Orfalea College of Business develops individuals who can thrive in the innovation processes of the global business environment. That global environment rewards those companies and nations who can master business partnerships that cross national boundaries (e.g., design in USA, build in Beijing, package effectively and distribute), process innovative technology-based products quickly to market, and understand the enabling technologies that make all this possible. Students develop a strong foundation in the sciences and liberal arts, business and management disciplines, as well as extensive hands-on coursework in production processes, materials, systems and operations. To this end, IT at Cal Poly operates an extensive network of industrial labs that provides students exposure to technologies as disparate as metal joining, package crush testing, injection molding and rapid prototyping. Reflecting the realities of 21st century business, the program incorporates substantive emphases in value chain management, packaging and technology entrepreneurship. Each student completes coursework in these topics and will have the chance to apply their classroom instruction in experiential learning opportunities, both on-campus and in the community. These emphases are in turn strengthened by faculty research and robust industry partnerships. During their experience in IT at Cal Poly, students are learning-by-doing in many ways: engaging in product development projects, designing prototype packaging solutions, conducting lean manufacturing analyses, developing plans for technology commercialization and throughout, focusing on the intersection between technology, people and organizations. After graduation (usually before receiving their diplomas), they find personally and financially rewarding positions in many sectors, and in companies (and non-profits) large and small.
Program History and Accreditation
IT at Cal Poly is an exemplar of a national movement in interdisciplinary industry-focused education that gained prominence in the early 1960′s, and which spoke to the need for managers who could address both the technical and human side of industrial innovation. Cal Poly’s IT program began in 1959 within the College of Engineering and has the distinction of the second in the US to be accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT). It meets the needs of industry for people who know technology, who know and work well with people and who can manage the processes of change. It appeals to young men and women who want to make a real difference by transforming technologies into significant business success on national and international levels. IT at Cal Poly is a model for California and the nation.