About the MEM

image of students on a field trip MEM

“The purpose of the University of Canterbury Engineering Management Programme (EMP) is to produce engineering, science and related masters graduates who will form the next generation of senior management in New Zealand industry. We provide a superior education in technology management processes combined with education in business values such as leadership, customer responsiveness, quality, entrepreneurship and teamwork. The Programme is strongly driven by a desire to meet industry's professional engineering management needs.” MEM Statement of Purpose

UC's Engineering Management Programme delivers the Master of Engineering in Management (MEM) degree.

What attributes will an MEM graduate have?

While the focus is on providing engineering management for New Zealand, the increasingly global environment in which we operate requires a highly skilled pool of diverse engineering managers with both bicultural and multicultural competencies in order to succeed.

Who studies the MEM?

Most MEM students are new graduates, having just completed their undergraduate degree, while the remainder have between one and five years work experience.  Work experience is a requirement for students who have not graduated from a New Zealand university.

A one year full-time programme, the MEM starts in the third week of February in every year and finishes in February of the following year. 


Classes are taught on campus by a combination of industry experts and academics in an intensive block mode between February and mid-September.

The class size is deliberately kept low to enable a flexible, interactive style of teaching where participation in class discussion is required. 

Emphasis is put on collaboration and team work, both in and out of the classroom. 

Interactive workshops

During this time students complete a programme of compulsory interactive workshops designed to develop a range of essential management and leadership skills. 


The remainder of the year is spent undertaking full-time project in industry. This work is done on and off campus and can be performed anywhere in the world.  As a result there is no option for part time study. 

Initiative is expected, and students find their own industry projects and negotiate the scope and level of funding with their industry sponsor.  

More information about the project process is found on the Project Information page

The Master of Engineering in Management is structured as a 120 point degree.

There are six compulsory papers, each worth 12 points:

Students must also complete ENMG 680, a 48 point industry sponsored project.

In addition to the taught courses and the project, there is a compulsory programme of highly interactive workshops designed to develop practical management skills.

While specific workshops vary from year to year, typically they include:

  • Advanced Presentation Skills
  • Business Development
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Research
  • Critical Thinking
  • Entrepreneuship
  • Health and Safety
  • Negotiation
  • Personality Profiling
  • Risk Management
  • Team Leadership

Student projects are sourced and negotiated by the students and tackle real-world engineering management issues.

From mid-September to early February, students will work on a full-time basis on a project in industry. This is generally undertaken as some combination of on or off campus, depending on the requirements of the industry sponsor, but can be performed anywhere in the world.

Students are expected to write a final report on their work for the sponsor, and to present an oral summary of their project at our MEM Project Showcase event.

Most of our students are paid a scholarship or fee for the project that they negotiate with the sponsoring company.

Companies have long recognised the value of associating with the programme, whether through sponsoring projects or employing MEM graduates. In some cases a sponsored project has acted as a year-long employment interview.

Company benefits

  • Start-up possibilities are investigated
  • Opportunities for growth are explored
  • Solutions to process problems found
  • Cost-effectiveness and feasibility investigations
  • Market investigations
  • Business strategies and plans generated
  • Commercialisation of in-house technologies
  • Access to high-level engineering graduates with management knowledge

Recent projects

  • ‘Business Case Analysis for Upgrading the Refrigerated Container Infrastructure at Lyttelton Port – Lyttelton Port Company
  • ‘Feasibility of Carbon Capture & Storage at the Kapuai Production Station’ – Todd Energy Ltd
  • ‘Analysis of Kaikoura Earthquake Infrastructure Recovery’ – Aurecon
  • ‘Investigating Improvement Options for Production Planning and Display Systems’ – Christchurch Engine Centre
  • ‘Feasibility Study for a Wash Plant’ – Custom-Pak
  • ‘Implementation of a Quality Assurance Management System’ – Downey Construction Ltd
  • ‘Evaluation of Meridian’s Asset Management System’ – Meridian Energy
  • ‘Project Management Systems: improving internal communication systems’ – Christchurch Engine Centre
  • ‘A Review of Direct Labour Management at Calder Stewart’ – Calder Stewart
  • ‘Special Masking Film- Business Development in China’ – Shanghai Holding-Hearten Hardware Machinery Manufacturing Co.
  • ‘Development of a Quality, Health and Safety Management System’ – Integrated Hydraulics Limited
  • ‘Process Improvement for the Reduction of SF6 Emissions’ – Transpower
  • ‘Investment Case Analyses’ – Isaac Construction Limited
  • ‘West Coast Wood Energy Investigation’ – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
  • ‘Process Improvements for Custom Design & Construction Projects’ – Spanbild NZ Ltd
  • ‘STPA analysis of Contact Energy Water Passage Systems’ – Contact Energy Ltd
  • ‘Best Practice Asset Management and Plant Stability’ – Synlait Milk Limited
  • ‘Water, Chemical and Energy Investigation and Optimisation for Fonterra CIP Sets’ – Fonterra Whareroa Whey Products
  • ‘Cogeneration: A Technology and Feasibility Study for Powerco’ - Powerco
  • ‘Identification of Projects to Meet 2020 Environmental Sustainability Metric/Glide Path Goals’ – Christchurch Engine Centre
  • ‘Distributed Energy Resources Management’ – WEL Networks Limited
  • ‘Syft Technologies: Marketing Analysis Project’ – Syft Technologies
  • ‘Developing an Internal Timber Veneer Lining System for XLam Cross- Laminated Timber’ – Xlam Limited