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Leading Engineering Project Teams

Build a toolkit of skills that give you the knowledge, self-awareness, and confidence to be an effective engineering leader.


Develop the essential skills you need to lead teams and projects in engineering organizations. Engineers who want to advance in their profession need to develop effective project management, leadership, and communication skills in order to clearly deliver complex ideas and technical project plans. This program is offered to you through a collaboration between the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies and Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) at the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

For the launch of this pilot program, we are offering a 25% discount this fall. Use code "PILOT25" at checkout.


  • Engineers who are interested in improving their management skills
  • Engineers who are in a new leadership role
  • Engineers who are aspiring to a leadership role
  • Technical professionals seeking new skills/knowledge for leadership advancement

The course fee for this offering is $4,500. Discounts available.

Register now

Financial assistance information can be found on Rice Financial Aid's Visiting and Continuing Education Students page.

Course Modules & Hours:

Week 1: 

  • Intro to PM/PM as Leader
  • Leadership Models/Bloom’s Taxonomy 
  • Communication Planning

Week 2:

  • Stakeholder Management Plan
  • Engineer of 2020/Time Management
  • Oral Communication

Week 3:

  • Project Charter/Business Plan
  • Managing Oneself
  • Oral Communication

Week 4:

  • Scope Development
  • Managing Stress
  • Oral Communication

Live session

Week 5:

  • WBS Development/Scheduling
  • Problem Solving
  • Oral Communication 

Week 6:

  • Estimating
  • Supportive Communication
  • Earned Value

Week 7: 

  • Earned Value
  • Power of Influence
  • Interpersonal Communication

Week 8:

  • Risk Management
  • Managing Conflict
  • Professional Writing

Live session

Week 9:

  • Quality Management
  • SMART Goals
  • Professional Writing

Week 10:

  • Resource Management
  • Team Development
  • Professional Writing

Week 11:

  • Procurement/Project Reporting
  • Performance and Motivation
  • Professional Writing 

Week 12:

  • Ethics/Agiles PM
  • Ethical use of Power
  • Professional Writing

Live session

The certificate is designed as an introduction to leadership, project management, and professional communication.  The course fulfills the education requirement to sit for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® or Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam. This course is eligible for 40 PDUs.

Self Awareness and the Effective Leader

Part of being an effective leader is learning how to play to your strengths and overcome characteristics that don't lend to good leadership practices. During the course, you will examine your own strengths and learn ways to use them in a leadership role. Learn to manage stress and solve problems creatively.

Throughout the course, you will also build a tool kit of useful techniques that you can begin using right away in your engineering career. This course is designed for engineers who are interested in and have the desire to advance into leadership and management roles. You don't need any leadership experience to do well in this course. We ask you to reflect on your personal experiences pretty often,, so some work experience will help you in that aspect, but we hope that most of what you learn here will be applicable to many areas of your life.


Relationship Management

To be a successful engineer, you must work and play well with others. This course focuses on developing the skills you will need to build and sustain professional relationships and networks. Learn to coach and mentor others, manage conflict and build power and influence in the workplace.


Personal Leadership Development Planning and Leading High Performing Teams

An actionable leadership improvement plan enables you to leverage strengths and close the gaps on weaknesses. In this course, you will build your own plan that you can put into practice immediately and realize goals within the next two years. It lays the foundation for an evergreen process of selection and prioritization of skills, and action planning for sustained leadership development.

Top-Tier Learning Institution

Courses are taught by faculty from the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL). RCEL is focused on developing engineering leaders at the Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. It is home to one of a very few academically approved Certificates in Engineering Leadership.

Expert Instruction

The instructor for this program, David Van Kleeck, professor in the practice of engineering leadership joined the staff of the RCEL in 2014, following a 34-year career as a technologist and manager in Shell’s research and development organization. He held a variety of positions  throughout his career at Shell in which he was responsible for process development, manufacturing technical service, and product support to several downstream refining and chemical businesses. 

Mr. Van Kleeck had a parallel career in the Army Reserve, and retired after 32 years of active and reserve service in 2005 as a Brigadier General. During his Army career, Mr. Van Kleeck commanded troops at the Battalion, Group, and Brigade level. His assignments included active duty tours in Italy and Germany. David returns to Rice after receiving his Ph.D.  in Chemical Engineering in 1981.

Tangible Skills and Outcomes

Develop the essential self-awareness, interpersonal, and organizational skills you need to lead teams and projects in engineering organizations.  Engineers who want to advance in their profession need to be self-aware and proactive in their approach to professional development.  The use of SMART goals for both technical and personal development form the basis to build a Leadership Development plan that aligns with personal and organizational aspirations and vision.  An emphasis will be placed on varying leadership styles to fit the situations and contexts encountered by engineers in the workplace.   


Flexible Schedule