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New engineering leadership minor to expand entrepreneurial, management opportunities for engineering students

Six students sit around a wooden table for a meeting in the industrial engineering lab

Engineering students will now have the opportunity to pursue an engineering leadership minor beginning in fall 2024 (WVU Photo/J. Paige Nesbit). 

In the rapidly-evolving landscape of engineering education, adaptability and innovation are paramount. Starting this fall, students in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University will have the opportunity to hone their skills with a new Engineering Leadership minor.

Story by Kaley LaQuea, Communications Specialist
Photos by J. Paige Nesbit, Director of Communications


This program aims to equip future engineers with the critical leadership skills necessary to thrive in a globalized and interconnected world. 

“We want to support students from other engineering majors as well,” said Ashish Nimbarte, Industrial and Management Systems Engineering department chair. “The courses in the Engineering Leadership minor will provide students with a head start in their careers as future leaders in our society, providing them with a solid foundation for obtaining nationally-recognized certifications in lean practices, Six Sigma and project management with a few years of experience.”

Since assuming the role of chair for the department in 2022, Nimbarte has collaborated with his faculty colleagues to cultivate student leadership opportunities through the department curriculum, industry networking and professional collaborations. Industrial engineering students also complete a rigorous senior capstone experience with the goal of providing multiple ways to give students an advantage when entering the workforce.

As industries increasingly demand multifaceted expertise, this minor promises to empower students with the knowledge and practical insights needed to lead with confidence and foresight. By bridging the gap between technical excellence and leadership acumen, Statler College graduates will be poised to lead the next generation of engineers who are not only capable of solving complex problems, but also of inspiring and guiding teams toward impactful innovation.

The 15-credit minor consists of three core courses and two electives that will focus on skill development like project management, entrepreneurship and team facilitation. The course offerings will prepare students to meet customer needs, manage scheduling, budget and quality requirements. Students will get a deeper understanding of industrial business practices and how to handle complex projects on behalf of an organization.

The College’s industrial engineering program has produced exceptional leaders and entrepreneurs, holding senior leadership positions at organizations like Hershey, FedEx, Toyota, Kaiser Aluminum and Procter & Gamble. Over 20 percent of industrial engineering alumni with 20 years of experience have served in senior executive leadership roles — a testament to the program’s stellar track record and ability to support and nurture leadership development.

Prospective students can learn more about course offerings at:



Contact: Paige Nesbit

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135