Ken Pickar
Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering

California Institute of Technology
208 Gates-Thomas, Mail Code 104-44
Pasadena, CA 91125
(626) 395-4185


E/ME 105

E 102a

E 102b

E/ME 103

Useful Links





E/ME/MedE 105b Spring 2017 The Spring Class in “Design for Freedom from Disability” finished with 5 Teams presenting their Results. One Team was invited to present their work at the RESNA conference (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) conference in New Orleans. They were one of six chosen from seventy-five submissions. The Class will be taught again in the Winter (105a class) and Spring(105b) quarters 2008

Fall 2017 E/ME103 Management of Technology

Professor: Ken Pickar
TA: Phillip An
9 units (3-0-6); First term
T,TH 2:00-3:55 pm, 115 Gates Thomas

E/ME 103 is for students interested in learning how rapidly evolving technologies are harnessed to produce useful products and successful businesses. Key issues will be elucidated in Lectures and through invited key scientific/business leaders as well as Harvard Business School Cases. The cases will be taken from various industries (financial services, semiconductor, medical devices, biotech, aerospace, etc.) The course is designed for students considering working in companies (any size including startup), consulting Careers, or perhaps eventually going to business school. It can also be useful in the choice of scientific projects to pursue.

There are two options for a term project. Teams can choose to do an assessment of a technology and make projections about the future of this choice. The other option is to perform an innovative capabilities audit of a technology-focused company. You can choose any size firm - there are many in the Pasadena and Southern California area to allow for easier networking.

Topics include technology as a growth agent, financial fundamentals, integration into other business processes, product life cycle, product development pipeline, learning curves, risk assessment, financial implications, technology trend methodologies (scenarios and projections), core competencies, portfolio management, motivation, rewards and recognition, outsourcing and joint ventures.

Credits: 3-0-6, Graded or Pass/Fail
Time: Tuesday and Thursday 14:30-15:55
Location: Gates Thomas 108
Who: Open to Caltech and Art Center Students
Prerequisites: E 102a, E103, E 105, BEM courses useful but not required Contacts: Professor Kenneth Pickar
TA: Phillip An

Ken Pickar
Visiting Professor of Mechanical and Medical Engineering, 1998-present,
J. Stanley Johnson Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 1999-2003

Caltech Video on “The The Human Side of Engineering

Story of Class

Teaching Areas of Interest
My classes are taught at the junction of science, engineering and business by applying my background in mechanical and electrical engineering technology management and in physics. I am particularly interested in the start-up and continuous growth of technology-based companies, and the modification of normative product development processes to address developing world challenges.

Faculty Advisor
Entrepreneur's Club
Engineers for a Sustainable World
Consulting Club

Business Background (partial)
Allied Signal (now Honeywell) Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology
GE Corporate R&D Manager of The Electronics Laboratories
Bell Laboratories Member of the Technical Staff

Boards of Director Positions

Public: Neustar (1999-2011) IPO New York Stock Exchange in 2005 Ness Technologies (2003-2008) NASDAQ
Level One (1999-2000) NASDAQ sold to Intel in 2000

H2Scan (2004-2011)
Butterfli- On Demand Assisted Transportation

Non Profit:

Albany Medical School and Medical Center (1988-1992) Los Angeles County Regional Food Bank (2004-2010). Central food distributer.
South Coast Botanical Garden (2005- ) Los Angeles County Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes
Intelligent Mobility (2007- ) non profit wheelchair provider spun out of E/ME 105
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator LACI helps promising Cleantech startups
Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay

Tech Coast Angels (Southern California early stage investing network)
Executive committee LA Chapter (1999- )

B.S., Queens College, City University of New York;
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Critical Velocity of Superfluid Liquid Helium Films)

The Associated Students of Caltech (ASCIT) Award for Excellence in Teaching (2004-2005)