Brow is passionate about her work because she knows first-hand the value it will have in the industry
Mary Brow, director of the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program (IBEP) having received two degrees from the University of Tennessee, knows the importance of fostering a driven and supportive student-centered community. As an alumna of both the Haslam College of Business and the Tickle College of Engineering, she is uniquely qualified to achieve this goal on a daily basis through the Heath IBEP.
Brow currently focuses on building the fundamentals of the program, which is only a year old. The intricacies of its development include the student application and selection process, student mentoring, alumni and donor relationship development, personalized development plans and building a curriculum that focuses on integrating business and engineering.
Prior to joining the Haslam College of Business in this role, Brow worked in the engineering field on developing orthopedic implants and instrumentation at DePuy, focusing on the design of custom implants for patients with uncommon anatomy. After leaving DePuy, she found her niche at a small startup company called DelPalma Orthopedics.
Brow and her husband soon began missing East Tennessee, however, and she sought a job at DeRoyal Industries in Powell, Tennessee, working with the new trauma and spine implant division.
“My role there quickly grew from engineering to project management to engineering management for all product lines,” Brow says. “My last role there was managing the engineering department. This consisted of new product development, quality improvements and maintaining evolving regulatory requirements. Additionally, I worked very closely with DeRoyal’s CFO and vice president of finance to create, implement, and approve spending proposals. Most of my role now is drawing from my experience working in product development in the medical device industry.”
Having gained her professional experience in the engineering field, Brow stresses the importance of a program like the Heath IBEP to allow better communication and strategy development between business-oriented professionals who run engineering companies and the engineers who develop the products and innovations.
“Because of my experiences at DeRoyal, I realized that this collaboration was not really covered in curriculum from either the Tickle College of Engineering or the Haslam College of Business, but this partnership among the disciplines is critical for businesses to succeed, regardless of industry,” Brow says. “I thought the opportunity to start exposing students to the importance of this collaboration while they are in higher education was fantastic, and it is something I am very passionate about.”
Brow is passionate about her work because she knows first-hand the value it will have in the industry, especially with the next generation of business leaders and engineers.
“Ralph Heath has been extremely instrumental in the kick-off and ramping up of the program. His vision has ensured the first year was a success,” says Brow. “He continues to provide feedback about where we are heading and connect us to great resources for the students.”
Brow stresses the importance of student recruitment and support from alumni and friends of both the Haslam College of Business and the Tickle College of Engineering to ensure that the program continues to grow and enhance the capabilities of both colleges.
“With additional support, we will be able to grow the program to be more beneficial for both our students and strategic corporate partners,” says Brow. “We would be able to travel outside of Knoxville to set up day or multi-day site visits. We still need scholarships and general program funding. I would love to have enough resources to support an industry emersion international trip so that the students can add an additional level of learning to their already diverse portfolio.”
The Heath IBEP will accept 20 new students this fall to join the first cohort of students.