ES 3083 - Engineering Economics


Spring 2009

Time: TT 9:30





Dr. Marcus O. Durham, PE
The professor has over 30 years of design and teaching experience.

Office Hours:


Office: U395






The objective of this course is to provide the engineering student with a fundamental understanding of the impact of money on project decisions. Present worth, future value, interest, time intervals, and taxes will be part of the curriculum. It is necessary to be aware of politics, government, and international events that impact economics.

Text & Material

Basics of Engineering Economy, by Blank & Tarquin, McGrawHill

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki


There are 3 exams and there may be an optional final. If the final is taken, it will substitute for one of the exams.


The exam format will be structured along the lines of a professional engineering (FE & PE) exam. There will be numerous questions with short answers. Complex problems will be broken into several segments. You will be time challenged. There will be few surprises if you actively participate in class, examples, and assignments.



Exams, 3 @ 200 each

Economic news memos


Projects, quizzes, Professional Society meet & memo

Report & presentation

Professor judgment (quantum number, all tasks completed)


Economic news reports are due on Tuesday.

Homework & other assignments are due on Thursday.

Select homework problems will be checked.










Letter grades:

Division points between letter grades will be based on student performance and best judgment of the instructor.


Economic Influence:

Economics is much more than just determining the return on investment. It is also knowing what events outside your control impact the economics of a project. Therefore, the class will involve much more than "book learning".


The text is an excellent, straight-forward, simple to use resource that is just out. Therefore, the "numbers" part of the course will follow the text very closely.


It is necessary to be aware of politics, government, and international events that impact economics. You will be expected to file a weekly news memo.


Professional association and following technology is a necessary ingredient for economic analysis. You will want to attend at least one professional organization gathering.


Writing reports and making presentations about other authorities information are a component of every engineering function. Therefore, those components will be a part of your education. 



News memos

Prepare a weekly memo about current economic news.
1. Report on an economic news event using one sentence.
2. In another statement identify who benefits, who does it cost, how does it impact you?
3. State the source –,, FoxNews, KRMG, Name of paper, etc.
4. Give the date & time of your information.




Professional development is a continuing requirement of engineers. IEEE is the largest engineering professional society on the planet. For this component, attend a student or section meeting and make a one paragraph report about the time, location, speaker and topics discussed. Students with other majors may attend one of those meetings.



Tech Paper:

Write a 1.5 - 2 page technical paper about the assigned book. Do not summarize the book. The other students and I have read it. Write about your impact and what you learned. Read and learn, especially if it challenges your thinking.

The book is a composite characterization of the wealth development of the writer, not the actual record of any event. The author has a proven track record. He had three number one financial best-sellers at the same time, including this work. He is a highly paid and sought after speaker. He is incredibly wealthy with a thriving business.

Negative non-consturctive comments, taking opinions from the web, and criticizing his credibility, style, and ability are sophomoric at best and border on ignorance.

"It is better to be thought ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."



1. You are a responsible adult.  I assume everyone wants to excel and enjoy the venture. If you want to learn, you will have to invest time and effort outside of class. If you want to slide that is your prerogative and your loss, and complaints about the course will go to the appropriate place. Continuous improvement is a part of the process. Let's have fun and learn.


2. People learn and absorb information in different ways. What is enjoyable or traditional to you may be frustrating to others. A variety of processes will be used to present the material. If a particularly style or technique does not fit you, accept it for what it is. Regardless, you can gather valuable insight in how others see things.


3. In this class, grasping concepts and relationships is more important than memorizing how to do formulas. As a result, there will be more discussion and less problem solving in class. You will be expected to practice solving the problems based on the discussion. In practice, your boss will not solve the problems for you but will give you the parameters. The University engineering education is about teaching you how to think.


4. Prepared notes will be provided as the basis of many discussions. Please do not be lulled. Most people can only improve learning by making notes in your own words and style. The book will be a supplement for further discussion, examples, and problems.



1. Attendance in class is expected. Points will be taken off final grade for poor attendance, particularly in the form of class participation and professor judgment.

2. There is no such thing as a stupid question, except the one not asked. Chances are others don't understand it either.

3. Students are expected to seek assistance if necessary. The instructor interprets students coming to his office to ask questions as eager beavers worthy of high grades. Students in trouble who don't try to straighten out their problems immediately and then say simply, "I never understood that" are in more trouble than they think.

4. No make up exams or late assignments will be permitted unless arranged in advance. Welcome to life. Late assignments are not accepted. Two assignments will not be counted to allow for missed work.

5. Fallibility of instructors is uncommon. However, in the unlikely event of a difference in opinion on grading, the question must be resolved within three days. Senility is common. Therefore, grades are as-is where-is for time greater than three days after posting.

Your job: 

The professor recognizes that problems of learning, earning, yearning, spurning, squirming and slumbering are unique to student life. Such problems will be treated with civility by a southern gentleman, but not with a great deal of compassion. You are a unique individual, wonderfully made, but the University environment demands your working within the same constraints imposed on others.


  Acknowledgment:  Like all software packages, your acknowledgement is solicited.

___________________________________Name  ________________ID   ___________Date


©1996-2008 Dr. Marcus O. Durham All rights reserved.  Please contact us with your requests.