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The program is designed to equip mid-level technical professionals for leadership roles.

Photo courtesy of UAH OPCE

Retired military officers L. Neil Thurgood and Keith Thurgood collaborated on the program.

Huntsville, AL - The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Business is launching a three-day specialized leadership development program for mid-level technical professionals. This program, “Leading Complex and Highly-Technical Teams,” focuses on high-impact strategies to empower teams within technology-driven organizations in the North Alabama community. The first class will begin in March 2023. 

This new program designed by UAH, a part of the University of Alabama System, is bridging a collaboration between academia and real-world military expertise for a technical workforce. 

"We are proud to partner with Dr. Neil Thurgood and Dr. Keith Thurgood to offer this important leadership development program for technical professionals. The Thurgoods' wealth of senior leadership experience and insights from other outstanding instructors make this a unique opportunity for program participants, building on the tradition of excellence in management of technology that is a focus of our business school,” says Dr. Jason T. Greene, dean of the UAH College of Business.

Our goal is to empower emerging leaders by pulling them out of the weeds and teaching them strategies to build a more resilient organization that not cannot only bounce back from challenges but spring forward.

Dr. Keith Thurgood
Retired U.S. Army General and Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas

Retired military officers Dr. L. Neil Thurgood and Dr. Keith Thurgood collaborated on the curriculum’s development. Dr. L. Neil Thurgood is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General who recently served as the director of the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office at Redstone Arsenal. He is now the special advisor to the UAH president for military affairs and technology. Dr. Keith Thurgood is a retired U.S. Army Major General and is now a professor at the Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas. 

The three-day program addresses the unique challenges faced by engineers and technical managers. The goal of the program is to equip technical leaders to maintain a high level of performance while simultaneously transforming the organization – a concept Dr. Keith Thurgood has coined as “Transformance.” Under the vision and direction of the Thurgoods, topics within the program will be led by the three highly qualified instructors from industry and academia, who each bring invaluable knowledge to the table: Dr. Julie Fortune, Jason Parks, and Tom Channell.

“Too often, we see brilliant technical experts being thrust into leadership roles without adequate training and burdened with the expectation of maintaining their exceptional level of performance. These new leaders lack a basic understanding of what it truly means to lead. Our goal is to empower these emerging leaders by pulling them out of the weeds and teaching them strategies to build a more resilient organization that not cannot only bounce back from challenges but spring forward,” explains Dr. Keith Thurgood.

This program is unique to north Alabama as there are more than 40,000 civilian and contractor employees supporting Redstone Arsenal and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The highly technical workforce is preparing for complex national security and space exploration missions. 

“Whether that mission involves developing emerging technologies to support the warfighter or optimizing supply chains, leadership makes all the difference. This program has the potential to create a profound impact on the development of technical leaders within our community,” said Dr. Neil Thurgood.

Registration is now open and will close on March 7th. The program will be March 25 - 28 and will culminate with an industry day at a leading technology-drive aerospace and defense firm where participants will get a behind the scenes look at the practical application of the concepts they have learned. The cost is $3,595. Early bird pricing is available for those who register by February 15.

To learn more about the Leading Complex and Highly-Technical Teams program and to register, visit opce.uah.edu/TechnicalLeadership.



Fathia Hardy