Massoud Amin, Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota

Title: Director

Age: 52

Massoud Amin, director of the U's Technological Leadership Institute, is overseeing recruiting for the institute's newly launched master's of science in medical device innovation program.

The program, which the institute says will prepare students to understand, anticipate and manage innovation challenges in the global medical device industry, hopes to attract 30 students a year, Amin said.

The 14-month curriculum is designed for working professionals with two to five years of experience. The launch caps a nine-year team development effort, Amin said.

"Our goal is to develop the next generation of leaders to win, not only play but win, in a global environment in the area of medical devices and medical technologies," said Amin, a professor of electrical and computer science who has advised the federal government on power grid and security technology issues.

One issue students in the medical device innovation will address is the aging population, Amin said, noting projections that by 2030, one in four Minnesotans will be 65 or older. Early detection of health problems and making targeted yet affordable medicine will be a focus, as will decentralized care technologies and mobile, wearable and Internet-connected devices.

The state's medical technology industry employs more than 250,000, according to the institute, and includes leading device manufacturers Medtronic, 3M, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific and a host of smaller companies.

The institute, established in 1987, also offers master's of science degrees in technology management, infrastructure systems management and engineering and security technologies and is developing a program focused on energy technologies.

Q: What kinds of innovation challenges do you expect the program to deal with?

A: We will look from the nano level, from the basic scientific challenges of designing devices, in designing new procedures and the quality of those, all the way to the macro.

Q: How is the program structured?

A: It's an interdisciplinary program. We have depth in several areas that they can concentrate on. Then they do an applied capstone [project], which we have noticed in our other graduate degrees has had a huge impact in new product development, new services and new product lines.

Q: What can students look forward to gaining?

A: This is designed to give students knowledge of the industry, of regulatory and global trends needed for a sustained, competitive career advantage individually and then for their organizations and give them an enhanced capability for innovation and growth for their companies.