University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Drs. James and Chriss Renier Visit the Technological Leadership Institute (TLI)

TLI welcomed former President and CEO of Honeywell Dr. James Renier and his wife Dr. Chriss Renier for an update on TLI and the efforts of our James Renier Chair, held by Dr. Lockwood Carlson. The Reniers sat in on part of Dr. Carlson’s Management of Technology (MOT) class and stayed to spend time with the students.

Massoud Amin, James Renier, Chriss Renier, Lockwood CarlsonAlong with former Honeywell Chairman Ed Spencer, Dr. Jim Renier was the driving force behind a Honeywell Foundation endowment that led to creation of TLI in 1987. He helped shape the vision of TLI and the Master of Science in Management of Technology program by emphasizing the importance of teaching technological leadership and innovation alongside management training for those in engineering and science.

During the classroom visit, Dr. Jim Renier shared his experience and took time to answer a few questions. Highlights included:

  • Honeywell is a very high tech company with skilled technical staff and financial experts but at the time I was there, like many other technology intensive enterprises, it lacked people who knew how to innovate and execute in the marketplace.
  • About 80% of new ideas don’t get anywhere because there is no market for them, the market is far in the future, or you don’t know how to approach the market.
  • There are a lot of engineers who know little about business and a lot of business people who know little about engineering.
  • It takes a team working together with all of the requisite skills in management, marketing, finance, engineering and technology for the successful creation of new products.


The MOT program has been developing high-tech leaders who enhance and ensure the long-term success of their organizations. We are grateful for the contributions of Drs. James and Chriss Renier to the genesis and progress of TLI and MOT over the last 25 years.


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