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Engineering Leadership Academy

Engineering Leadership Academy (ELA) is a nine-month intensive leadership development course designed for leadership-track employees who are experienced in managing projects and people and who are being considered for higher-level leadership roles within their firm (such as principal, officer, practice leader, etc.) The course is focused on expanding their perspective from the day-to-day nuts and bolts of managing to the big picture and strategic thinking required to lead a firm, department, or practice area. Each ELA class is carefully chosen based on qualifications by a selection committee and is strictly limited to 24 participants to facilitate collegiality, better dialogue, and engaged hands-on learning.

If you are interested in this program, please email

How is ELA different from the Future Leaders program?

ACEC Georgia's Future Leaders Program (FLP) has been a highly successful and in-demand leadership program (there has been a waiting list for the past several years) focused on providing talented, technically focused employees with 5-10 years of experience with the tools to transition into program, project and people management. By contrast, ELA is focused on transitioning from project and program management to upper-level firm leadership. You can think of the difference in terms of years (FLP = 5-10 years vs. ELA = 10-15 years) or in terms of FLP as the "undergraduate" course and ELA as the "graduate" course.

Who should apply?

The ideal participant is someone with 10-15 years of experience being groomed for a leadership or executive management role within their respective firm and wanting to increase his/her leadership potential and value to that firm. While not mandatory, strong preference will be given to ACEC Georgia's Future Leaders Program alumni. There is also a limit of two participants per firm, with additional employees added to a waiting list.

  • Gain a broader and more in-depth understanding of the business side of engineering - beyond simply managing and implementing to learning the ins and outs of strategically managing a business in a way that drives revenue, delivers efficiency and creates long-term sustainable financial value.
  • Build a relationship with peer industry leaders who will help grow your professional network and positively impact your professional and personal life.
  • Interact with industry leaders and gain new perspectives from real-life projects and group projects focused on navigating different business scenarios and market challenges.
  • Take your leadership skills to the next level.
  • Develop the next generation of leaders within your firm.
  • Demonstrate your firm's commitment to career development and training.
  • Reap the employee retention benefits of investing in your up-and-coming leaders
  • Improve your firm's ability to meet market challenges and internal operations strategically.
  • Employees better understand how to nurture client relationships and navigate business challenges, maximizing your firm's overall business development and project management abilities.
  • Invest in the next generation of your firm's leaders to help ensure your firm's long-term success and value.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Contract Negotiation Strategies
  • Crisis Management
  • Employment Law
  • Financial Planning and Considerations
  • Human Resources
  • Inclusion & Diversity
  • Leadership Development
  • Leadership Transition
  • Partnering & Teaming Strategies
  • Political Advocacy
  • Risk Management
  • Sales / Business Development Strategies
  • Strategic Planning

Application Process:

Applications for the 2023-2024 Program are now open:

Time Commitment:

Nine months. The program begins with a kick-off retreat at Lanier Islands in September 2023, followed by four Learning Days, and ends with a day of project presentations, dinner, keynote, and graduation ceremony in May 2024. All sessions are mandatory.

Learning Days:

  • Kickoff Retreat: September 21-23, 2023 – Lake Lanier Islands Resort
  • Learning Day 1: Tuesday, November 7, 2023 – The Water Tower
  • Learning Day 2: Wednesday, January 17, 2024 – ACEC Georgia Office
  • Learning Day 3: Thursday, February 22, 2024 - ACEC Georgia Office
  • Learning Day 4: Tuesday, March 26, 2024 - ACEC Georgia Office
  • Graduation: Thursday, May 30, 2024 – The Buckhead Club

Groups will also be given a course-long project in which they will be assigned a hypothetical business scenario to work through as a team. Each case is designed to challenge the groups to think strategically and make decisions on navigating the internal and external challenges and opportunities required to manage a successful business in the real world. Each group will deliver a final group presentation to a panel of industry leaders (who will challenge them on their choices and the reasons behind their decisions) at the fourth and final session.

Cost Overview:

If selected to participate, the program cost is $3,800 per person for ACEC Georgia Members.

If you are interested in the program but not an ACEC Georgia member, please contact Chandler Baker at for more information.

The fee includes:

  • All expenses related to the kick-off retreat (lodging, food, group activities, etc.)
  • Lunch and snacks/beverages on each Learning Day (4)
  • Three tickets to the dinner and graduation ceremony (to be used for the participant, nominating principal and one guest; more tickets may be purchased for additional guests).


For more information, contact