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Applying Systems Engineering Tools to Model a Food Justice System in an Engineering Management Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division 4: Teaching and Learning in Engineering Management

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Sandra L. Furterer University of Dayton

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Dr. Sandy Furterer is an Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair at the University of Dayton, in the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology. She has applied Lean Six Sigma, Systems Engineering, and Engineering Management tools in healthcare, banking, retail, higher education and other service industries, and achieved the level of Vice President in several banking institutions.
She previously managed the Enterprise Performance Excellence center in a healthcare system.

Dr. Furterer received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with a specialization in Quality Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2004. She received an MBA from Xavier University, and a Bachelor and Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Furterer has over 25 years of experience in business process and quality improvements. She is an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence, a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Quality Engineer, a Certified Manager of Quality / Operational Excellence, an ASQ fellow, and a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Dr. Furterer is an author or co-author of several academic journal articles, conference proceedings and 4 reference textbooks on Lean Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma and Lean Systems, including her latest book: Lean Six Sigma Case Studies in the Healthcare Enterprise by Springer publishing in 2014.

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Forty-two million Americans have trouble consistently accessing appropriate levels of affordable, nutritious food. Major contributing factors to food access is people residing in low income neighborhoods, where food deserts exist. A food desert is an area where it is difficult to obtain food, due to lack of full service grocery stores. The purpose of this paper is to apply systems engineering tools to model a food justice system in an Engineering Management course. These models helped to develop connectivity and integration between disparate parts of the food justice system. As part of an engineering management graduate course, Management of Engineering Systems, the students worked in a transdisciplinary collaborative environment, called the GEMnasium, part of the Institute of Applied Creativity and Transformation at the university. The Systems Engineering Vee design methodology was used as the framework to enable the systems engineering modeling of the food justice system. Seven teams of students designed different value chain activities to connect and integrate different parts of the system. A systems engineering food justice systems modeling approach is described in this paper along with the approach used to interview stakeholders to extract customer and system requirements, using process scenarios. Application of the systems engineering tools enabled a systems view of the food justice system to identify integration points and requirements that developed potential solutions to improve access to food, providing a more just food justice system. The instructor’s and students’ assessments demonstrated that the framework was impactful in helping students to view the food justice system as an integrated system of stakeholders, activities and goals. The instructor assessment graded the students’ reports at a 92% average grade, with a 5% standard deviation. The percentage of the students’ positive responses (top two positive rating categories) for the eight questions assessing the effectiveness of the experiential learning experience ranged from 88% to 100%. The results demonstrated the successful application of the systems engineering methodology and tools, and the collaborative interactive sessions between the stakeholders and the students in understanding and modeling the food justice problem.

Furterer, S. L. (2020, June), Applying Systems Engineering Tools to Model a Food Justice System in an Engineering Management Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34159

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