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Assessing the Impact of University-Industry collaborative Lean Six Sigma Capstone Projects on Engineering Management Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Hilda Cecilia Martinez Leon Clarkson University

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Hilda Cecilia Martinez Leon received the B.S. degree in industrial engineering, the M.S. degree in manufacturing systems, and the D.Sc. degree in engineering sciences from Monterrey Tech, Mexico. She also received the Ph.D. in systems and engineering management from Texas Tech University, Lubbock. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Her work experience is related to the product lifecycle management and manufacturing processes from the electronic and automobile industry when she was with Honeywell, Siemens VDO Guadalajara, and Cummins, Inc. She has worked as a consultant in Lean Six Sigma across industry sectors, more recently in Healthcare, where she has coached students and industry employees to get their lean six sigma green belt certification. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Engineering and Management at the David D. Reh School of Business at Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, where she teaches Quality Management and Lean Enterprise, Engineering Design Capstone courses, Operations and Supply Chain Management-related courses. Her research interests include lean product development, six sigma, project management, systems engineering, and applied statistics. Dr. Martínez is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineering and the Systems and Engineering Management Society.

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Michelle Crimi Clarkson University

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Dr. Michelle Crimi is the David Spatz '68 Endowed Chair for the Director of Engineering & Management Program at Clarkson University.

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Capstone design projects are meant to provide an invaluable learning experience to senior students. However, the project experience can be disappointing if students are not provided with challenging projects and lack the guidance of a rigorous problem-solving approach. To overcome this problem, we have developed a collaborative approach to enhancing the learning experience for engineering management (or industrial engineering) capstone design courses. The core of this approach is problem-based learning through the execution of lean six sigma projects implemented via university-industry partnerships. The ultimate goal of this approach is to facilitate the integration and application of theoretical knowledge while promoting the development of professional skills in undergraduate students as demanded by business organizations. The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which our pedagogical infrastructure for a completely hands-on experience in capstone design courses has on students during their transition to the workforce and early careers. Student surveys were conducted to quantify the impact of the semester-long projects. Student responses from the LSS and non-LSS capstone courses were analyzed. Our findings show that collaborative LSS capstone projects help students gain a better understanding of how to apply the theory to practical situations while preparing them to approach and solve problems in real-world settings confidentially. We also found that the lean six sigma green belt certification helped recent graduates to transition to the workforce more easily, gain more credibility among co-workers and supervisors and make contributions quicker than other new hires, get the job they wanted faster, and overall advance in their careers.

Martinez Leon, H. C., & Crimi, M. (2019, June), Assessing the Impact of University-Industry collaborative Lean Six Sigma Capstone Projects on Engineering Management Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32122

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