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Designing an Undergraduate Engineering Mentoring Program to Enhance Gender Diversity through Application of Lean Six Sigma Methods and Tools

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Emily Kloos University of Dayton

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Emily Kloos is a Graduate Assistant at the University of Dayton in the Department of Engineering Management, Systems & Technology where she performs research in order to develop a STEM mentoring program for the University of Dayton. She has experience working as an engineer at various companies with a demonstrated history of working in the food production and manufacturing industries. Skilled in project management, customer service, food and beverage, wastewater treatment, and German language. She is a motivated individual with a Bachelor's degree focused in Mechanical Engineering from University of Dayton and working on a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management.

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Sandra L. Furterer University of Dayton

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Dr. Sandy Furterer is an Associate Professor 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 Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Quality Engineer, 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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Purpose: Many female undergraduate Engineering students struggle during their first and second years of college with finding their place and questioning whether they belong in Engineering. It has been shown that mentoring programs can help encourage women to stay in engineering fields and we want to create a program at the University of Dayton to retain more female engineering students. The purpose of this study is to apply Lean Six Sigma tools and methods to design an engineering undergraduate mentoring program to enhance retention of underrepresented females.

Methodology: As part of an engineering management graduate research project, the research assistant leveraged a team of students in the Industrial Engineering Technology program’s undergraduate Lean Six Sigma course to design an engineering mentoring program. The course incorporates real-world lean six sigma experiential learning opportunities so that the students can better learn and apply lean six sigma tools and the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) methodology. The team applied Voice of Customer to engage students and faculty to identify the pilot program’s requirements. They used the lean six sigma process design tools and root cause analysis to identify the critical to satisfaction characteristics and the factors that will positively impact success of the mentoring program.

Findings: This is a work in progress, and constitutes the first step in designing and piloting an engineering mentoring program. The program will be piloted, in Spring 2019, based on the findings from the Lean Six Sigma project.

Value: This program will provide mentorship to women engineers throughout their college career as well as support them for a career in engineering in the workplace.

Kloos, E., & Furterer, S. L. (2019, June), Designing an Undergraduate Engineering Mentoring Program to Enhance Gender Diversity through Application of Lean Six Sigma Methods and Tools Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32615

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