June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Corporate Member Council
26.838.1 - 26.838.12
Harnessing Engineering Expertise in Industry: Activating Six Sigma themesin a College/Industry Course Development CollaborationWith over 10,000 Baby Boomers a day retiring from the U. S. workforce, the issue of retainingirreplaceable knowledge capital is first and foremost in the minds and strategic initiatives ofindustrial leaders. In spite of the attention the topic was receiving in industry, it appeared thatlittle mind space or targeted research within the academy was being focused on the loomingcritical issue. In 2011, with urging and support from an Engineering Education IndustrialAdvisory Council (IAC), the first of its kind course was launched entitled “HarnessingEngineering Expertise in Industry”. The course, co-developed and instructed with tenuredfaculty and leadership from industry, explores the topic of engineering expertise from anindustrial perspective. The objective of this course (which continues today) is to make explicitthe concept of expertise in industry, to replicate and/or develop research based approaches foridentifying and capturing this expertise, and to consider how these approaches can benefitindustrial enterprise. Further, rigorous Engineering Education research practices are put to workunderpinning the topical exploration, and enabling the class deliverables which includeindividually developed, industry facing, research proposals, and formal proposal “pitch”presentations to industry representatives. Beneficial outcomes from developing this courseinclude: 1) establishing a foundation of college/industry collaborative graduate level course workthat supports the concerns of industry facing stakeholders and beyond, and 2) offeringengineering education students a unique area of research specialization focused on life-longlearning and engineering practice in Industry.Framed using the so-called “six themes of Six Sigma”: genuine focus on the customer; data andfact driven management; processes are where the action is; proactive management; boundary-less collaboration; and drive for perfection-tolerate failure (Pande & Holpp, 2002, pg. 15), thispaper will recount and unpack the collaborative perspectives and processes by which this coursewas developed and continues to evolve and improve. Perceived best practices and implicationsfor future college/industry course development projects will be discussed.Citation: Pande, P., & Holpp, L. (2002). What is six sigma?. New York (N.Y.): McGraw-Hill.
Pilotte, M. K., & Zadoks, R. I., & Cox, M. F. (2015, June), Harnessing Engineering Expertise in Industry: Activating Six Sigma Themes in a College/Industry Course Development Collaboration Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24175
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