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Incorporating a Unique Lean Six Sigma Learning Experience by Integrating Graduate and Undergraduate Students Across Two Lean Six Sigma Courses in the Engineering Technology and Engineering Management Curriculum

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Yooneun Lee University of Dayton

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Dr. Yooneun Lee is an assistant professor with the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology at University of Dayton. Prior to joining University of Dayton, Dr. Lee worked as a faculty member at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Lee received his doctoral degree in industrial engineering and operations research dual degree from Pennsylvania State University and his master’s degree in industrial and operations engineering from University of Michigan. Dr. Lee's research interests include optimization under uncertainty, operational efficiency and productivity in service industry.

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Sandra L. Furterer University of Dayton

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Dr. Sandy Furterer is an Associate Professor and 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 Six Sigma Black Belt, an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, an ASQ fellow, and a certified Master Black Belt. Dr. Furterer is the Vice Chair of publications and editor of the ASQ Quality Management Division Forum.

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, Lean Six Sigma Case Studies in the Healthcare Enterprise. She is a co-editor for the ASQ Certified Quality Improvement Associate Handbook (2020), and the ASQ Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence Handbook (2020).

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The purpose of this study is to incorporate a rather unique experiential learning experience into two Lean Six Sigma courses, one at the undergraduate level in an engineering technology program, the second in a graduate-level engineering management program, residing in the same department. The Engineering Management, Systems and Technology Department at the University offers a Lean Six Sigma course within the undergraduate engineering technology programs and as part of the graduate Engineering Management and Management Science programs. We integrated the undergraduate and graduate students across the two courses and two sections during the Fall 2020 semester. This enabled both undergraduate and graduate students to work together on real-world service-based lean six sigma projects. The undergraduate course covered a Six Sigma Green Belt curriculum, and the graduate course incorporated additional Six Sigma Black Belt tools. The student teams worked on 6 different Lean Six Sigma projects. For five of the six projects, two separate teams worked on each project, meeting with stakeholders and process owners together, to reduce the redundancy of the material covered. For comparison purposes, there were three undergraduate students only project teams, two graduate students only project teams, and six combined undergraduate and graduate student teams. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt separate from the instructor mentored the students on their projects, and assessed their ability to apply the Lean Six Sigma tools and the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) methodology. We will assess the student performance on applying the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC methodology and tools, based on both the Six Sigma Master Black Belt mentor feedback, and student final report results at the end of the Fall 2020 semester.

Lee, Y., & Furterer, S. L. (2021, July), Incorporating a Unique Lean Six Sigma Learning Experience by Integrating Graduate and Undergraduate Students Across Two Lean Six Sigma Courses in the Engineering Technology and Engineering Management Curriculum Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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