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Partnering With Students to Continuously Improve the Systems Engineering & Engineering Management Program

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Enhancing Engineering Management

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.957.1 - 23.957.20



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Paper Authors


Jonathan Philip Mayhorn Univerisity of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Dr. Jonathan Mayhorn currently works for AT&T as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt where he coaches those who lead projects to improve processes in the Construction and Engineering Department. He recently became a certified Project Management Professional. Jonathan also serves as an Adjunct where he teaches four classes in the Systems Engineering & Engineering Management Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) that focus on process improvement, project management, and leadership. His educational background includes a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Management both from UNCC. He also holds a Doctor of Strategic Leadership degree from Regent University and is currently working on a revised edition of a manuscript called “Life Leaders” which teaches how everyone can be a successful leader.

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Ertunga C Ozelkan University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Dr. Ertunga C. Ozelkan, Ph.D., is director and associate professor of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, and the associate director of the Center for Lean Logistics and Engineered Systems at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Before joining academia, Dr. Ozelkan worked for i2 Technologies, a leading supply chain software vendor and for Tefen USA, a systems design and industrial engineering consulting firm. Dr. Ozelkan holds a Ph.D. degree in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona. He teaches courses on supply chain management, lean systems, decision analysis, designed experimentation, and systems design and optimization. His current research interests include on the education side, development of simulations and cases for active learning, and on the modeling side, supply chains and logistics management, and production systems planning and optimization, and applications in different industries.

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Partnering With Students to Continuously Improve the Systems Engineering & Engineering Management ProgramContinuous improvement philosophy is a fundamental principle for creating a sustainable systemand education is no exception. Engineering departments have been implementing continuousimprovement processes as part of ABET accreditation requirements for many years. One of themain challenges, especially for small programs is to identify resources to carry on thesecontinuous improvement initiatives along with the ongoing teaching and research activities. Inthis paper we present an innovative approach in which systems engineering students are involvedin the improvement of the Systems Engineering & Engineering Management (SEEM) Program atthe University of X. The initiative has been carried under the junior level Systems Design andDeployment course where project teams of systems engineering students were given the task ofanalyzing the processes of the program as a consultant would do.During the semester a streamlined version of the five phased Six Sigma methodology known asDMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify) was taught and key deliverables ofeach phase were completed. The storyboards were presented to the key stakeholders within theSEEM program for approval to implement.The output of two projects resulted in redesigned websites, one for the undergraduate SystemsEngineering program and the other for the Engineering Masters program. A third project teamcreated process flow maps along with the methods and procedures to facilitate a supply chaingame for the departments’ students. The fourth project developed flow charts for five of thedepartment’s key processes and improved two of these by eliminating non value added steps.As a result of this approach the students were passionate about improving a program they careabout while learning valuable Systems Engineering design and deployment skills. At the sametime faculty and staff within the department were grateful to have four projects completed toimprove the program. Our experience shows that both students and teachers can benefit frompartnering together in their semester projects to design and deploy systems that improve theirdepartment. This approach to utilizing students to improve systems within the department couldbe replicated to other classrooms and universities in order to achieve similar results.

Mayhorn, J. P., & Ozelkan, E. C. (2013, June), Partnering With Students to Continuously Improve the Systems Engineering & Engineering Management Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22342

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