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Turbocharge General Education Requirements with Science of External and Internal Excellence

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Edifying Engineering Education through Multidisciplinary Efforts

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Pradeep B. Deshpande University of Louisville and President, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc.

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Pradeep B. Deshpande is Professor Emeritus and a Former Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Louisville. He served on the ChE faculty there for thirty-three years (1975 – 2008). Post retirement, he has continued his research into the pursuit of perfection in human endeavors and teaching and consulting in advanced process control and six sigma. He is an author or co-author of more than 100 papers and eight books including the most recent, P. B. Deshpande, Roberto Z. Tantalean, and M. A. Bhalodia, Process Control and Optimization (estimated 2017), P. B. Deshpande, Six Sigma for Karma Capitalism, 2015 (amazon), and P. B. Deshpande, PhD and James P. Kowall, MD (Neurology, Internal medicine), PhD (Theoretical Physics), The Nature of Ultimate Reality and How It Can Transform Our World: Evidence from Modern Physics; Wisdom of YODA, 2015 (amazon) all published by his consulting firm Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc. The latter two books are meant to serve as texts in the course(s) on the science of external and internal excellence. Pradeep is a recipient of several awards including Donald P. Eckman Award in Process Control Education given by ISA and is a Fellow and life Member of ISA. He has presented lectures on the topic in several countries including the Congress of one to enthusiastic audiences. He has introduced the science of internal excellence in his six sigma course of the MBA program of the University of Kentucky in Athens, Greece he has been teaching for ten years. Dr. Mikel Harry, co-creator of six sigma is fully on board (See, Profound Implications of Minimum Variance Control on his online blog, Business Improvement Times) as are three recipients of the second highest civilian award given by the Government of India, two of whom are also Fellows of the Royal Society and one is a recipient of the President’s National Medal of Science together with a renowned quantum physicist and former presidential nominee.

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Engineering students opt for the discipline of their choice which gives them an in-depth understanding of the chosen major but all university students are generally required to complete certain general education requirements whose purpose is to make their education whole and complete. Four decades of academic and industrial experience together with emerging evidence suggest that there is further scope in making the education of students whole and complete by incorporating two new topics into the general education requirements: Scientific framework for external excellence and scientific framework for internal excellence. The paper will detail the what, why, and how of this assertion. To briefly explain, engineers take minimum variance to be a theoretical upper limit of achievable performance in dynamic processes. Constrained model predictive control teaches engineering students in some disciplines the wherewithal of how to strive for minimum variance in dynamic processes which remains the state of the art in the process industries today. Engineering students, in fact all students, should also learn how to strive for minimum variance in static processes since static processes and transactions are ubiquitous, outnumbering dynamic processes perhaps by as much as 9:1. Six sigma is a systemic, structured, disciplined, and data-driven methodology for problem-solving based on input-output data that doubles up as a top-notch quality initiative for striving for minimum variance in static processes. Fifty-three percent of Fortune-500 companies are now reported to have six sigma programs in place and this number reportedly rises to 82% for Fortune-100 companies. For many years, the author kept finding puzzling variations in the performance of six sigma projects. In what could qualify as a Eureka moment, the author discovered post retirement that the state six sigma considers to be minimum variance is really not yet that. The elephant in the room is internal excellence, one’s capacity to remain centered in the face of extenuating external conditions that are part of life. Therefore, further improvement in performance should be possible by raising the level of internal excellence and this hypothesis is amenable to an audit. Six sigma is the science of external excellence which teaches how to do all that we do in the external world in the best possible manner while the science of internal excellence teaches how to enhance our capacity to remain centered with meditation. Even modest success leads to a myriad of benefits: health & wellness, creativity & innovativeness, exemplary performance in all walks of life, better leadership decisions, and less discord and violence. Reputed scientific journals such as Nature, Science, and PNAS as well as medical journals & business publications have carried full-length articles on meditation in recent years. The two components together form the basis of a scientific framework for a better and a more peaceful world and as a subset, has the potential to transform higher education. The author’s interview on collective-evolution provides a synopsis of the framework: ( Incorporating both components of excellence in college curricula will immensely help students while in college and beyond.

Deshpande, P. B. (2017, June), Turbocharge General Education Requirements with Science of External and Internal Excellence Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29047

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