Spotlight! 2012 Winners Shine at 19th Annual Tauber Institute Event
ANN ARBOR, MI, September 14, 2012 -- It was a day of discovery at the 19th Annual Spotlight! competition held recently at the Ross School of Business as 35 Tauber teams made up of MBA, Master of Supply Chain Management and College of Engineering students presented the results of their summer projects and competed for more than $30,000 in scholarship awards. The teams, represented by 83 students and 51 faculty at 28 sponsoring companies around the world, worked in sectors including manufacturing and supply chain, health care, energy, technology and logistics to uncover solutions to real-life issues.
Taking top honors was the Woodward, Inc. team of Dot Gregg, MBA ‘13, and Kevin Shallcross, EGL ‘13, who spent their summer in Zeeland, Michigan working to leverage process improvement, demand forecasting, and materials planning to reduce the company’s turnaround time for aircraft fuel nozzle repair and overhaul. They received a scholarship award of $5,000 each and were presented with the “check” by Joel Tauber at the conclusion of the Spotlight! event on Sept. 14, 2012.
Woodward, Inc.’s Aircraft Turbine Systems business group engaged the Tauber team to position its operations to support anticipated growth by reducing turn-around time (TAT) on commercial fuel nozzle repair. The company aims to improve service and to expand its presence in the segment focused on energy solutions for commercial and military aircraft propulsion.
“I was very pleased to see how quickly they ramped-up and integrated into our team as if they were long-term employees. Both students were extremely bright, professional, and above all self-motivated. They engaged our organization and worked the project with a high level of energy. Also, they utilized their professors effectively to supplement their technical capability,” said Scott Nisbet, Woodward VP of Turbine Combustion Systems, Aircraft Turbine Systems business group.
“Beyond improving functional abilities such as project management and data analysis, I gained a better understanding of the kind of work I enjoy. There were days I was so engrossed in the project that I forgot to check the clock, and when I looked up, everyone had left for the night! Plus, I learned so much about the aerospace industry - travel is much more fun now than it was before,” said Gregg.
Shallcross said that the level of professionalism and trust that Woodward conveyed was remarkable. “My greatest takeaway is the communication skills that I developed; the ability to sell a new idea to a wide range of stakeholders requires an understanding of individual motivations and expectations, which takes on a whole new meaning when you are balancing the needs of sales, operations, and management!” said Shallcross.
Utilizing Tauber students enabled Woodward to complete important projects and immediately capture improvements in asset utilization and customer service. The team’s effectiveness was tremendous, according to Nisbet.
“Dot and Kevin did an outstanding job and certainly earned the top prize. Their professionalism and tenacity enabled them to complete an ambitious scope in the 14-week timeframe. I was extremely excited for them when Woodward was named the winner. I smiled the entire way back to Grand Rapids Friday evening!” said Nisbet.
The Woodward team’s Faculty Advisors were Peter Lenk, RSB, and Peter Washabaugh, College of Engineering. Their Communication Coach was Elaine Wisniewski, College of Engineering.
About Tauber Institute for Global Operations
The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan‟s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, and many industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. In addition to broad array of core and elective courses, the innovative LeadershipAdvantageSM Program provides students with the tools to ascend to major operations leadership roles. Well-designed and managed team projects form the cornerstone of the Tauber Institute experience and allow students to apply their knowledge to real world settings. http://www.tauber.umich.edu
By Nancy Davis, Independent Writer