/* */
Industrial and Manufacturing
Systems Engineering
News and Events
News Archive
IMSE Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, Friday April 1st, 2016

College of Engineering and Computer Science and Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Presents

IMSE Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series

Toward A Path to Operations Excellence


Dr. Marlin U. Thomas


Research Professor at the University of Michigan, and Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor Air Force Institute of Technology

Friday, April 1, 2016, 11:40 to 1 pm

1410/1420 PEC, Lunch will be served





While the history of our automotive manufacturing industry has seen some rocky roads it continues to be a vital element of our U.S. economy. The industry grew rapidly from 1890 becoming the world leader in vehicle production until the mid-1970s when markets soured due largely to international competition and quality problems. It was through aggressive leadership and advanced technology that by late 1980s vehicle sales bounced back and although today we are among the world leaders we struggle to remain there.


Our presentation today will focus on advancing automotive quality performance to a state of operations excellence.  Operational excellence is an element of organizational leadership that stresses industrial and operations engineering principles and methods to accomplish sustainable improvement of key performance. We will start by reviewing technology trends and quality developments followed by a summary of current issues in advancing quality. We will then propose some directions for change to accomplish sustainable improvement. I will conclude with a few remarks about leadership and professional development.




About the Presenter


Marlin U. Thomas is a Research Professor at the University of Michigan, and Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor Air Force Institute of Technology. Prior to joining AFIT he was a Professor and past-Head of the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. He earned his BSE at the University of Michigan-


Dearborn, and MSE and PhD at the University of Michigan.  He has held several other appointments including


Program Director for operations research at the National Science Foundation. He has served on several editorial boards and advisory committees including six years on the Army Science Board and is past President and member of the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Industrial Engineers.  He is a registered professional engineer and a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, the Institute of Industrial Engineers, and a Sequoya Fellow of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.  He is also a Captain, Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve (retired).

IMSE Student Teams Compete in the National Ergonomic Design Competition

Three student teams from IMSE 4425 and IMSE 501 Human Factors and Ergonomics class participated in the 8th Annual National Ergonomic Design Competition for the Student Teams.  42 teams representing universities from the United States and Puerto Rico participated in this year's competition. One of the IMSE team's (ErgoDetroit) finished 6th in this competition and received High Achiever team award. The other two teams (Maize & Blue Ergoexpress and Sahay) received Honorable Mention. This is the first time UM-D (CECS) student teams competed in this event, and all three teams demonstrated superior ability to solve ergonomic related Job design problems.  During the competition, each team was challenged with 4-weeks comprehensive ergonomic multi-step evaluation project that culminated into a 48-hour quick solution challenge. These challenges required each team to assess the ergonomic hazards associated with the salon workers' and hotel room attendants' daily job. Based on the evaluation results, each team was required to provide recommendations to improve job safety and efficiency supported by the cost-benefit analyses.  The UM-D team members received $1,500 in total cash awards and were also presented with the team plaques and individual certificates. 


The student team members are


Bedro, Kelly M.

Bielecki, Madelyn C.

Sullivan, Anne J.

Szpond, Chelsea C.

Wang, Yudi


Brigitte Hutter

Matt Burley

Kyle Horn

Connor Winton

Alejandro-Maximo Caragay


Neelesh Ganesh Lyer

Gopichandu Yanda

Vasudev Vumma

Prerana Rachamalla

Sri Havisha Gudapati

IMSE Undergraduate Student Stefania Haag, Gains Valuable Experience Through the Highly Sought After Internship at Disney World in Orlando

If there's a piece of advice CECS students Stefania Haag and Lauren Stec could share with their classmates, it's to take advantage of internship opportunities. Besides gaining valuable work experience, an internship could possibly lead to a dream job.


Haag and Stec each took the winter 2013 semester off to complete a five-month internship at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Haag worked in Industrial Engineering while Stec worked in Scientific Systems Ride Control.


For Stec, a senior electrical and computer engineering major, the opportunity to work in the Magic Kingdom is nearly a dream come true.

"I went on a lot of family vacations to Disney World and I've always wanted to work there," Stec says. "It was great to be one of the people who engineer the magic behind everything."


Stec tested amusement park rides and ensured that safety procedures were met. She also worked on the engineering of a new roller coaster.

"I learned a lot about the safety aspects that go into ride construction," she says. "I also had a good experience working with all the contractors and vendors who were on the project."


Stec obtained her internship during the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) international conference last November in Houston. She spoke with a Disney World representative at the conference's career fair and received an internship offer upon returning home.


"I definitely recommend internships," says Stec, who lined up a four-month internship this summer at Eaton Corporation in Milwaukee. "Put yourself out there and take chances-the payout could be incredible. I've already talked with my supervisor at Disney about possibly coming back for another internship and gaining more experience. Hopefully a full-time position will open up."


Haag and Stec were roommates at Disney while they completed their internships. Haag worked on efficiency studies and data analysis for Disney Cruise Line and Disney Magical Express.


"I worked on a variety of interesting requests from Disney clients," says Haag, a senior industrial and systems engineering major. "For example, I helped determine how luggage delivery at Disney Resorts could be made more efficient while maintaining current delivery time standards. I love my major and how it can be applied to problem solving in different fields."


Disney's Industrial Engineering department is very well known and its internship program is highly sought after. Haag applied online and had a phone interview with a Disney representative. Two days later, the internship was hers.

"I'm using internships as a way of testing different industries to determine where I want to work after graduating," Haag says. "My previous industrial engineering internship, which I obtained through the UM-Dearborn cooperative education office, was with Goodwill Industries of Detroit. This summer, I'll be a manufacturing engineering intern at Chrysler's Warren Stamping Plant.


"We learn the fundamental industrial engineering concepts in class.

Internships provide learning opportunities to develop many other soft skills that are not taught in school but are equally as important in the field. I would strongly encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities internships offer. If you can, complete one out of state. You'll be exposed to many things you haven't experienced before and be able to break out of your typical routine to learn who you really are."


To learn more about internship and co-op opportunities, visit the UM-Dearborn co-op education office website at www.umd.umich.edu/intern_coop.

Dr. Zhimin Xi, Assistant Professor of IMSE and Rong Jing, I&SE Graduate Student won the 2013 ASME Design Automation Conference Best Paper Award

IMSE assistant professor Zhimin Xi, I&SE graduate student Rong Jing, and their two collaborators (Dr. Pingfeng Wang, Wichita State University and Dr. Chao Hu, Medtronic Inc) won the 2013 ASME Design Automation Conference Best Paper Award. The Design Automation Conference is part of the 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.


This award is for the paper titled "A Copula-Based Sampling Method for Data-Driven Prognostics and Health Management." The paper presents a new data-driven prognostic approach for predicting the remaining useful life of engineering systems under uncertainty. This research is supported with the funding from Ford Motor Company. 

IMSE Faculty Dr. Jian Hu Wins IIE Transactions Best Application Paper Award in Operations Engineering & Analysis
Congratulations to Dr. Jian Hu, assistant professor of IMSE, and to his co-authors (Dr. Homem-de-Mello  and Dr. Mehrotra) for winning the 2013 Best Application Paper award in Operations Engineering & Analysis for their paper titled "Risk Adjusted Budget Allocation Models with Application in Homeland Security," IIE Transactions, 43 (12): 819-839, 2011.
Research Gant from Ford-UM Alliance to Investigate Fast Online Monitoring of Health Condition of Battery Cells with High Diagnostic Reliability

Dr. Zhimin Xi, Research Assistant Professor of IMSE and Dr. Cheol Lee, Associate Professor of IMSE received a research grant from Ford-UM Alliance to detect degradation of the battery cell capacity and power capability in operating conditions using validated lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery models under the temperature and cell-to-cell variability. Their research in this project will focus on the developement of statistically validated (or a virtual testing) battery models for capacity and power prediction, online monitoring system for battery cell capacity and power using measurable sensor signals, and the battery models to prevent premature failure of battery packs.

New Grant from Hyundai - Kia Motors to Investigate Measure of Perceived Gear-Shifting Quality

This research grant from Hyundai - Kia Motors will allow Dr. Sang-Hwan Kim, assistant professor of IMSE and  Mr. ByeongWook Jeon, visiting scholar from Hyundai-Kia Motors to develop measure of gearshift quality for optimizing driver propensity in terms of vehicle ergonomics. The objectives of this research are to: 1) identify perceptive factors to describe subjective feeling of gear-shifting shock; 2) examine a mechanism to show how human drivers response to the perceived factors; 3) investigate relations between subjective driver perceptions and objective measure of gearshifting shock using G-sensors; 4) construct models of driver perception; and 5) develop a guideline for designing gear-shifting quality.

John Junge Gives 350,000 to Endow Scholarship

When John Junge was applying to college as a teenager in Jackson, Michigan, he assumed he would have to go to community college first because of financial constraints. But he won a scholarship to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor instead. After learning about the Dearborn campus's cooperative education program, he transferred so he could earn money in his chosen profession while finishing his studies.

Now he's giving back. Junge, a member of the class of 1964, recently announced a 350,000 gift to establish a scholarship for high school students who want to major in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


"Being privileged to attend the University of Michigan is a blessing, and it's a further blessing sometimes to be able to give," Junge said via video at an event honoring him with a Distinguished Alumni Award to recognize his leadership, community service, and personal accomplishments. "So I'm announcing here today the endowment of the Junge Family Scholarship to study industrial engineering at the University of Michigan-Dearborn."

In recognition of his roots, the Junge Family Scholarship will be directed toward qualifying students from the state of Michigan and from the Jackson area, if applicable. Junge owns All-Star Inc., a San Diego-based company that provides management and operations service to government and military facilities in 18 states and Germany.

The Junge family has previously made other gifts to the university, most notably to the athletics programs. The Junge Family Champions Center in Ann Arbor is named in their honor.