Members of the winning LGO
team with the George D. Smith
Prize trophy at the INFORMS
We are very pleased to report that LGO has won the UPS George D. Smith Award from INFORMS. The award was created in the spirit of strengthening ties between industry and the schools of higher education that graduate young practitioners of operations research. The team presenting at the recently concluded INFORMS conference in Boston included myself, Georgia Perakis, Michael Chun '14, Tim Vasil '11, and supporting us in answering questions were Dan Noday '14, Jason Chen '12 and Gavin DeNyse '01. We will have a complete story soon on the LGO website.
We are also very busy with other events, having just completed the international plant trek to Shanghai and Seoul, and preparing for the open house for newly admitted students on April 3-4.
Donald B. Rosenfield
Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management
It's official! San Francisco will be hosting this year's LGO Alumni Conference on May 1-2. In keeping with the locale, this year's conference will be tackling "Innovation in Manufacturing and Operations." The current speaker line-up is looking strong! Join us to hear how recent fast-movers, such as Tesla and Uber, and reigning industry leaders, such as Amazon and Google, are using technology to elevate their operations. Get the inside scoop on how companies are leveraging data science, mobile platforms, and new manufacturing supply chains to reshape existing industries and perhaps build new ones. And connect with thought leaders from the San Francisco Bay Area, MIT, and beyond.
Women of LGO will kick things off with a happy hour on Wednesday, April 30. More conference information is available here:
Watch for updates and book soon, as conference spots and local accommodations will fill quickly. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the organizers.
Don Rosenfield, LGO
The momentum for DonFest is building, with over 100 people already registered to attend this special event at Fenway Park and MIT. Details are below with more information available on the DonFest webpage.
Thursday, May 15—Reception at EMC Club at Fenway Park, with toasts from MIT Provost Martin Schmidt, LGO Governing Board co-chair Jeff Wilke '93, and surprise guests.
Friday, May 16—Conference at MIT celebrating Don's contributions in areas including operations research, the creation and evolution of LGO, partnerships between academia and industry, educational innovation, and the future of manufacturing and operations education. There will be speakers and panelists drawn from LGO alumni, current and former faculty, and industry. MIT faculty participants will include Olivier de Weck, Steve Graves, David Hardt, Tom Magnanti and Zeynep Ton, along with former industry co-director Bill Hanson and LGO faculty co-directors Georgia Perakis and David Simchi-Levi. For more information, please contact Josh Jacobs.
Don with CY Lee '08 at
his internship in
Whether or not you plan to attend DonFest, we invite you to write a few words about your connection with Don on our "Tribute to Don" webpage. We're collecting your testimonial texts and photos and will put them together in a book to present to Don and his family, in addition to the page on the LGO site. Submitting your texts and photos is easy—please visit the webpage and see a few examples:
"Don's passion for LFM/LGO is what I remember most. In particular, after getting bitten on the nose by some deranged lap dog, I recall that Don was right back at LFM the next day or so. More importantly, I wanted to say thank you Don for guiding LFM/LGO so successfully for so long. I'm just one of hundreds whose lives were changed because of your work. Thanks!"
— Aaron Bilstrom '01
"I still have vivid memories of one of the first meetings with my LGO classmates led by Don. We were still mostly strangers who had just arrived on campus at MIT, which can be not only an intimidating environment but also an individualistic and competitive one. During that early meeting, Don said something I have never forgotten to this day. He said, "You will all work together and you will all support one another and you will all graduate together." He continued, "That's the way it has always been with this program and that's the way it will always be with this program: teamwork."
— Randall Pinkett '98
"What I appreciate most about Don is that he treats the alumni like treasures. His memory for each of the students, where they live, what they do, who they married, the names of their kids, etc., never ceases to amaze me. Whenever I write him for a contact or an idea or see him at an alum event, he quickly responds and engages. I still always feel connected to the program because of the community he created."
— Rachel Sheinbein '04
For those of you who remember Don on ice, check out this video of some LGO '04 and '05 IM hockey players with Don.
As reported by the MIT News Office, MIT's graduate program in engineering was #1, the same spot it has occupied since the magazine first ranked graduate programs in engineering in 1990.
The MIT Sloan School of Management ranked #5 in the country, but two of its individual graduate programs of particular interest to LGOs—production/operations and supply chain/logistics—were ranked first, as they were in 2013. MIT Sloan's programs in information systems, entrepreneurship and finance were ranked #1, #3 and #5, respectively.
Julie Shah and graduate students Ron Wilcox and
Matthew Gombolay run a cross-training
Photo by William Litant/MIT
"This is an enormously exciting time to be working in industrial robotics," MIT Professor Julie Shah told an LGO webinar audience as she shared her passion for helping robots and humans work together efficiently and safely on manufacturing lines.
Shah is the Boeing Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as the leader of the Interactive Robotics Group in MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. After earning her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at MIT in aero/astro, she spent a year at Boeing as a research fellow, gaining manufacturing experience and mapping out her research agenda for her return to MIT as a faculty member. Her role connecting the research agendas of LGO partner Boeing and MIT has made her a vital contributor to the LGO community, where she advises students (such as Jason Herrera '13, whose Boeing internship is profiled here) and helps shape the LGO internship projects that Boeing offers each year.
In her February 28 webinar presentation to an audience that included many Boeing staff members, LGO alumni, and a group of current students joining her in person, Shah highlighted the transitions now going on in how industry uses robots in manufacturing. Instead of caged cells of robots working separately from human operators, technology and standards are evolving to allow humans and robots to work side by side in the same space.
To take maximum advantage of the flexibility this new arrangement allows, according to Shah, there are two key challenges to address: how to integrate robots into what is now manual work, and how to allow robots to help a human operator doing a manual task.
Prof. Tauhid Zaman
of MIT Sloan
In a week marked by the world's most re-tweeted picture ever, MIT Professor Tauhid Zaman escorted an LGO webinar audience deep into what he described as the "twysics" of the online world during a March 7 seminar.
Zaman, an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at MIT Sloan who teaches the LGO Operations Management course, talked about his research on user behavior on the microblogging platform Twitter. Using the huge amounts of data available about when tweets are posted and then re-tweeted or "favorited," Zaman's analysis has identified what he believes are fundamental properties of social networks, as well as particular insights he thinks Twitter and advertisers will soon use to optimize their use of the platform.
In previous interviews and presentations to the LGO community, Zaman highlighted his research predicting the popularity of tweets. In his current work, as he explained to a live audience of LGO students and of LGO partner company staff and students joining remotely, he goes deeper to address the experience of viewing and responding to tweets.
The key value that Zaman's work tries to define is Pseen, which is the probability of a tweet being seen by another user in a finite amount of time such that it might be favorited or re-tweeted. Zaman determines this value from the number of Twitter friends one has, along with a "visibility correction" that estimates the number of tweets a user will see in time to consider acting on them by retweeting or favoriting them.
The LGO webinar series returns this spring with sessions led by faculty and LGO alumni. These webinars are offered as a benefit to our alumni and extended community. We hope you will participate and suggest future topics to Josh Jacobs.
Heath Holtz (LGO '05)
Speaker: Heath Holtz (LGO '05), Nissan
Topic: "Career-building in a non-U.S.-based Global Company"
Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
Time: 12:30–1:30 p.m. EST (Note time change)
Heath Holtz is Vice President, Supply Chain Management–Europe for Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK). He leads the Nissan team responsible for all supply chain activities within Europe and Russia. In seven years with Nissan, Holtz has risen through supply chain executive roles at Nissan North America, Nissan Motors in Japan, and now Nissan UK. He has sponsored two LGO internships within the Nissan North America Logistics organization.
Previously, Holtz was a materials manager at Dell, and prior to completing the LGO program he was a captain in the U.S. Air Force. He is an operations research graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and holds a master's degree in operations research from Georgia Tech.
Sara Dolcetti '15 on her
LGO internship at MGH
While she's busy earning two degrees in two years from LGO, Sara Dolcetti is adding a health care focus to her MIT education by taking Health Care Lab and working toward MIT Sloan's new Health Care Certificate.
A story from the MIT Sloan newsroom notes that Dolcetti (LGO '15) spent Independent Activities Period (MIT's January break from classes) doing on-site work for Health Care Lab, one of the MIT Sloan action learning labs open to LGO students and others at MIT. She's also compiling credits for the Health Care Certificate, which is open to any MIT student interested in a career in the burgeoning field of healthcare and health management.
In the eight-week Health Care Lab project, GE Healthcare commissioned a student team including Dolcetti to investigate the value of an IT product it's developing for cardiac unit doctors and staff. One of the three hospitals where they interviewed and observed doctors and staff was Massachusetts General Hospital, where she's currently doing her LGO internship on forecasting inpatient capacity needs.
To connect LGO partner companies with potential LGO alumni job prospects, this year we've started a regular section listing LGO partner opportunities. If you work at a partner company and want to include a posting in this section, please contact Josh Jacobs.
At Amazon, we are seeking the best and brightest leaders in the manufacturing and operations space. Our leaders will be challenged to lead and develop large teams, as well as show the ability to analytically problem-solve in a very metrics-driven culture. We value strong engineering backgrounds and those who bring new and innovative ideas and solutions. Whether it is within our fulfillment center network or our supply chain and transportation groups, we are looking for individuals who can demonstrate a track record of successfully leveraging Lean Six Sigma tools and concepts to drive process improvement. Amazon is experiencing rapid expansion in North America and globally.
For any of these positions (except where noted), please contact Brent Gibbons.
Head of Operations UK — London, UK
This new leadership role has been created to bring the UK Operations organization to a new level of performance and productivity, underpinning Amazon.co.uk's rapid and continuing growth. The leader of Operations UK will hold a key leadership position within Amazon worldwide and will drive growth not only in the UK but also neighboring markets served out of the UK with plans for further substantial growth in the region. Today, Amazon runs eight fulfillment centers across the UK. While their sizes vary, in a mature state, fulfillment centers are targeted to have a permanent workforce of 1,500 to 3,000 at peak times during the fourth quarter of a year. As a company, Amazon continues to substantially grow revenues and volumes, which puts constant pressure on its operations and delivery capabilities. The operations mode of Amazon sites is deeply anchored in systematic deployment of lean concepts to core processes and in ensuring a high degree of automation of such processes. Where adding value, working standards follow Six Sigma and Kaizen methodologies. The leader of Operations UK is pivotal to the business, delivering growth projections, and more importantly, its outstanding customer promise. Maintaining the strongly customer-centric culture of Amazon will be key, translating into consistent degrees of high customer satisfaction through on-time delivery. The ideal candidate is a strong business builder who knows how to structure and develop organizations to accommodate very large growth rates for the next several years. This leader will have exceptional strengths in defining business direction, driving innovation and growth, and running day-to-day operations. Infused in those areas will be an innate customer intuition and focus that serves as the basis for all business decisions. Contact for this position: email@example.com.
Leader of Global Infrastructure Operations — Seattle, WA
The leader of Global Infrastructure Operations will be responsible for Amazon's datacenters globally. This position will own the datacenters and the operation of the datacenters once they have been built and commissioned as operationally ready. From the point of commissioning, the leaders will be responsible for security, safety, availability, operations and people. The leaders will be responsible for taking the datacenters and their people through a transition that more strongly brings Six Sigma and lean operations to our leadership, people and processes to ensure the highest quality. This transformation will be crucial to maintaining Amazon.com's competitive advantage in the industry.
This position will be a peer position to the leader of Networking, the leader of Datacenter Global Services (which is location strategy, acquisition, build of mechanical and electrical plants), the leader of Supply Chain and the leader of Hardware Engineering. The leader of Infrastructure Operations will lead a team of hundreds of full-time employees and a much larger number of contractors. This position will be responsible for hiring at a very high growth rate.
The leader of Global Infrastructure Operations must be a visible leader who earns the respect of our leaders and their teams due to the experience, strong communication skills, and deep knowledge of operations management. The role is highly impactful and will drive our success in a new market.
This position will be responsible for the following strategic focus areas:
Director of Emerging Regions ACES — Seattle, WA
Amazon is seeking a Director of Emerging Regions ACES who will build and lead ACES teams for Emerging Markets. ACES (Amazon Customer Excellence System) is Amazon.com's innovative program for driving process and customer experience improvement. ACES brings together the tools of Lean, Six Sigma, technology, and Amazon's customer-obsessed culture to drive continuous customer experience improvement.
The Director of Amazon Customer Excellence System (ACES) is responsible for implementing the ACES system enabling Amazon Emerging Regions Fulfillment Operations to benefit from the productivity gains available via Lean Six Sigma.
In this role you will develop and lead a team of senseis who identify, create, develop and integrate innovative solutions and programs that lead to improvements in our Emerging Regions ACES Programs. This highly visible position has primary leadership responsibility for implementing continuous improvement, standardization and best practice development across operations at multiple locations around the world. This position reports directly to the Director, Emerging Regions and must exercise considerable judgment in the identification and execution of strategic continuous improvement plans and the tactical project implementation and completion process.
Director, Emerging Regional Operations — Seattle, WA
Amazon.com's success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the Director, Emerging Regional Operations will lead multiple Amazon Fulfillment Centers, which are the last Amazon touchpoint in the customer experience. The Director, Emerging Regional Operations is an extraordinarily complex leadership role, requiring an executive to balance flawless daily execution with the long-term development of a team. The role requires a detailed understanding and ability to balance every operational component of multiple facilities from employee needs to IT and from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottoms-up input and participation in process improvement from all levels of the organization. This role will serve as the face of the organization to thousands of employees across North America. Amazon's Director, Emerging Regional Operations will manage Fulfillment facilities globally which consist of 200,000 to 1 million square feet with 500 to 1,500 full-time hourly and salaried employees. At peak these numbers will increase to 2,000 to 4,000/facility. The role will have a budget responsibility of $1.5B+.
Director, Operations Engineering, Emerging Regions — Seattle, WA
The successful candidate will lead the Operations Engineering team for our Emerging Regions. The Operations Engineering Emerging Regions team works with the Global Fulfillment Design and Engineering groups in the development, selection, construction, facility design and layout, capital equipment budget and selection, advanced mechanical engineering and software development for Global Fulfillment Center Execution in Emerging Regions. The team provides global business expertise to exceed customer expectations while minimizing end-to-end supply chain costs. This is a highly visible position that is critical to the company's operations management and forward capability. The fast-paced growth and scaling of our fulfillment network relies on the innovation and operational excellence of this impactful leader.
Fulfillment Center General Manager — multiple U.S./international locations
Amazon.com's success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the GM of an Amazon Fulfillment Center is the last line of defense in the customer experience. The Fulfillment Center GM is an extraordinarily complex leadership role, requiring an executive to balance flawless daily execution with the long-term development of a team. The role requires a detailed understanding and ability to balance every operational component of a facility from employee needs to IT, from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottoms-up input and participation in process improvement from all levels of the organization. The Fulfillment Center GM serves as the face of the organization to potentially thousands of employees and the entire community where the center is located. Our corporate leadership depends upon the fulfillment centers to deliver the ultimate in customer experience and satisfaction, and it is a role that is taken extremely seriously throughout the company.
Amazon's field leadership roles manage facilities of 500,000 to 1 million square feet with 500 to 1,500 full-time hourly and salaried employees. At peak, these numbers will increase to 2,000 to 4,000. Many of our sites handle over $1B in revenue per year with a $60-100 million budget.
Senior Operations Manager — multiple U.S. locations
Our Senior Operations Managers are responsible for all budgetary, people development and operations objectives for one functional area of our Fulfillment Center (Inbound or Outbound). Additional responsibilities include managing and leading a team of Operations and Area Managers, coaching and mentoring the team to ensure performance objectives are met, building positive employee relations, and building leadership bench strength within the Fulfillment Center. Contact for this position: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Manager and Senior Program Manager, Worldwide Engineering Services — Seattle, WA
Amazon is looking for a Senior Program Manager with a strong delivery record and proven project management experience to own and execute strategic, cross-functional operations and technology projects on the Worldwide Engineering Services team. The team is also looking for a Senior Manager to manage the PMO office.
The Senior Manager and Senior Program Manager on the Worldwide Engineering Services team will develop and implement standardized tools and processes for Capital Planning and Management, Project Planning and Project Management, and develop and manage strong strategic relationships with our key suppliers and business partners to reduce cost, streamline project implementation, and improve capital efficiencies. These roles will develop and implement standard project management and construction management processes and methodology to be utilized by the engineers and project managers in all Worldwide regions including project planning, status reporting, budget tracking, schedule tracking, open issue resolution, system acceptance, and project closeout. Contact for these positions: email@example.com.
Platform Director, Auto-injectors—Cambridge, MA or Frankfurt, Germany
Sanofi leads the industry in device-enhanced therapies including pioneering auto-injector technology with prefilled syringes as primary containers for highly viscous mAbs and voice-enabled injectors for epinephrine. Auto-injectors play an expanding role in the future product pipeline for Sanofi with six products dependent on auto injectors in the current product plan (i.e. anti-PCSK-9, anti-IL4R and anti-IL6 developed in partnership with Regeneron, Sarilumab and anti-TNF therapies).
The Platform Director, Auto-injectors position is being created to ensure these products are delivered as planned with the required auto injector technology. The purpose for the Platform Director role in Sanofi is to ensure robust and proven technology with the necessary partnerships, processes and product configurations required to support the product plan is available when needed to enable high-confidence and predictable combination product development. A key requirement for achieving this is the implementation of a platform-based strategy, wherein critical innovation is completed off the critical path of product development by creating the technology building blocks of an overall product platform architecture AND leveraging building blocks, processes and expertise across similar applications in the product plan. The Auto-injector Platform Director is responsible for all technical aspects of auto injector technology and devices from early conceptual development and product development through commercial release and life cycle management.
Contact: Suzanne Bellomo
When you click on the Internship page on the LGO website, you'll find detailed profiles of recent LGO internships to show you examples of LGO projects and the results they achieve.
The internships are organized into seven categories:
Each section includes profiles of two internships with information on the students' approach, project impact and MIT faculty participation. New profiles will be posted on a regular basis.
This month will feature two projects involving new product development processes and product concept development. The first is from Sarah Cooper-Davis (LGO '14, MechE/Sloan), who did her research at Sanofi evaluating how to translate patents into product concepts. The second is from Jeremy Giese (LGO '14, MechE/Sloan), who did his research at Dell, Inc. on next-generation product development in the area of rugged field computing.
Name: Sarah Cooper-Davis
Supervisor: Ulrich Bruggemann
Academic Advisors: Jonathan Fleming, Warren Seering
Title: Extracting Product Opportunities from Intellectual Property Portfolios: from Patent to Product Idea
Companies and research institutes maintain large intellectual property portfolios, which are considered a company asset and require significant investments to maintain. To offset this capital investment this thesis looks at the potential to extract value from such portfolios. The value creation can take multiple forms. Traditionally the IP protects existing products or excludes competitors from entering a given market. Alternatively this process looks to move from intellectual property (IP) to product ideas (PI), hereafter referred to as the IP2PI process.
As outlined in the diagram below the IP2PI process starts with intellectual property as the main input. Next the IP2PI process itself consists of three steps:
The outputs of the process are evaluated product ideas that can then serve as the inputs to product development processes.
IP2PI Process Overview
Name: Jeremy Giese
Company: Dell, Inc.
Supervisors: Drew Tosh, Design Development Manager; Erin Walline, Usability Director
Academic Advisors: Steve Eppinger; Warren Seering
Title: Next-generation Product Development: Rugged Field Computing
Dell has identified "field service" as a growing market where the company could make a strong entrance with a new, customer-focused product. The goal of this project is to explore potential future offerings in the rugged field computing market, and to develop a primary product concept into a high-fidelity prototype that Dell could implement and bring to market in two to three years. This concept should be aspirational in its scope and technical complexity, while remaining within a reasonable adjacency to Dell's current markets and product offerings.
The project is organized into four distinct phases: Research, Discovery, Concept Development, and Engineering Development. The Research phase consisted of extensive market data and trend analysis, competitive product identification, and contextual user research. The Discovery phase consisted of product opportunity brainstorming based on Research findings. Concept Development consisted of down-selection of the brainstormed concept to a single primary concept, and specification of detailed user interface and product specification features. Engineering Development consisted of comprehensive competitive product benchmarking and technology research. This information was then incorporated into a detailed technical specification, component breakdown, and 3D CAD design database.
The final deliverable of the project was a detailed CMF (color, material, and finish) prototype of the primary concept, as well as wireframe software prototypes of an associated mobile app and database software. Detailed user interface and experience analysis was performed, and a financial model was created to project the business implications of Dell pursuing the further development of this product.
Benefits to Dell include an in depth analysis of a large customer group that the company does not yet fully serve, as well as a proposed path into a brand new product category. The combination of first-mover advantage and Dell's assets including customer access and design and development capability would place the company in a unique position to capture market share.
If you have companies or areas of research you'd like to see highlighted in the monthly newsletter, please contact Ted Equi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please make our students' blogs a regular part of your reading about LGO. If you're interested in the current state of the program, these blogs are a great place to start.
International Plant Trek
Videos of current students, LGO webinar videos, and other notable videos are available through our MIT TechTV collection. Please browse the collection and let us know what other videos you'd like to see.
Please visit the website of the MIT Systems Design and Management program to learn about their upcoming events, including Systems Thinking webinars.
Log in to the Virtual Community to see LGO alumni information, find other alumni, update your information, or find theses. If you have trouble getting in, contact email@example.com or use the "forgot password" button. If the email address you submit is in our system, your username and password will be sent to you.
Josh Jacobs, LGO Director of Operations and Partner Integration (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-253-2959)