On May 8-9, we're hosting one of the most significant events in LGO history. Our conference on "The Future of Manufacturing in the U.S." will feature major thought leaders at MIT, government, labor and industry exploring this topic. We look forward to seeing many of you here. The conference is sold out, but if you contact Josh Jacobs, we may still be able to find you a spot.
As you know, Jan Klein is retiring this year and Bill Hanson retired in December. In Jan's honor, we are renaming our alumni leadership fund to the Davis-Hanson-Klein fund. In honor of Bill Hanson retiring, we will install a plaque in the corridor of LGO that outlines his many accomplishments.
The 48 students of the LGO Class of 2014 are now set. The class has an average of five years of work experience and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.65. It's an outstanding group that we expect to make great contributions to the program starting next month.
Donald B. Rosenfield
Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management
We look forward to welcoming many of you to our conference on "The Future of Manufacturing in the U.S." on May 8-9. Registration for the event has closed as we went over the capacity of Wong Auditorium.
On the evening of May 8, alumni attending the conference will meet for an informal dinner with Don Rosenfield and other LGO staff. During the evening, we値l hear from Jeff Wilke (LGO '93) about a project he痴 coordinating on Don Davis and the influence of his leadership teaching on LGO alumni. Jeff, Jon Strimling (LGO '96), Steve Cook (LGO '98), and Dan Shockley (LGO '07) are all working on this, along with Ruthie Davis and Bill Hanson, and they would like to get alumni feedback.
If you would like to join the dinner, please RSVP to Josh Jacobs at email@example.com.
The Class of 2012 will officially complete the LGO program and graduate on Friday, June 8. That afternoon the LGO program office will host a party with the class and their families. We welcome all LGO alums to stop by the party and join us in congratulating the class. The party will be held from 3-5pm in the East Campus Courtyard, appetizers, beverages and cake will be served. The Best Thesis of 2012 will also be announced during the event. Please contact Patty Eames (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to join us.
On June 12, we will host a reception for the newest group in the LGO community, the Class of 2014, and we invite you to attend. We値l be introducing the new class to our community of alumni and partner representatives, and we hope you may be able to stop by to meet them and share a bit about your own LGO experience. The reception will be held at 6 p.m. at the MIT Faculty Club, with beverages and appetizers provided. Please RSVP to Patty Eames (email@example.com) if you plan to join us.
Newly admitted members of the LGO Class of 2014 shared their excitement about the next two years as they ate breakfast and met with LGO faculty and staff at the kickoff for a two-day open house in the MIT Faculty Club.
"This is really the program for me. To get accepted is like a dream come true," said Orion English, who heard about LGO from former Northrop Grumman (later Newport News Shipbuilding) co-worker Robert Hardy (LGO '10). English, until recently a structural engineer working on aircraft carriers, found a kindred spirit at the open house in Alicia Lenis (LGO '13), who worked in commercial ship-building in Canada and China before coming to MIT LGO.
Aaron Fyke (LGO '02) has been interested in clean energy for his entire career. Now his latest venture, which is developing a "mechanical battery" to store power on the grid for later use, is garnering attention from some high-profile investors, including Bill Gates.
A major drawback to generating power from wind or solar is the intermittent nature of these sources, as production plummets on calm or cloudy days. To make these energy sources practical on a large scale, utilities need a way to store power in anticipation of those dips in supply. Historically, the solution has been pumped hydro, whereby energy is used to pump water uphill and that energy is later released when the water is allowed to flow downhill. However, this can be done only in specific locations where there is a large body of water and sufficient land elevation.
Energy Cache, which Fyke founded in 2009 with support from Idealab in Pasadena, Calif., uses a different approach. Instead of pumps and water, it uses gravel, buckets, hillside conveyor belts and a motor powered by clean energy to do essentially the same thing as hydro pumping. Gravel is very inexpensive and has the advantage that it can behave as either a liquid or a solid. No reservoir is needed, and the system can also easily be scaled up and can respond more quickly to sudden spikes in energy demand.
Natalie Chouinard (LGO '09) is someone whose career is very much about global operations. During the past few years, she has spent over half her time in Taiwan as Raytheon's life cycle support lead for a $3 billion contract, managing reliability and affordability of a complex product. Recently Chouinard spoke about how LGO's engineering and MBA training, as well as its leadership focus, have been guiding forces in her career from an early age.
Leaders for Global Operations attracted Chouinard while she was still an MIT undergraduate. "I was in Prof. Steve Eppinger's Product Design and Development course and got to know some LGO students—and I was so impressed with them that I knew I wanted to be part of the program myself," she said. After earning her MIT degree in mechanical engineering in 2001, Chouinard served as an officer in the U.S. Navy and then became a mechanical engineer at LGO industry partner Raytheon. But she knew she wanted to learn more.
"I got to a point where I knew I wanted to grow myself as a leader in my organization and in the world," she said. "The timing was right to go to LFM [Leaders for Manufacturing, as the program was known until 2009] as a Raytheon-sponsored student. Returning to Raytheon after graduating allowed me to obtain a position of greater responsibility and tap into a blend of technical and business skills."
Eleven LGO faculty members are teaching several short courses for engineers, technical professionals and scientists this summer through MIT Professional Education Short Programs. Employees of LGO partner companies are eligible for a 15 percent discount.
The offerings are among nearly 40 courses lasting two to five days and taught by MIT faculty and industry experts on the MIT campus. Each course is taught within the period from June 11 to August 10.
Short courses being taught by LGO faculty listed by MIT department are:
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Engineering Systems Division
Additional courses are offered on topics in biopharma, computing & security, crisis management, data modeling and analysis, energy/sustainability/transportation, high-speed imaging, innovation, leadership, lean enterprise, manufacturing, mechanical design and engineering, radar, and systems engineering.
See the MIT Professional Education Short Programs website for dates, course descriptions and other information.
Tuition ranges from $600—$900 per day or $1,200—$4,600 per course and does not include meals or housing. Employees of LGO partner companies get a 15 percent discount (use the code LGO15) if they register and pay online before June 1.
This month we値l look at two projects dealing with manufacturing processes at UTC-Sikorsky, each of which demonstrates the LGO value of systematic analysis and tool development to improve manufacturing processes in complex systems. The first is by Jeremy Lieberman, who worked on reducing reworkable discrepancies. The second is by Sarah Daigh, who worked on the UH-60M BLACK HAWK final assembly critical path analysis.
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).
Name: Jeremy Lieberman
Company: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Supervisor: Stephen Pavlik
Academic Advisors: Thomas Eagar, Roy Welsch
Title: Reducing Reworkable Discrepancies at Sikorsky Aircraft
In building every aircraft, Sikorsky encounters and repairs minor deviations from the design drawings which are known as "reworkable discrepancies." A reworkable discrepancy is defined as a variation that can be returned to blueprint configuration using standard build operations. The cost associated with inspecting, repairing and validating these deviations represents a significant opportunity for cost savings and the basis for this project.
To gain an understanding of the problem and potential remedies, the project team began by conducting in-depth analysis of the available data to determine potential areas for improvement. Based upon the results of this work, we confirmed that a systemic approach would be the best for creating effective and lasting reduction of reworkable discrepancies. Based on this belief, the team developed the following two methods:
Project teams for the top three drivers were launched and completed their root cause and corrective action phases during the internship. Based upon their recommendations, a series of solutions were implemented including developing a new tool, modification to key specifications, focus on supplier standards and review a training course. To date, the efforts of these teams have produced significant savings with additional savings expected upon the completion of four recently launched project teams.
In addition to the success of the targeted teams, a new tool has been developed which tracks the quantity of reworkable discrepancies that occur on every task in producing an aircraft. This tool creates a report identifying high drivers for each level of manufacturing to ensure consistent and easy communication regarding progress in addressing issues identified by the tool.
Name: Sarah L. Daigh
Company: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Supervisor: David Wilcox
Academic Advisors: Roy Welsch, Daniel Whitney
Title: UH-60M BLACK HAWK Final Assembly Critical Path Analysis
The UH-60M BLACK HAWK Final Assembly build process is comprised of over 600 installations. The installations are performed in positions, with a constant takt time dictating when to move the aircraft to the next position. Due to parts supply and manpower challenges, not all installations are completed in the assigned position. This creates "carry-forward" work—work that is carried forward to the next position in the line. Subsequently, the assigned installations as well as the carry-forward work must be performed in the next position. In this environment, it is challenging to complete the Final Assembly build process in the target flow days.
Knowledge of the critical path of the build process will help focus management and aid in the achievement of target flow days. Since the duration of the critical path dictates the duration of the entire build, installations on the critical path will need to be completed in the correct position and not carried forward. Non-critical installations will be identified and allowed to be carried forward to a certain extent (as determined by the amount of slack on the non-critical paths). Also, the critical path will highlight which parts are necessary for the critical installations; management can work with these suppliers to ensure on-time deliveries or even choose to keep minimal stock of these parts. Identifying the key installations and parts allows management to focus its efforts most efficiently to achieve the target flow days.
Extensive interviewing of shop personnel, leads, and supervisors was conducted to document the installation predecessor relationships. Installation target and actual durations were compiled, and Microsoft Project was used to calculate the critical path of each position. In general, the critical path was longer than the targeted flow days. Also, QA tasks, currently not considered when scheduling work, were included in the critical path calculation. Including these increased the position critical paths by up to 80 percent. These conclusions led to a variety of recommendations to the company to target improvements.
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. This month:
We have begun adding archived LGO Web Seminar videos as well as other notable videos to our MIT TechTV collection. Please visit to browse the videos and let us know what other videos would be of interest.
Save the date:
MIT SDM Conference on Systems Thinking for Contemporary Challenges
October 22-23, 2012
Details available in early summer
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Josh Jacobs, LGO Director of Operations and Partner Integration (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-253-2959)