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Fulton Schools’ Students Pursue Continuous Improvement

Over the summer, Global Outreach and Extended Education in partnership with Fulton Schools of Engineering Office of Academic and Student Affairs, welcomed over 200 newly accepted and returning graduate students in ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering to participate in the online Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.

These students represented a variety of interests and concentrations in engineering from computer science to construction management, biomedical to aerospace, and included both Master’s and Ph.D. levels.

This 13-week Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification consisted of lectures centered around the understanding of Lean and Six Sigma concepts following the DMAIC Methodology --Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Each student was responsible for clearly demonstrating their knowledge of the concepts through various deliverables, such as assignments, quizzes, and most importantly, an applied project.

In an uncertain time where summer internships were put on hold, resources were reallocated and job responsibilities absorbed the work of others, these students rose to the challenge of executing an applied project in their communities, homes, and workplaces. What unfolded were some of the more creative and valuable projects.

From home, a participant analyzed the possibility of reducing electricity costs in a 2-person household by comprehensively reviewing and mapping appliance usage. By establishing guidelines to effectively manage their usage, Tiyasa Ray, a Ph.D. student in Civil, Environmental & Sustainable Engineering was able to reduce the overall electricity usage and cost by 20% in the month of July.

In the workplace, Arindam Chanda, a student in the online Master of Computer Science program, focused on the continuous delays associated with his monthly reporting. Through the use of gap identification, current state measurement using statistical tools, the prediction of future state and creating and implementing a project plan that encompassed continuous monitoring, Arindam was able to meet his goals of decreasing the report generation mean from 55 to 38 days in July, and then to 34 in August.

In addition to their graduate-level degree, they’ll also enter into the professional environment with this additional credential. Through creativity, determination, and comprehension of Lean methods, these students are now equipped to help improve performance through the elimination of waste and reduction of variance for organizations.

As a result of achieving the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification, students have an understanding of the Lean Six Sigma methodology of DMAIC and have demonstrated practice and application of these Lean Six Sigma tools that can now be utilized in the remainder of the graduate program and beyond.

Participation in professional programs, such as the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, amounts to a win-win for students and companies that will employ them. This emphasis on industry engagement promotes skill and application towards continuous improvement and the betterment of company processes as industry sectors continue to evolve.

To learn more about the professional programs in Lean and Six Sigma, or to inquire about opportunities for companies to participate in custom programs for their employees, please visit our website.

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Written by Meghan Gibson, ASU. 
November 2020