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Left to right, Ed Kobelski and Brian Swierenga from Pfizer, Pfizer team members Nari TenKley and David Portner, and Joel Tauber, BBA '56, MBA '63, at Spotlight!
  Left to right, Ed Kobelski and
Brian Swierenga from Pfizer,
Pfizer team members Nari TenKley and
David Portner, and Joel Tauber,
BBA '56, MBA '63, at Spotlight!

Tauber Manufacturing Institute Awards $24,500 in Scholarships

10/20/2004 --

Teams sponsored by Pfizer, Alcoa and McKinsey take top honors.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Sixteen teams vied for top honors at the Tauber Manufacturing Institute's (TMI) 10th annual Spotlight! held last month, with the top three teams earning scholarships totaling $24,500. The competition is the culmination of 14-week multidisciplinary, collaborative team projects during which students tackle manufacturing issues to potentially earn or save sponsoring companies millions of dollars.

Students begin preparing for TMI team projects during the fall and winter semesters through communications training and project management skills development. Each group meets with a team-building and workplace consultant to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies in an effort to improve a company's competitive position. Teams work at the sponsor's site during the summer. The host firm provides the necessary computer and office equipment along with executive-level support.

On Sept. 24, teams presented their projects to corporate representatives, students, alumni, faculty and media while six senior-level executives from the manufacturing industry evaluated each project's scope, implementation, impact and overall presentation skills.

This year's first-place award went to David Portner and Nari TenKley for their Pfizer presentation titled "20% Global Capacity Improvement Saves $50 Million." The team increased the worldwide manufacturing capacity of Pfizer's 'kilo labs' by more than 20 percent without the need for any significant capital expenditures. The increase saved Pfizer from having to construct an additional kilo lab manufacturing facility, which would have cost approximately $50 million. Both team members were awarded a $4,500 scholarship.

Second-place honors went to Jason Clark, Raśl Quevedo and Mohan Radhakrishnan for their work with Alcoa. Their presentation, "Improved Delivery Performance through Product Leveling," earned each of them a $3,500 scholarship. Li-Yuan (Jacky) Sung and Pinar Yaprak each received $2,500 in scholarship money by securing the third-place spot with "An Operational Transformation in the Healthcare Industry" from their work with McKinsey & Co.

Other participating corporate sponsors included A.T. Kearney, Boeing, BorgWarner, Dell, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, Honeywell, Intel, Jabil Circuit, Medtronic, Pall Corp., Raytheon and Steelcase.

TMI, a joint program of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, offers a career-building manufacturing component that complements select degrees from both schools. For more information about TMI, visit

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat
Phone: 734-936-1015 or 647-1847