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Boeing CAS team members
  Left to right, TMI 2005 Boeing CAS team
members Stephanie Fidler and Isaac Jacob,
Ross School Associate Dean Eugene Anderson,
Christer Hellstrand of Boeing, College of
Engineering Interim Dean Ronald Gibala
and team member Kristen Neubauer

Tauber Manufacturing Institute Awards $31,500 in Scholarships

9/27/2005 --

Teams sponsored by Boeing, Steelcase and Dell take top honors.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Seventeen teams vied for top honors at the Tauber Manufacturing Institute's (TMI) 11th annual Spotlight! competition held on Sept. 16. The three leading teams earned scholarships totaling $31,500. 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.

University of Michigan students begin preparing for TMI team projects during the fall and winter semesters through leadership and teambuilding skills development. Each group meets with a team-building consultant to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to improve their host company's competitive position. Teams work at the sponsor's site during the summer. The host firm provides the necessary work resources along with executive-level support. On Sept. 16, teams presented their projects to corporate representatives, students, alumni and faculty. Eight senior-level executives from the manufacturing industry evaluated each project's scope, implementation, impact and the team's presentation skills.

First-place award winners were Stephanie Fidler, Isaac Jacob, and Kristen Neubauer for their Boeing-Commercial Aviation Services project titled "Lean Process Improvement and Product Alignment Strategy." After developing proof-of-concept kitting simulation models, creating a sustainability team and initiating a pilot implementation, the team recommended a three-phase facility consolidation plan and product realignment strategy, yielding a total annual savings exceeding $24 million, with cash flow improvements of over $90 million. Each team member was awarded a $4,500 scholarship.

Second-place honors went to Swapnil Deshpande, Suman Mishra, and Amit Shah for their work with Steelcase Inc. Their project, "Optimizing a Global Supply Chain and Establishing Total Cost Paradigm," earned each of them a $3,500 scholarship. Ramit Jain, Robert Rudolf, and Eduardo Zawadzki each received $2,500 in scholarship money by securing the third-place spot with "Auto-ID-enabled B2B Genealogy Trace System" for their work with Dell Inc.

Other participating corporate sponsors included A.T. Kearney (two teams), Boeing CAE, BorgWarner, GE Healthcare, General Motors, Guidant, Honeywell, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Pall Corp., Pfizer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Venchurs Inc. TMI, a joint program of the University's College of Engineering and Stephen M. Ross School of Business, offers a career-building manufacturing component that complements select degrees from both schools. For more information about TMI, visit

Written by Paula Baker, TMI,

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