Missouri University of Science and Technology’s engineering management systems engineering program (EMSE) department has been approved as a Quality Training Provider (QTP) by the Institute of Industrial Engineers, allowing students to test for Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
Six Sigma is focused on reducing variation in processes, products and services, says Dr. Beth Cudney, associate professor of engineering management systems engineering at Missouri S&T and director of the Design Engineering Center. Although it started in the 1980s in manufacturing, it is widely used in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and service industries. With a focus on improving processes, it can be used in any industry.
“The certification would differentiate Missouri S&T students from others entering the workforce,” Cudney says. “It is uncommon for students to have this type of certification unless they have considerable work experience.”
Twenty-six Missouri S&T juniors and seniors will take the three-hour exam on Wednesday, Dec. 16. Students must take Engineering Management 4710, Quality, to be eligible to take the exam.
Motorola pioneered Six Sigma in the 1980s, and it was designed to target manufacturing defects and reduce them to a small level — less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, potentially saving millions of dollars in the process.
The fundamental principle is to utilize statistical tools to understand the sources of process variation, which helps to eradicate defects and reduce variation in processes and to ensure quality customer service, products and services.
“After earning Six Sigma certifications in industry, I quickly realized the value of a certification in recognizing the proficiency within a specific body of knowledge,” Cudney says. “As a 22-year member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), I am delighted that, through our relationship with the IIE, we are able to now offer students the opportunity to take the IIE Six Sigma Green Belt certification exam. This affirms their ability to effectively solve problems using statistical analysis. I believe this will provide a notable distinction for our students as they apply for internships, co-ops and full-time positions.”
The Six Sigma methodology creates improvements by managing variation and reducing defects in nearly any enterprise. From the time allotments for pizza delivery, to the analytical processes used by insurance companies, statistics play a large part in daily affairs, and the Six Sigma approach enables productivity and profit for businesses while also focusing on improving customer satisfaction.
“As EMSE enters its 50th year as a department and a founder of the discipline of engineering management, we are proud that we continue to provide content that sets our students apart in the global job market,” says Dr. Suzanna Long, interim chair and associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering at Missouri S&T. “Excellent opportunities like this allow our students to clearly demonstrate our brand and echo our motto that Miners dig deeper.”