I recently had the opportunity to teach a semester long class in Lean Enterprise as an adjunct instructor in the Industrial Engineering department for the University of Buffalo. The experience was both challenging and gratifying.
The students were very ambitious and seemed anxious to learn as much as possible. The primary challenge I experienced was to provide practical lessons from the industrial world blended with the requirements of a college course for gradable assignments and exams. Keeping the attention of 100 students through a 2 hour plus lecture every Tuesday evening also proved difficult at times.
I learned quite a bit about how to best engage students and prompt interest in the concepts and practices of lean. I learned that they are all focused on getting a good grade but some insightful questions lead me to believe there was real interest in the subject matter.
A project assignment at the end of the semester provided the best opportunity for thoughtful discussion and the ability to explain real world approaches. This turned out to be the aspect of the class I most enjoyed, direct interaction with students in smaller groups discussing their questions. The students’ initiative and creativity was impressive and gave me a new sense of enthusiasm.
Overall, this turned out to be a very positive experience but it was also significantly different than I first anticipated.
Philip Celotto has over 30 years of manufacturing and engineering experience. Prior to joining Insyte Consulting, he worked in the areas of product development, project management and production management. He has experience in operations, quality and manufacturing planning. Mr. Celotto works with regional companies to implement lean manufacturing, improve productivity, develop and implement quality systems and develop strategic plans. Phil is a Lean Bronze Certified Practitioner through SME, AME and the Shingo Prize, a certified Professional Business Advisor through MEP University, a certified trainer in Lean Manufacturing initiatives and is certified as an ISO 9000 Provisional Lead Auditor and an ISO/TS 16949 Provisional Lead Auditor.