Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan

Team Members

Team Awards

UPS George D. Smith Prize: Winner(s)

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations provides interdisciplinary education, successfully uniting the fields of engineering and business.  The Tauber Institute strives to meet corporations' needs for a new kind of graduateā€”leaders with exceptional academic background and relevant professional experience who can successfully integrate business and engineering perspectives to lead international corporations into the future. 

Approximately 100 students per year graduate from the Tauber Institute prepared for the practice of OR/MS at the highest levels.  MS students in Industrial and Operations Engineering and MBA students with an engineering background apply to become members of the Tauber Institute.  All students receive training in both engineering and business.

The most outstanding aspect of the Tauber program is the 14-week, full-time, on-site paid internship.  It costs the sponsoring company approximately $90,000 to support a project, and the expectation is that the project will have a major financial impact.  The average return over three years per project is $18 million.  These cost savings have been verified and approved by each corporate sponsor.

In interviews, students and graduates emphasized the active involvement in the projects by top-level executives and regarded this exposure to the highest levels of an enterprise as a unique and extremely valuable learning opportunity.

The projects are organized in advance of the 14-week period with site visits and definition of scope.  There is a formal process including company presentations and interviews to assign students to projects.  Each project has a faculty advisor from both the business and engineering faculties.  Each team has a communications coach and a team dynamics advisor.  Milestones are scheduled for intermediate deliverables, progress checks, midproject visits, and final reports and presentations.

More than a decade ago, following suggestions from its Industry Advisory Board, the Tauber Institute began to formally offer leadership and practical skills training.  The program, entitled LeadershipAdvantageSM, consists of nine teaching modules and seven in-depth workshops, all designed to develop leadership skills through discussion, counseling, and practice.  Topics include personality styles, presentation skills, Six Sigma and Lean, advanced Excel, interviewing, cultural awareness, team dynamics, and meeting management.