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MIT announces Leaders for Global Operations program

Broadened focus builds upon strengths in operations
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The MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) program is being renamed the Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program, reflecting an expansion from its historically broad understanding of manufacturing to encompass all aspects of operations. The program will continue to build on its strengths in production and logistics, as well as on the consistent number one rankings given to MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan School of Management's Operations Management Group in U.S. News & World Report magazine's annual evaluation of graduate programs.

"As LFM has succeeded over the 20 years since it was founded by MIT Sloan, the MIT School of Engineering, and industry, our understanding of manufacturing has broadened considerably to include critical operations across the entire supply chain," said David Simchi-Levi, professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering systems and LGO co-director from the MIT School of Engineering. "We believe operations excellence to be a core element of national competitiveness and the basis for advancement in developing countries."

After an extensive research process involving all the program's constituencies, the LGO Governing Board approved the change in name and mission. The board also directed LGO to address operations challenges beyond such traditional manufacturing sectors as automotive, aerospace, and high-tech manufacturing, to include supply chain retailers such as and Inditex, S.A. (Zara).

The joint program will continue to reside within MIT Engineering Systems Division, an interdisciplinary academic unit spanning most departments within the School of Engineering and all five MIT schools. Building on the work of LFM, LGO will continue to generate cutting-edge research at the intersection of engineering and management, educating leaders who can help operations-oriented companies thrive in global markets.

LGO Co-Director Thomas Allen, the Howard W. Johnson Professor of Management, emeritus, and professor of engineering systems, emeritus, said, "MIT Sloan and the School of Engineering work closely together on LGO research and curriculum to ensure that they are cross-disciplinary and blend knowledge from both engineering and management. LGO students take courses that examine the impact of globalization; conduct international internships; participate in international plant treks; and interact with students and faculty from other universities who are part of our global community."

Donald B. Rosenfield, director of the LGO program and senior lecturer at MIT Sloan, noted, "LGO partner companies are deeply engaged in all facets of the program." Companies sponsor student internships, select research topics, and participate in screening applicants, designing curricula, hosting plant tours, and ultimately recruiting LGO graduates. LGO partners include ABB Ltd.,, Amgen Inc., The Boeing Company, Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc., General Motors Corporation, Genzyme Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Intel Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Novartis AG, Raytheon Company, Spirit AeroSystems, and United Technologies Corporation.

About MIT's Leaders for Global Operations Program

Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) students learn to solve challenging operations problems by developing knowledge at the intersection of engineering and management. Our dual-degree program awards an MBA or a Master of Science from MIT Sloan School of Management and a Master of Science from MIT School of Engineering. The two-year LGO experience features a cross-disciplinary curriculum, a global orientation, significant internship opportunities and an emphasis on leadership and teamwork. Our partner companies play a critical role in all facets of the program.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 3, 2009 (download PDF).

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