Meet the Spotlight! Winners

September 14, 2018

Ann Arbor, MI - Innovative solutions for tough operations challenges took center stage at the Tauber Institute for Global Operations' 2018 Spotlight! Team Project Showcase and Scholarship Competition, September 14 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton. Initial sponsoring company calculations indicate the 2018 Tauber team projects resulted in $564.4 million in cost savings and additional revenue generation.

Spotlight! is an annual competitive presentation of operations solutions developed by Tauber Institute student teams during their 14-week team projects at top companies across the U.S. and around the world. At Spotlight!, Tauber's student teams showcase their project results and compete for academic scholarships. A panel of distinguished judges from diverse industries selected the first, second, and third prize winners among the 30 student teams.

First Place: Team Boeing 787
Yatri Patel (EGL BSE-ME & MSE-IOE) & Kartik Raju (MBA)

Second Place: Team Boeing 777X
Andrew Davis (MBA), Colin McNally (MBA), & Cameron Stitt (EGL BSE-CHE & MSE-CHE)

Third Place: Team PepsiCo
Steven Oranges (MBA) & Tom Walkinshaw (EGL BSE-ME & ME-ESE)

2018 Spotlight! Book.
Spotlight! event photos.
2018 Tauber team project on-site student photos.
Searchable database of past Tauber team projects.

The Tauber Institute’s 2018 team project sponsors are leaders in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, internet commerce, high tech, health care, financial, automotive, energy, and retail. The institute was pleased to strengthen relationships with fifteen continuing sponsors – Amazon, Boeing, BorgWarner, Cummins, DowDuPont, Ford, Fresenius, General Mills, GM, Microsoft, Pepsi, PG&E, Stanley Black & Decker, Target, and Whirlpool – and to form partnerships this year with five new sponsors: IDEX, Mayo Clinic, Principal Financial, Spacelabs, and Stoneridge. At 2018 Spotlight!, five sponsors received longevity awards recognizing their commitment to the Tauber Institute's mission through their team project partnerships: Ford Motor Company (20 years), General Motors Company (20 years), Cummins Inc. (10 years), DowDuPont (10 years), and Pepsico (5 years).

A signature initiative of the Tauber Institute, team projects pair exceptional students with top companies for a 14-week multidisciplinary, collaborative project.  Each 2-3 person project team is comprised of University of Michigan graduate business and engineering students.  Along with executive direction from the sponsoring firm, each team receives support from both a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty advisor and supervision by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The Tauber Alumni Network provides additional mentorship and networking opportunities for students at their team project locations.

Tauber student teams work on-site at their sponsoring company from May through August to find solutions for substantive operations challenges. Solutions may include lean process design and implementation, manufacturing site strategic assessment, sourcing plans, inventory management, logistics, and new product development. Tauber team projects typically provide a significant monetary return on a sponsor’s investment, as well as improvements in areas such as CO2 emissions, energy consumption, throughput time, and supply chain risk.

This year's Spotlight! showcase was held in conjunction with celebrations and special events for the Tauber Institute's 25th anniversary. In commemoration of the anniversary, benefactor Joel Tauber donated $1.75M to endow Tauber student scholarships. The Tauber Alumni Network raised an additional $25,000 to sustain and increase the annual Tauber Alumni Scholarships awarded at Spotlight!  At a celebratory gathering of Tauber Institute leaders, faculty, industy partners, alumni, and students, Tauber leaders honored the contributions of eleven dedicated faculty advisors from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and College of Engineering who have provided expert guidance for over two hundred Tauber team projects.

Contact: Theresa Ceccarelli, Marketing Manager / / 734-647-0308

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, working together with industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. The Tauber Institute is an inaugural recipient of the UPS George D. Smith Prize for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research, management science, or analytics. For more information visit