Meet the 2019 Spotlight! Winners

September 13, 2019

Ann Arbor, MI - New solutions for tough operations challenges took center stage at the Tauber Institute for Global Operations' 2019 Spotlight! Team Project Showcase and Scholarship Competition, September 13 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton. Initial sponsoring company calculations indicate the 2019 Tauber team projects resulted in averaged $30 million per project savings over three years. The projected savings total is $390.3 million.

Spotlight! is an annual competitive presentation of operations solutions developed by Tauber Institute student teams during their 14-week team projects at 16 top global companies. At 2019 Spotlight!, Tauber's student teams showcased their project results and competed for academic scholarships. A panel of distinguished judges from diverse industries selected the first, second, and third prize winners among the 21 student teams.

First Place: Tauber Team Ford
Charlie Manzoni (MBA) and Hiroki Tanaka (MBA)

Second Place: Tauber Team General Electric
Federico Kulyckyj (EGL BSE/MSE Data Science), Mitali Linge (MSE-IOE), and Jacob Siddall (MBA)

Third Place: Tauber Team Pfizer Clinical Manufacturing
Andres Fuentes-Afflick (MBA) and Jason Ji (EGL BSE-Che/MSE-IOE)

Spotlight! event photos
2019 Tauber team project on-site student photos
2019 Spotlight! event book with project summaries

Searchable database of past Tauber team projects

Tauber’s 2019 team project sponsors are leaders in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, internet commerce, high tech, automotive, energy, and retail. The institute is pleased to strengthen relationships with numerous returning sponsors - AIP Canam Group, Amazon, Boeing, Dell, Dow, DTE Energy, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Stanley Black & Decker, Stoneridge, and Target - and excited to form a new partnership with Brose. At 2019 Spotlight!, Microsoft and DTE received longevity awards recognizing their commitment to the Tauber Institute's mission through their team project partnerships. DTE reached a milestone of five years of team project sponsorship this year, and Microsoft reached a milestone of ten years of sponsorship.

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 Michigan 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.

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

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