Spotlight! 2020 winners announced

September 25, 2020

Ann Arbor, MI - Student teams presented new solutions for tough operations challenges at the Tauber Institute for Global Operations 2020 Spotlight! Team Project Showcase and Scholarship Competition hosted online on September 18, with winning teams announced today. Initial sponsoring company calculations indicate the 2020 Tauber team projects resulted in an average of $31 million per project savings over three years. The projected savings total is $433.8 million.

Spotlight! is an annual competitive presentation of operations solutions developed by Tauber Institute student teams during their 14-week team projects at top global companies. At the virtual Spotlight! event, the Tauber Institute's twenty-six student teams employed webinars to showcase their project results to an international audience. A panel of distinguished judges from diverse industries selected the first place winner, second place winner, and two teams that tied for third place winner.

First Place: Anheuser Busch InBev
Student Team: Marcos Coppa (MBA), Murat Johnson (MBA), Michelle Pawlow (EGL BSE-EnvE/MSE-IOE)
Faculty Advisors: John Branch – Ross School of Business, William Schultz – College of Engineering
Project Sponsors: Marcelo Goncalez – Global Manager, Vertical Operations, Adam Griffith – VP of Operations, Global Raw Materials, Luke Mafazy – Operations Director, Global Raw Materials, Alessandro Sperotto – VP of Global Vertical Operations, Vertical Operations

Second Place: Boeing 737
Student Team: Andi Bustamante (MBA & MS ENVRO), Haley Clafton (EGL BSE-ME/MSE-IOE), Felipe Grossi (MBA), Cross Pagano (EGL BSE/MSE-IOE)
Faculty Advisors: Richard Hughes – College of Engineering, M.S. Krishnan – Ross School of Business
Project Sponsors: Lam Ma – Boeing Production System Integrator, BCA Manufacturing Excellence, William Chen – Manufacturing Quality Standards, BCA Manufacturing Excellence

Third Place (tie): Boeing Quality Transformation
Student Team: Klara Mateju (EGL BSE/MSE-IOE), Hanna Vincent (MBA)
Faculty Advisors: Len Middleton – Ross School of Business, Prakash Sathe – College of Engineering
Project Sponsors: Hector Silva – Director of Product Development and Quality Functional Excellence, John Yu – BCA Leader for Quality Operating System

Third Place (tie): Pfizer
Student Team: Anubhav Gupta (MSE-IOE), Casey Carlson (MBA)
Faculty Advisors: Ravi Anupindi – Ross School of Business, Quentin Stout – College of Engineering
Project Sponsors: Paul Stewart – Vice President Drug Product Supply, Robert Noack – Sr. Director Drug Product Manufacturing, Kenneth Nadeau – PCMM Operations Manager

2020 Spotlight! event book with project summaries
2020 Tauber team project on-site student photos
Searchable database of past Tauber team projects

Tauber team project sponsors are leaders in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, internet commerce, high tech, automotive, energy, and retail. The 2020 project sponsors include Amazon, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Beyond Meat, Boeing, Brose, Curation Foods, DoorDash, FedEx, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, Microsoft, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Stanley Black & Decker, Steelcase, Stoneridge, and Target. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's team projects required a superior level of flexibility and coordination by sponsors, students, faculty, and Tauber staff, as project teams navigated necessary safety precautions while striving for the best possible results for their sponsors.

A signature initiative of the Tauber Institute, team projects pair exceptional students with top companies for a 14-week multidisciplinary, collaborative project. Typically, 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 often 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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