Tauber students apply Operations theory to achieve real-world results

Following Target's 8-step problem-solving process has allowed us to learn how to apply our operations knowledge in the field.

Ann Arbor, MI - Business + engineering students from the University of Michigan Tauber Insitute for Global Operations are applying Operations theory to achieve impressive real-world results. The institute's graduate student teams spend the summer diving deep into operations problem solving, uncovering millions of dollars of savings for corporate sponsors – and championing improvements in areas such as energy consumption, waste reduction, and supply chain risk.

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Tauber’s 2022 team project sponsors are leaders in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, health care, internet commerce, high tech, manufacturing, automotive, retail, and food and beverage. Tauber student teams work directly for their sponsors for fourteen weeks at locations across the U.S. and around the globe, gaining hands-on operations and leadership skills that travel from the board room to the plant floor.

The Tauber Target project team of MBA student Keith Luu and Engineering Global Leadership students Kagan Conrad and Grace Vandelac is based in Minneapolis. The team is developing a waste reduction plan for Target's inbound automated receiving process, which is expected to encounter 118.7M defects across 742M cartons this year. Vandelac reports, "Following Target's 8-step problem-solving process has allowed us to learn how to apply our operations knowledge in the field. We enjoy splitting our time between the regional distribution center collecting data on the Automated Receiving Technology (ART) system as well as at headquarters working on presentations and our whitepaper."

2022 Tauber Team Boeing Quality
2022 Tauber Boeing Quality student team: Federico De Geronimo (EGL BSE/PhD Aero), Ivan Kudrenko (MBA), and Kartik Kumaravelan (MSE-IOE)

Tauber students' unparalleled access to the inner workings of top global firms is coupled with the expert support of the Michigan Ross School of Business and Michigan Engineering faculty who advise them. Ivan Kudrenko of Team Boeing Quality reports from Seattle, "All the people that we met are incredibly friendly and easygoing, and that’s been amazing.” Teammate Federico De Geronimo concurs. "The support system we have," De Geronimo said, "with respect to our faculty, with respect to our project sponsors, is incredible. It’s definitely helped us excel and, hopefully, finish out this Tauber project strong."

The 2022 Tauber student teams will share the results of their 14-week projects at the Spotlight! Team Project Showcase and Scholarship Competition in Ann Arbor on September 16. The institute has been pleased to partner this summer with American Industrial Partners Canam and Energy, Amazon, The Boeing Company, BrandSafway, Brunswick Corporation, Dell, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Gopuff, Microsoft Corporation, MillerKnoll, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Pfizer Inc., Stanley Black & Decker, Stoneridge, and Target. 

"The students love this event, the faculty love this event, the sponsors love this event, and the judges really love this event!"


The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Michigan 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 tauber.umich.edu.