MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


The Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) Program is a partnership between MIT and over 25 global manufacturing firm to discover and translate into teaching and practice principles that produce world-class manufacturing and manufacturing leaders. This partnership is motivated by our shared belief that excellence in manufacturing is critical to meeting the economic and social needs of individuals, firms, and society, and that the health of companies operating in global markets is essential to society’s well-being.

Now in its twelfth year of operation, LFM is a partnership between the School of Engineering, the Sloan School of Management and leading manufacturers. Launched in 1988 with significant industry funding, the program emphasizes collaboration and knowledge sharing with its partner companies across the entire spectrum of "Big-M" manufacturing enterprise issues. LFM supports students both as fellows in the program (with fully-paid tuition) and as research assistants throughout the Institute. The largest component of the educational efforts is the Fellows Program, a 24-month dual-masters degree (engineering and management) experience involving a single integrative research project carried out on site in partner firms.


Forty-eight students in the class of 2000 completed the Fellows program and 66% have taken positions in manufacturing firms. Twenty-eight students have taken positions with one of the LFM partner companies. Intel was notable for a large number of hires from the class.

Each of the forty-eight graduates completed an internship at a partner company during the summer and fall of 1999. Internships are focused projects of concern to the partners, accomplished by interns with company support and MIT faculty guidance. Representative projects this past year included the launch of a Ford production IT system; applying lean manufacturing principles to a virtual business; and implementing a kanban card for a manufacturing plant, which reduced inventory, streamlined the products’ material flow, and resulted in a $50,000 savings.

Forty-eight students (Class of ’01) completed their first year of on-campus studies and are starting their 6-month internships. Forty-seven new students (Class of ’02) were admitted and have begun an intensive summer session. All of these students have an average of approximately 5.3 years of practical work experience.

Bea Mah Holland, who holds the position of Director of Leadership for the Sloan School and LFM, officially joined MIT full-time early in FY2000. She has significantly increased activity in the classroom about the concept of leadership and what it means for industry.


Research has been conducted with seed funding from LFM in the following areas: Product Life Cycle Analysis, Scheduling and Logistics Control, Variation Reduction, Design and Operation of Manufacturing Systems, Integrated Analysis and Product Development, Culture and Organizational Change, and the Next Generation Manufacturing project. Each area has both a faculty and an industry leader. The groups focus on detailed issues of benefit to several member companies, but with implications for many companies. On-site student interns have played a valuable role in teaming with on-campus researchers to more effectively define problems, gather data, and analyze it. Midstream and end-of-internship presentations convey research results to MIT and partner company personnel. This past year the Integrated Supply Chain Management partner companies participated in the scheduling and logistics presentations.

The three-year study, "The Utilization of LFM Graduates," conducted by Jan Klein, Senior Lecturer in the Sloan School of Management, includes research findings of interviews with alumni, supervisors, and managers from each company that has utilized LFM graduates and students. These companies include ALCOA, Boeing, Chrysler, Compaq (formerly Digital), Kodak, Ford, GM, HP, Intel, Motorola, Polaroid, and UTC. This past year the study was expanded to include MIT faculty, which resulted in the interviewing of over fifty MIT faculty.

LFM now provides all LFM theses in a word search format at


The National Coalition for Manufacturing Leadership (NCML), a partnership of fourteen Universities with joint management and engineering programs, hosted a joint recruiting forum (the National Manufacturing Recruiting Forum) sponsored by the University of Michigan. Over two hundred students and seventy companies participated in this event. LFM made a significant contribution to the NMRF by developing a robust, web-based interview scheduling system that increased interview scheduling efficiency and was applauded by students and companies alike. The NMRF has been very popular with Coalition partner companies and will be repeated each year. Representatives from the Coalition meet each year to share curriculum, research, and program best practices.


Class size: 48 students

(10 Partner Company sponsored students; 1 non-Partner Company sponsored student; and 37 non-sponsored free agents.)


# Hired

% of Class

Partner Companies



Other Mfg. Companies



Total Manufacturing






Other Operations






Total employed graduates



Free agents hired by

Partner Companies



Students accepted positions with the following companies:

LFM Partner Companies: ABB, Alcoa, Boeing, Dell, Eastman Kodak, Eaton, Ford, GM, Honeywell, HP, Intel, Motorola, UTC.

Other Mfg. companies: Johnson & Johnson, Medimmune, Nippon Stryker, Valeo.

Consulting/Banking: Bain, BCG, Diamond Technology Partners, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, PRTM.

Other Operations:, BellSouth Corporation,

Other: iCompass, I2 Technologies, Jinni Inc., Maxager Technology, Syncra Systems, Inc., Ten Fold.

William C. Hanson

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000