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|Title:||Final year Lean projects: advantages for companies, students and academia|
|Author(s):||Alves, Anabela Carvalho|
Sousa, Rui M.
Lima, Rui M.
Leão, Celina Pinto
Maia, Laura Costa
Industrial Engineering and Management Education
|Publisher:||Universidade do Minho. Centro de Investigação em Educação (CIEd)|
|Abstract(s):||The Integrated Master Degree on Industrial Engineering and Management, from the Department of Production and Systems of University of Minho – Portugal, requires the development of an individual final project which is almost exclusively developed in an industrial context. The degree is awarded upon the successful development of an individual masters’ thesis which directly derives from one such project. The process is triggered by companies which make a general proposal based on specific industrial challenges. The proposal might simply identify the theme and require one or more students to collaborate with them. Many of these projects involve the Lean Production paradigm, which to be successfully implemented, needs a change of culture inside the company that is often promoted by the students themselves. From this partnership there are advantages for both sides: companies, students and academia. Some advantages for students are the opportunity to work in an industrial environment with different professionals, gain some experience, enrich the curriculum, apply and explore the knowledge acquired in the university, transform theories into practice, and develop/apply transversal competences, such as those of teamwork, project management, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, etc. Additionally, students develop awareness for the importance of their professional life, entrepreneurial attitude, and initiative spirit, among others. Beyond the project achievements, such as monetary gains stemmed from shop floor improvements, companies renew their staff, bring new ideas and knowledge, reinforce the links with the university, conduct low cost R&D, uncover new challenges, etc. University and supervisors (academia) gain recognition, practical experience, gain access to case studies and practical examples for classes, and so on. This paper aims to discuss the gains achieved by companies, students and academia, resulting from these industrial projects, and also some drawbacks. These drawbacks are bypassed when healthy partnerships are established, so the paper concludes with some guidelines to achieve this. The methodology applied in this paper uses document analysis for data collection. With respect to data analysis it uses content analysis. The main source of information is a set of master thesis concluded between 2011 and 2013 (inclusive), supervised by some of the authors of this paper.|
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