Time to Shine, Cohort 30!
Rapidly dropping temperatures this fall are accompanied with rising excitement for this semester’s QUEST capstone projects for 490H! Cohort 30 will have a chance to demonstrate all the skills they have developed over the last two years when working with their industry clients, from developing a design-thinking mindset and honing their data analysis skills to presenting innovative solutions with clarity and expertise. The clients this semester hail largely from the engineering industry, where process improvement and modification remains a high priority.
There are three projects with Northrop Grumman this fall at different sectors of the company in Maryland. The company has sponsored 18 projects since 2009 and is always a great partner. The first project is the investigation into the accuracy of a model designed to predict system-level failure and how it can be improved. Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, which sponsored this project, has also sponsored previous QUEST capstone projects, including in spring 2019. The two other Northrop Grumman projects are based out of the Elkton, MD plant that used to belong to Orbital ATK. One project is the assessment of the dock-to-stock delay and how to mitigate this occurrence through a new process and accompanying change in standards. The process of checking each product received by the company before adding it to stock is a lengthy one, and any delay can build up into a bigger problem if encountered. The final Northrop Grumman project is focused on the analysis and improvement of Northrop Grumman’s scheduling process. Optimizing this system will allow for reduction in production time, increase in quality, and improved customer satisfaction.
The other five projects are from a variety of companies. Leidos, Thales, and Middle River Aircraft Systems are both aerospace and defense-focused companies, with QUEST alumni involved as project champions at the former two. Krishang Sharma (Cohort 23) is championing the Leidos project, and Steve Kutchi (Cohort 1) is championing the Thales project. The project with Leidos involves the implementation of technologies to enable the transfer of knowledge to non-subject-matter experts through a chatbot or similar system. The project with Thales involves an investigation into the company’s configuration management release process and tools and provide recommendations to enhancing efficiency of the process and metrics to monitor. With Middle River Aircraft Systems, the team will be identifying problems in the supply chain and helping to reduce supplier delinquencies for a part of a thrust reverser produced. Oceaneering (OTECH) develops and operates unique marine systems for the government. The project involves improving vendor interactions through data collection and process improvement. The team is working with QUEST alumnus Jeff Gamerman (Cohort 12). The final project is sponsored by the Sealed Air Corporation, a North Carolina-based food and product packaging solutions well-known for Bubble Wrap®. The project involves the investigation into the benefits and cost of modifying the process of storage of materials to be placed in silos. The team is working with QUEST alumnus Joe Dadzie (Cohort 23).
This semester’s projects are as groundbreaking as ever. Cohort 30 will be presenting their final recommendations on Thursday, December 5th from 6-8:30 PM at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center on campus. If you’re interested in seeing their innovative recommendations, be sure to register for the conference at go.umd.edu/questconferencefall19.