Graduate student programs, site particularly in the applied sciences, require support from private industry in the form of money and research information. Having established a graduate program in 1985 at the University of Rhode Island with grants from Ford Motor Company and IBM, the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) wanted to reach out to American industry.
The goal was to improve engineering practices and to educate a new generation of students in design for manufacture and assembly studies. It was determined that a consortium of industry leaders would provide the ideal structure for gathering industrial data, introducing students to potential employers, tackling cutting-edge challenges in design and manufacturing, and raising funds necessary to maintain a graduate program.
Parker Group worked with the IME faculty to identify industries that would be most receptive to this mission. We helped to define and build the consortium known as the Committee for the Advancement of Competitive Manufacturing. In October 1989, the Committee had its first formal meeting at the Detroit headquarters of General Motors, which resulted in funding commitments to the IME from GM and Ford. Later, AlliedSignal, Digital, Motorola, Navistar, Loctite and a host of other companies joined forces with the IME to develop major studies in design and manufacturing efficiency, including design for service, design for quality and design for the environment.
With the help of Parker Group, the Committee received over $2 million in funding, found employment for virtually 100 percent of its graduates, and made an important contribution to American productivity.