QRM Center Introduces new Director, Dr. James Rink

James RinkDr. James (Jim) Rink has been appointed as the new Director of the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, starting April 2024. He succeeds Dr. Charlene Yauch, who is retiring at the end of the spring semester.

Dr. Rink brings over 35 years of experience in manufacturing, advanced technology, and operational excellence. Throughout his career, he has led global teams in China, Europe, the US, Mexico, and India, driving collaboration, enhancing manufacturing competitiveness, and achieving exceptional results. His tenure at Caterpillar spanned 31 years, concluding in roles as General Manager and Multi-site Operations Manager. Over the past five years, he has successfully managed his own consulting firm, Integrity 360 Leadership, delivering strategic manufacturing insights to companies such as Oshkosh, McNeilus Truck, and L&T Technology Services (LTTS).

Additionally, Jim has served as an adjunct faculty member at Bradley University, teaching manufacturing processes, and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Business’ Organizational Leadership department at Lewis University.

Jim has a diverse educational background, holding a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, an MBA from Northern Illinois University, and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship from Governors State University.

Beyond his professional achievements, Jim is actively involved in his community, serving on the advisory board for the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and holding director roles on his local Workforce Investment Board and regional economic development organization.

Jim is thrilled to join the University of Wisconsin–Madison as the Director of the QRM Center. He is honored to advance the QRM Center’s legacy by collaborating with U.S. companies, relentlessly focusing on reducing lead times in traditional manufacturing, and introducing innovative approaches in support and office processes. These efforts will continue to drive the Center’s focus on delivering near-term improvements as well as ensuring global competitiveness with our partner companies.