Charlene Yauch, Director
Charlene A. Yauch, Ph.D., P.E., has been an engineering educator for over 20 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Oklahoma State University. Her notable honors include five teaching awards and a National Science Foundation Career grant. She has taught a wide variety of classes, including Manufacturing Systems Design & Analysis, Materials & Manufacturing Processes, Computer Numerical Control Machining, Automation Technologies, and Engineering Economy.
As the Industrial Engineering program director at MSOE, she expanded elective course offerings, upgraded lab facilities and equipment, and helped the IISE student chapter host a regional conference.
Her professional interests relate to the implementation of manufacturing system improvements, such as Quick Response, Lean, and Agile Manufacturing, with emphasis on the human, social, and organizational aspects. Prior to her doctoral degree, she worked in industry for six years, performing a wide variety of tasks for manufacturing firms, including simulation modeling, facility layout, and process improvement. She has also advised numerous student projects related to manufacturing system improvement. Dr. Yauch has a multi-disciplinary educational background with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and graduate degrees in sociology (M.S.), manufacturing systems engineering (M.S.), and industrial engineering (Ph.D.) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rajan Suri, Founding Director
Rajan Suri served as Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1985-2008. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University (England) and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Suri founded the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing in 1993, envisioning a consortium of companies that would work in partnership with the university and with each other to understand and implement lead time reduction strategies.
He is internationally regarded as an expert on the analysis of manufacturing systems, and he wrote the book Quick Response Manufacturing: A Companywide Approach to Reducing Lead Times (Productivity Press). Suri has consulted for leading firms including Alcoa, Danfoss, IBM, John Deere, National Oilwell Varco, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Automation and Trek Bicycle. Consulting assignments in Europe and the Far East, along with projects for the World Bank, have given him an international perspective on manufacturing competitiveness.
Suri has received awards from the American Automatic Control Council, The Institute of Management Sciences and the IEEE. In 1999, Suri was made a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and in 2006 he received SMEs Albert M. Sargent Progress Award for the creation and implementation of the Quick Response Manufacturing philosophy.
Christopher Wood, Marketing and Communications Manager
Chris Wood brings extensive experience in marketing communications in a broad scope of industries, having held marketing, public relations and corporate communications positions with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Rural Mutual Insurance, CUNA Service Group and Bruker AXS (as he likes to describe it, “from Beethoven to X-rays and pretty much everything in between”).
Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and after 25 years of working in the private sector, he’s thrilled to be a Badger again.