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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Professors
take lead in consortium

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 09 - October 23, 1997

Brian Kleiner, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering (ISE) at Virginia Tech, is the university lead for the International Operations Consortium (IOC), a group of 10 schools and professional partners working to better educate U.S. and European engineering and business students in global operations-management techniques. The other Tech co-principal investigators for the project are Professor Philip Huang and Associate Professor Lance Matheson of the Department of Management Science and Information Technology.
The consortium, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education through July 2000, will offer undergraduate and graduate students trans-Atlantic educational exchanges and multi-lingual materials on the planning and control of multi-national industrial and business operations systems. In addition to Virginia Tech, IOC members from the U.S. are the American Production and Inventory Control Society's Educational and Research Foundation, Clemson University, Institute of Industrial Engineers, Pritsker Corp., and University of Cincinnati.
European members are Instituto de Systema e Robotica in Portugal, Universite Catholique der Louvain in Belgium, University of Coimbra in Portugal, and Universitat Roviri I. Virgili in Spain.
All six of the academic partners have programs in both engineering and business, with a combined total of 12,000 students in those programs. The universities have agreed to expand trans-Atlantic student and faculty exchanges for the study of the international aspects of operations management--or management of the process by which goods and services are created. Because operations management is critical to most enterprises world wide, IOC members want students to learn an international approach to applying operations-management techniques.
In addition to exchanges, the consortium will develop educational materials in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. These materials will include multi-lingual textbooks and course notes as well as international management simulation games. Such games have been used for several years by faculty members and students in the U.S. to foster management skills. The IOC simulation game will be designed so that teams of students in several different countries can play, transmitting their decisions via the Internet. IOC members hope this will help students understand the role of a business within a competitive international market.