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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




Philip Huang

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 26 - April 2, 1998

When Philip Y. Huang, professor of management science and information technology in the Pamplin College of Business, first began to involve himself in international programs and activities in the early 1980s, it was not as trendy as it is now, nor was it an area of emphasis within the college or the university. But Huang had the foresight to recognize that new methods and technologies were being developed abroad that would dramatically impact U.S. business and education. So he persisted in his international pursuits.
On Founder's Day, Huang will receive the second annual Alumni Award for Excellence in International Programs.
"I'm very honored by this award," Huang said. "In this global age, the first-hand experiences I bring back with me only enhance my research and teaching. So it's very rewarding to be recognized for these efforts."
The international aspects of Huang's 18-year career with Virginia Tech are pervasive in all areas, including teaching, research, and service. As a teacher, he has taught in China, Japan, and Taiwan as a visiting faculty member and guest lecturer and has been active in the college's study-abroad programs in Europe. He has worked with academic institutions, governments, and companies in several countries, providing instruction in the latest operations-management techniques. Huang's book, Toyota Production System, has been widely used in instruction on the "just-in-time" inventory-control system and has been translated into Chinese.
As a Fulbright fellow in 1987, Huang visited Japan to conduct research on factory automation in Japanese industry. The results of his work were published in several international journals.
Huang has been especially successful in establishing strong ties with academic, government, and industrial leaders in China. At the invitation of Vice Premier Rongji Zhu, Huang served as a technical consultant for the United Nations development program in China in 1990. During this project, he organized and led groups of American delegates to visit cities such Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing. While there, he also gave extensive lectures and served as a consultant to plant managers, engineers, economic planners, government officials, and college faculty members. In 1992, one of the largest newspapers in China published a full-page report on Huang's views on global competition and total quality management.
"Philip's contributions to our department and college in the international arena have been exceptional and significant," said Department Head Bernard W. Taylor, III. "He has been a leader in integrating an international perspective into our curriculum and research programs and is fully deserving of this honor."