Sixth International Conference on Lean Six Sigma for Higher Education

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

Sixth International Conference on Lean Six Sigma for Higher Education

Theme: The Trinity of Operational Excellence in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs): Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma

Date: 14th and 15th November 2022

Venue: TBC


The International Conference on Lean Six Sigma (LSS) for Higher Education was founded by Professor Jiju Antony in 2013. The conference has attracted over 300 academics from over 30 countries since then. The sixth International Conference on Lean Six Sigma (LSS) for Higher Education will explore the current status of the Trinity of Operational Excellence (OPEX) in the Higher Education sector. OPEX is a powerful operational strategy that increases process performance, resulting in reduced waste across the HE sectors, improved efficiency of business processes resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction and improved bottom line results in hard cash savings. The objective of LSS is to transform the HEIs from separate reactive operations, which are generally functionally oriented, into cross-functional process-focused organizations to meet the demands of 21st century education. Although a number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have been utilising Lean principles, research has shown that very few HEIs have been integrating the best practices of Lean and Six Sigma for developing and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement.

HEIs have been a cornerstone in educating society’s leaders, an incubator for advanced technologies and an accelerator for economic development. The situation within the HEIs today is very similar to that of manufacturing and service organisations facing fierce competition, limited budget availability, government funding slashed and students adopting a consumer approach to their learning. Research has explicitly shown that only some problems can be tackled using the Lean approach and hence more complex problems with unknown solutions, both Six Sigma and LSS can be extremely beneficial. This conference aims to highlight that the Trinity of Operational Excellence (i.e., Lean, Six Sigma and LSS) have an immense and critical role to play in creating a customer-centric approach for higher education to better fulfil the educational mission.

Conference Objectives

The specific objectives of the conference are as follows:

  • Build a network of individuals from HEIs willing to take a pioneering role in promoting OPEX methodologies
  • Build an efficiency mindset for Senior Administrators in the HEIs to Champion OPEX methodologies
  • Share case studies of OPEX methodologies in the HEIs
  • Share experiences on continuous improvement (CI) or OPEX journeys from practitioners across HEIs in different countries
  • Critically assess the current status of OPEX applications in the HEIs. This may include the challenges, success factors, failure factors and leadership models for the successful deployment of CI or OPEX methodologies

Conference Topics

With an exciting theme for the upcoming conference we invite paper submissions on relevant topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Theme 1: Kaizen for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 2: Lean for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 3: Six Sigma for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 4: Lean Six Sigma for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 5: TQM Practices in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 6: Quality Management Practices (e.g.: ISO 9001) in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 7: Quality Tools and Techniques in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 8: Customers in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 9: Service Quality in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Theme 10: Miscellaneous topics (e.g.: Online Teaching Effectiveness, Impact of Covid-19 on Teaching, etc.)

Keynote speakers

1. Martin Brenig-Jones, Chief Executive, Catalyst Consulting Ltd, UK

Title of the Keynote: “The practical application of Lean Six Sigma in higher education establishments – what works well, what can we learn?”

Synopsis: This keynote will focus on the experience gained in implementing Lean Six Sigma in a number of further educational establishments which have partnered with the speaker’s company Catalyst. We have taken a highly practical approach and over the last 2 years during the pandemic have developed this into a hybrid mix of virtual and live workshop-based sessions building on the best from both the Lean and Six Sigma worlds. The speaker will explain this approach explaining the rationale and how the importance of delivering benefits at speed is so important to maintain momentum in Lean Six Sigma deployments.

Contents: The contents of my keynote address include:

  • Higher educational establishments (HEE) as extended enterprises
  • The challenges of Lean Six Sigma Deployment in HEEs and how to overcome them
  • Using a hybrid approach – virtual and live workshops
  • The most commonly used tools successfully used in virtual working
  • How to keep educational leaders and management on board


Biography: Martin is CEO of Catalyst Consulting Ltd working with blue chip global clients in the field of operational excellence. Prior to this he held a number of senior executive roles in British Telecom (BT). Martin is a recognised expert in quality, programme and project management, process improvement and advanced quality management techniques such as Lean Six Sigma. He is a BQF (British Quality Foundation) certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and has trained and coached leaders and practitioners at all levels around the world. He combines operational leadership; an engineering background; a curiosity about organisations and what makes them successful; with the ability to work across all organisational functions to make change happen. He describes his personal crusade as ‘helping leaders to create brilliant organisations’. Although he can hold his own at the highest intellectual level, he certainly does not have his head in the clouds, preferring practical application and ‘making it happen’. He attributes this to his engineering professional training and grounding. Martin’s early career was in operational and technical management roles focusing on large scale programme management in the telecommunications business. Before he left BT in 2000, Martin headed up Quality for the group working directly with Divisional Managing Directors and their teams across the business on major change programmes.

A particular strength is his ability to connect ideas, people, and systems together to bring about change. He is an excellent team builder and workshop facilitator. Martin is a regular conference speaker with a positive, motivational and entertaining style often using props on stage to bring his subject to life. Martin’s knowledge and experience of management tools and techniques is unusually wide, from strategy formulation and execution, through scorecards, policy deployment, programme management, process management, change management, risk mitigation, cost analysis, six sigma, lean, and agile. He is the author / co-author of a number of publications including Lean Six Sigma for Dummies which is Wiley’s best seller on the subject with sales over 100,000 worldwide. More recently he co-authored ‘Lean Six Sigma for Leaders’ also published by Wiley with several case studies written by leaders in organisations that Martin has consulted in, including Barclays, Coopervision, and Ricoh. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has a Hons degree in Electronic engineering, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management. He is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.



2. Beth Cudney, Professor of Data Analytics, John E. Simon School of Business, Maryville University, USA

Title of the Keynote: Title: "Integrating the Voice of the Student in Course Design Using the Kano Model"


Synopsis: Gathering the voice of the customer is a critical step in designing a new product or service. The same holds true in higher education. In order to design effective classroom activities and assignments, it is important to understand the needs and expectations of our students and how they learn. The Kano model is a methodology for gathering and analysing the voice of the customer. In this presentation, a case study using the Kano model to design a semester project using gamification is presented in order to identify the gamification attributes that will resonate best for students in a specific discipline.

Contents: The contents of my keynote address include:

  • Understand how to identify customer needs using the Kano model.
  • Develop a Kano questionnaire
  • Perform VOC analysis using the Kano model
  • Interpret the results of the Kano model analysis


Biography: Dr. Elizabeth Cudney is a Professor of Data Analytics in the John E. Simon School of Business at Maryville University. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and MBA from the University of Hartford, and doctorate in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla. Dr. Cudney received the 2022 Crosby Medal from ASQ and 2021 Bernard R. Sarchet Award from ASEE EMD for “lifetime achievement in engineering management education. She received the 2021 Walter E. Masing Book Prize from the International Academy for Quality for her book on Lean Six Sigma. In 2018, Dr. Cudney received the ASQ Crosby Medal for her book on Design for Six Sigma. Dr. Cudney received the 2018 IISE Fellow Award. She also received the 2017 Yoshio Kondo Academic Research Prize from the International Academy for Quality for sustained performance in exceptional published works. In 2014, Dr. Cudney was elected as an ASEM Fellow. In 2013, Dr. Cudney was elected as an ASQ Fellow. In 2010, Dr. Cudney was inducted into the International Academy for Quality. She received the 2008 ASQ A.V. Feigenbaum Medal and the 2006 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineering Award. She has published nine books and over 100 journal papers. Dr. Cudney is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. She holds eight ASQ certifications, which include ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Manager of Quality/Operational Excellence, and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, amongst others.



3. Daryl Powell, Chief Scientist and Professor, SINTEF Manufacturing and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Title of the Keynote: "No Lean Without Learning - Reflections from the Lean Sensei"

Synopsis: Universities seem content with deploying lean projects to eliminate waste and improve processes in back-office support functions only, with the core value delivery processes appearing to have immunity from change. This is the opposite of most examples of lean implementation in the manufacturing sector, where production and delivery processes are the core focus. However, both approaches fail to grasp the true lean ideal. Drawing on inside insights from the Norwegian manufacturing- and higher education sectors and reflecting over his recent Shingo award-winner The Lean Sensei (in which the authors present lean as an education system – not a production system), in this keynote speech Daryl seeks answers to the question "What can universities learn from the lean education system?". Isn't it time we began to take our own medicine?


Contents:  The contents of my keynote include:

  • Lean Higher Education
  • Customer Value
  • Lean as an Education System
  • Professional Bureaucracy
  • Power and Politics


Biography: Dr. Daryl Powell is Chief Scientist and Research Manager at SINTEF Manufacturing and Adjunct Professor at both the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN). He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Bergamo, Italy. With more than 15 years of experience in studying and guiding lean transformations, he was recently awarded the honorary title of Professor of Practice in Lean Manufacturing at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) in Swansea, UK. Daryl has more than 100 publications and over 1600 citations and is the recipient of both the Shingo Research Award for the Routledge Companion to Lean Management and the Shingo Publication Award for the Lean Sensei. He has also served on the editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma since 2014 and was recently made an honorary member of the International Lean Six Sigma Institute.



4. Dr Sanjay Bhasin - Lean and CI Practitioner - Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, UK

Title of the Keynote: “Ingredients required and perceptions requiring tackling to enhance LSS maturity within the Public Sector”

Synopsis: Whilst the familiarity towards LSS is improving, there exists a need to reinforce how the LSS methodology can play an important role within the political five-year cycles LSS is often viewed in isolation; consequently, other national agendas such as “High Reliability” or “Learning Organization” do not extract upon the learnings from LSS initiatives. As is true of HE, we are being required to demonstrate efficiencies; the leadership and cultural components of LSS are not embraced to the level of the tools. We are embedding better performance, governance and assurance to embed LSS but levels of maturity need work.

Contents:  The contents of my keynote include:

  • Learning Organization
  • Lean Six Sigma Maturity
  • Leadership and Cultural components of LSS
  • Key Ingredients for success of LSS in Public Sector



Dr Sanjay Bhasin is an accredited senior Lean/Continuous improvement (CI) practitioner depicting high-ranking management positions within the industrial, education and public sectors. As a master Black-belt in LSS, his present position as “Head of Continuous Improvement” for the Probation Service in England and Wales predominantly incorporates steering the organization towards a higher level of Lean maturity. He obtained his PhD in Lean from Aston University. He is the author of various articles published in reputable international journals alongside two books and has frequently presented as key-note speaker at international conferences. Recognition includes most commended award for his research on “culture” in the “International Journal of Lean Six Sigma” and winning national awards for his research by the Institute of CI Public Sector in 2014 and 2015 consecutively. Besides being a peer reviewer of seven international journals. He retains his links with academia and cutting-edge research through his visiting lectureship with Buckingham University.



5. Sandy Furterer – Professor of Practice, Department of Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University, USA

Title of the Keynote: "Identifying Quality Attributes of Teaching Effectiveness through Mixed Methods Analysis"

Synopsis: As the COVID-19 pandemic took higher educational learning online, this research identified critical online teaching effectiveness factors from the instructors’ perspectives and experiences during COVID-19.  A qualitative phenomenology approach was used for this study. A snowball sample was deployed in which fifteen faculty in the engineering and engineering technology fields with experience in online teaching and learning were interviewed. Eight major themes that impact teaching effectiveness in an online environment were identified from the analysis, which included course organization, collaboration, valuable course content, student timely feedback and response, engagement, games, class recordings, and exam, assignment, and quiz grades. The factors identified for online teaching effectiveness can be used by faculty to enhance their course design and delivery while teaching online or blended courses. This research provides insights into factors that impact online teaching effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic that had not been explored in previous research.

Contents:  The contents of my keynote include:

  • Online Teaching Effectiveness
  • Engineering Education
  • Covid-19 and its impact on Teaching Effectiveness
  • Qualitative Research
  • Phenomenological Research



Dr. Sandy Furterer has joined the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at Ohio State as a Professor of Practice in the area of Lean Six Sigma and Systems Engineering.  She will also provide curriculum support and teach for the BSET program. Dr. Furterer received her Bachelors and Masters of Industrial & Systems Engineering from Ohio State, an MBA from Xavier University, and her PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida.  Dr. Furterer’s teaching experience has included lean six sigma, systems engineering fundamentals, model-based systems engineering, leadership and diversity, engineering economy, and other industrial and systems engineering courses. Dr. Furterer’s teaching experience has included lean six sigma, systems engineering fundamentals, model-based systems engineering, leadership and diversity, engineering economy, and other industrial and systems engineering courses. Before joining Ohio State, Dr. Furterer was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Dayton in the Engineering Management, Systems and Technology Department. She has over 25 years of experience in business process and quality improvements. She is an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence, a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Quality Engineer, a Certified Manager of Quality / Operational Excellence, an ASQ fellow, and a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Dr. Furterer’s research projects have focused on lean six sigma, change management, leadership and diversity, systems engineering, healthcare systems and engineering education. She developed a framework to integrate lean and six sigma methods applied in local government.  Dr. Furterer has published 9 textbooks in the areas of systems engineering, lean six sigma, design for six sigma and quality engineering methods and tools, as well as 6 textbook chapters, with the latest being a Lean Systems in Engineering Management chapter in the 6th edition of the Maynard Industrial Engineering Handbook. She has published 21 peer-reviewed research articles, 39 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and presented 8 invited presentations and panels, and 98 conference presentations.



6. Dr Bart Lameijer, Assistant Professor of Business Analytics and LSS Master Black Belt, Amsterdam Business School, university of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Title of the Keynote: Contemporary developments and their managerial implications in Higher Education


The situation for Higher Education institutes anno 2022 is challenging. We are witnessing an increasing need for life-long learning in a non-linear world and there is a greater need for graduates to be critical, self-leading problem solvers. Consequently, we see a steadily increasing inflow of students (both in variety and volumes) and witness a lower tolerance for mundane error-prone rigid administrative processes by staff and students. Finally, we observe emerging technologies and new fast-growing innovators (web-based learning platforms) that tap into the “skills-over-degrees” demand. The purpose of this keynote address is to have an informed discussion about these contemporary developments in Higher Education, and discuss their managerial implications related to the deployment of continuous improvement/ data-based process improvement initiatives.

Contents:  The contents of my keynote include:

  • The situation for Higher Education anno 2022 – some concrete implications.
  • Managerial implications – what does it take to adequately respond?
  • Lean Six Sigma based continuous improvement programmes – what is it and how can it help?
  • Examples of how Lean Six Sigma based continuous improvement programmes can facilitate.


Bart Lameijer is Assistant Professor Business Analytics at the Department of Business Analytics of the University of Amsterdam Business School, the Netherlands. Furthermore he is co-director of the Institute for Business and Industrial Statistics at the University of Amsterdam Business School. His expertise lays in Lean management and Six Sigma implementation for Operational Excellence purposes, and his research interests centre around both organization-wide and project-level data-driven process improvement methodology implementation.




Title of the Keynote: “Contemporary developments and their managerial implications in Higher Education”

Who should attend this conference?

  • Vice Chancellors, Deans & Head of Departments of HEIs and other public sector organisations
  • Senior Managers in HEIs and other public sector organisations
  • Academics and Researchers engaged in Lean/Six Sigma/Lean Six Sigma
  • Directors of Support/Administrative sections of Faculty/Schools
  • Six Sigma Professionals
  • Lean Professionals/practitioners
  • Quality Management Professionals
  • Six Sigma practitioners /consultants
  • Continuous Improvement professionals in the Public Sector domain
  • OPEX professionals in the Public Sector environment

Paper submission

The basis for acceptance of papers is that they are relevant and make a contribution to the current literature of Six Sigma, Lean Thinking, Lean Six Sigma, Quality Assurance, Quality Management, Continuous Improvement, and Total Quality Management.  Authors are invited to submit an extended abstract of 300 words to the conference chairs.  All conference abstracts will be double-blind reviewed by members of a Scientific Committee to ensure their academic rigor, practical significance to industrial arena and value to existing literature.  Each abstract should have a separate title page that includes the title of the paper, author name/s, affiliation/s and full contact details including address, fax, phone and e-mail.  Your abstract must include up to 5 key words that capture the contents of the paper.  For multiple authors, please indicate clearly to whom correspondence should be made.  Authors must register for and attend the conference if their submission is accepted.  We encourage electronic mail submission in Microsoft Word.  When an abstract is accepted authors are encouraged to submit the full paper.  Please note that we strongly suggest all authors to follow structured abstract.  Please click this link for guidance in preparing a structured abstract.

Full Papers should be typed on standard A4 pages using 12-point Times New Roman typeface or equivalent in MS Word.  Final Manuscripts should be limited to 3000 words in lengthdouble spaced with double space between paragraphs.  Authors’ names, affiliations and e-mail address should be provided after the title.  The title should be bold-faced and centered in upper/lower case.  Figures and Tables should be sized to scale and labelled with a caption centered under the Figure or Table.  It is preferable to have the figures and tables included in the text but if this is not possible, please place all Figures and Tables at the end of the text (after References) and ensure that a place-mark is inserted in the body of the text (e.g.: “ Insert Figure 1 here” or “Insert Table 1 here” ).  It is strongly advised to use Harvard style of referencing throughout the paper.

Here are some examples:

For books:
Phadke, M.S. (1989), Quality Engineering Using Robust Design, Prentice-Hall International, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

For book chapters:
Bessley, M. and Wilson, P. (1999), Marketing for the Production Manager, in Levicki (Ed.), Taking the Blinkers off Managers, Broom Reim, London, pp. 29-33.

For journal articles:
Montgomery, D.C. (1992), The Use of Statistical Process Control and Design of Experiments in product and process improvement, IIE Transactions, Vol.24, No.5, pp. 4-17.

All accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings. The organizing committee and technical committee members will encourage selected authors to submit their papers for review to the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma /Quality in Education/ International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management.

Important Dates

Deadline for submission of abstract: 20th May 2022

Notification of acceptance of abstract: 24th June 2022

Deadline for submission of full paper: 22nd July 2022

Notification of acceptance of full paper: 26th August 2022

Latest date for submission of conference paper (with final changes): 19th September 2022

Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Becoming a sponsor of the Sixth International Conference on LSS for Higher Education will reinforce your company’s position as a leading player in Operational Excellence strategies and provide you with access to high quality audiences; including academics and business leaders, as well as a host of Lean and Six Sigma professionals, and a new generation of PhD students and research fellows.
  • Please email any enquiries related to the conference, paper abstracts and paper submissions to Professor Jiju Antony (Conference Chair and Founder): [email protected] or any of the conference co-chairs below.

Conference Chair:

Dr Jiju Antony, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and LSS Master Black Belt
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

E-mail: [email protected]

Conference Co-chairs:

Dr Chad Laux
Associate Professor of Computer and Information Technology and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Purdue University
Indiana, USA

E-mail: [email protected]

Dr Maher Maalouf
Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

E-mail: [email protected]

Dr Raja Jayaraman
Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

E-mail: [email protected]

Dr Guilherme Luz Tortorella
Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering

The University of Melbourne, Australia

E-mail: [email protected]