Six Sigma Certification Drives Continuous Improvement

New Schedule of Courses Announced for 2020

A new schedule of Lean Six Sigma certification courses has been announced by the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) at NIU. The Industrial and Systems Engineering Department scheduled the 5-day series for yellow and green belt certification and the advanced 5-day black belt certification. The first course series starts Jan. 25 and new course sessions begin throughout 2020 at NIU’s Naperville and Hoffman Estates campuses.

A Six Sigma certification helps professionals in all industries, service industries and government improve processes to increase productivity, reduce costs, and increase profits.

“Lean Six Sigma is about continuous process improvement,” said Purushothaman Damodaran, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department that has offered the program for the past seven years. In that time, CEET has trained more than 500 yellow and green belts and more than 30 black belts.

“Our training gives professionals the tools to improve processes that save money, eliminate waste, and improve customer satisfaction,” said Damodaran.

“There are so many ways this kind of program can help an organization,” said CEET Dean Donald Peterson. “Six Sigma certification can solve challenges of all kinds, not just manufacturers. Hospitals, municipalities, and school districts all can benefit.”

“Anyone with a background in business management, business operations, finance, engineering, and sciences are ideal for this certification,” said Matt Kroll, one of the NIU Lean Six Sigma instructors. “Leaders want people that can improve how the organization works. This training provides the methods and hands-on experience that will allow participants to drive improvement,” said Kroll. “Lean Six Sigma certification is recognized across the globe as the high watermark for process improvement.”

The courses are held on five consecutive Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Upon completion of the five classroom sessions participants earn their yellow belts. Then, they complete a 3-6 month project outside of class to earn their green belts. At that time, they can enroll in the black belt course, which is another five-day course followed by an additional project assignment.

Training can also be held at a customer’s site provided they can arrange for a group of 10-15 employees.  “We have offered training at various customer sites: Woodward, McDonalds Corp., SPX Hydraulics Technologies, Justrite Manufacturing, Grundfos, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, and Village of Tinley Park and Village of Orland Park,” said Damodaran.

The Village of Orland Park brought NIU’s Lean Six Sigma course onsite in 2017 to improve a variety of systems processes within the village. Through the program, the village made multiple improvements in its public works, police force, human resources and economic development departments.

The police department improved the method, consistency and objectivity in administering traffic violations while public works staff developed a way to conserve road salt with a new process to determine how much salt to spread. City planners reduced the time to approve new building permits and human resources streamlined the process of reviewing job applicants.

For information on the Lean Six Sigma courses at NIU, visit go.niu.edu/sixsigma or contact Dr. Damodaran pdamordaran@niu.edu or 815-753-5660.

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