Integrity. Innovation. Impact.

Barrett Thomas

Barrett Thomas

Associate Professor & Coordinator, Process Excellence Track


Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, 2002
M.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, 1999
B.A. in Mathematics and Economics, Grinnell College, 1996

Barrett Thomas, associate professor, enjoys his work in the management science department, but he especially likes teaching Lean process improvement concepts to students in the MBA program.

"Students who complete the Seminar in Lean Practices take away a solid understanding of the theory and practice of doing process improvement.  Some of the students have never dealt with the concepts before in their jobs, but after taking this course, they have the skills and confidence to go about doing it."

Lean is a process improvement framework designed to eliminate waste and increase customer value through the detailed review of operational processes.

"Something we do differently at Tippie when teaching Lean, that I don't think is happening in other curriculums, is we really work to help our students understand how Lean concepts can be applied not only in manufacturing but also in service industries and how Lean ties in with the whole concept of science of operations management."

Although the class has evolved over the years it's been offered at Tippie, one thing that has remained is the College's partnership with Iowa industries. Companies like Rockwell Collins and Pella Corporation have served as case studies for students, and executives visit the classroom to share their experiences.

Teaching innovative concepts and applying them in today's business. That's The Power of I.