The work of a Cullen professor in imparting business philosophies to both students and practitioners has been recognized via an award from an international conference in June.
Jamison V. Kovach, the PMI Houston Endowed Professor in Project Management, is part of the Technology Division of the Cullen College of Engineering. She is the 2023 recipient of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) Society International's Lean Six Sigma Award. With more than 20,000 members in 151 countries, IEOM strives to be the premier global organization dedicated to the advancement of industrial engineering and the operations management discipline.
The award recognizes outstanding best practices using Lean and Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a business philosophy focusing on breakthrough improvement. It incorporates Lean philosophies with the Six Sigma methodology. A unique aspect of this program is its support of Industry-Academia partnerships, which helps organizations in our community solve pressing problems while providing meaningful learning opportunities for students.
“I’m honored to be recognized in this capacity by peers in my field,” Kovach said of the award.
Kovach joined the faculty of the College of Technology in 2006 as an assistant professor and the director of the Lean Six Sigma Professional Training Program, a position she remains in. She was promoted to associate professor in 2012, and to PMI Houston Endowed Professor in 2019. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University.
“I owe a lot to the professors I learned from during my undergraduate studies in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, where I earned my B.S. degree in Textile Engineering,” she said. “My professors were constantly conducting research projects with industry partners, and this model for applied research is what I continue to use in my work with both practitioners and students today.”
Kovach received the 2010 American Society for Quality Feigenbaum Medal and the 2019 ASQ Six Sigma Forum Award for the Advancement of Six Sigma. She is an Academician in the International Academy for Quality, an ASQ Fellow, and the Editor for Lean & Six Sigma Review, a quarterly ASQ publication.
She was also a Faculty Fulbright Scholar for the 2020-21 academic year. As part of that program, she spent three months in Portugal from April to July 2022 conducting a research project, “Leveling Up: Enhancing Portugal’s Achievement of Industrial Performance Improvements.”