program stays active with conference, competition
found the Master of Management and Manufacturing (MMM) program
in full swing. MMM, a joint venture between the Kellogg Graduate
School of Management and Northwestern's Robert R. McCormick
School of Engineering and Applied Science, hosted a conference
and a product design competition, highlighting the strengths
of this unique curriculum that prepares students for management
roles within product-driven companies.
Business Conference took place April 28 at the James L. Allen
Center. The conference theme this year was "Concept to Consumer"
and the event brought together industry professionals to discuss
the leading edge of manufacturing and offer insight into manufacturing's
impact on strategic business decisions. Six panel discussions
and two keynote speakers addressed a variety of subjects,
including private equity, product development, production
system design and operational efficiency. Ronald M. DeFeo
and Alexander "Sandy" Cutler offered the keynotes. DeFeo is
chairman and CEO of Terex Corp., the global manufacturer of
earthmoving and light construction equipment. Cutler is chairman
and CEO of Eaton Corp., a leading diversified industrial manufacturer
of fluid power and electrical systems.
Your Business" was among the panel discussions presenting
strategic insights for manufacturers. Panelists traded ideas
about how companies can best step outside of their traditional
product line to compete successfully with radically different
operational challenges. "Building the Highways to Operational
Efficiency" discussed strategic transformation brought about
by increased competition between pure-play dot-com companies
and brick-and-mortar companies.
additional excitement for MMM students, the New Product Design
Fair was held May 30 in the Donald P. Jacobs Center. This
annual event is the culmination of "Product Design Methods
and Practices," one of the courses in the MMM core curriculum.
Student teams competed for gift certificates provided by corporate
sponsor Ford Motor Co. Booths displaying each team's product
were set up in the school's Levy Atrium, and students scored
points with two panels of judges. The "Wrap-n-Roll" computer
cord holder won top marks from academic judges. The favorite
product among the student judges was the "Eat, Drink and Shake
Party Plate," designed to conveniently hold cocktail food
Wally Hopp, co-director of MMM, "The Design Fair is a truly
exciting event. I'm always amazed by how innovative and polished
the products are, given that students only have 10 weeks to
design them." Hopp noted that the product development course
gives students an overview of the design and marketing process
for bringing new products to consumers. "Unlike engineering
design courses, this class focuses on management issues related
to stimulating innovation in organizations, forming effective
teams and linking product development to corporate strategy,"
said Hopp, adding that unlike marketing courses, the class
deals explicitly with technology and design.
biotechnology conference marks start of new era
held its first Biotechnology Conference April 27-28 on the
Evanston campus. "Biotech in the Post-Genomic Era" featured
four keynote speakers and six panel discussions and marked
"the beginning of an exciting initiative at Kellogg," said
Alicia Löffler, director of Kellogg's Center for Biotechnology.
The student-run conference was a first of its kind and attracted
more than 600 attendees from 17 states and Canada.
today is where the computer industry was in the 1970s - at
the beginning of a revolution," stated keynote speaker Randy
Scott, CEO of Genomic Health, Inc. Attendees came away with
an understanding of how biotechnology links multiple disciplines,
such as cutting edge science, information technology, venture
capital and entrepreneurship. Participants emphasized biotech's
potential to improve the human condition, but acknowledged
that the emerging field is rife with ethical questions that
attract regulatory and religious debate.
the breakthroughs for the biotech industry was mapping the
human genome last year. Keynote speaker Tony White, president
and CEO of Applera Corp., provided perspective on the discovery.
"There were only about 30,000 genes identified, far less than
predicted," said White. He explained that all human genetic
makeup is 99.9 percent identical regardless of race, and that
humans share 98.5 percent of their genetic material with chimpanzees
and 80 percent with rats. Other implications of the genomic
discovery, he said, include the potential to cure serious
predicted individualized medicine will soon be a reality and
that patients will provide doctors with genetic material -
a point that raised significant privacy concerns. Several
speakers stressed the need to safeguard an individual's genetic
profile so that the information could not be used to deny
medical insurance or to discriminate in other ways. Carl Feldbaum,
president of Biotechnology Industry Organization and another
keynote speaker, stated the need for people to "have some
personal control" over their genetic profiles. "We have to
be able to get tested without the fear that our genetic information
will be used against us," said Feldbaum. "We need some legislation
to protect us." Feldbaum, whose organization represents more
than 750 companies, academic institutions and biotechnology
centers, gave an overview of the industry's demographics.
There are, he said, about 1,300 biotech companies in the United
States and approximately 1,000 overseas, about 85 percent
of them small companies with fewer than 100 employees. Feldbaum
explained that most biotech companies continue to lose money
because of the tremendous cost of research and development.
percent of all biotechnology firms have no products (and therefore
no profits) and are deeply invested in research and development.
Several panels provided lively discussion at the conference.
One session considered how market conditions influence the
biotech industry. Panelists considered the long process a
drug has to go through until it can be launched on the market:
it takes an average of 14.7 years to get a drug launched,
and only 1 percent of all tested products even make it to
clinical trials. Only 30 percent of all drugs eventually launched
recover the cost of their development. A successful drug,
however, can make over $150 million a year. The advances in
information technology coupled with the genome discovery will
reduce this timing and investment, the panel predicted, and
create more opportunities for profitable, smaller-scale drugs.
panel focused on the new generation of biotech products and
how they will be marketed. Panelist Michael Lysaght, associate
professor of artificial organs at Brown University, offered
insight into the field of stem cell research. Lysaght remarked
that biotechnologists are now able to take human tissue and
create different parts of the body, such as nerves, liver
cells or living skin for burn victims. Future possibilities
in this area, he said, include genetically engineered organs.
These developments were lauded by Genomic Health's CEO in
his keynote, but Scott also noted the importance of properly
handling ethical issues surrounding patenting, privacy and
cloning. "Biotechnology has the power to do phenomenally great
things, and also phenomenally bad things," he said.
left his audience pondering some challenging questions, asking
"What does it mean to be human, and where do we stop in terms
of creating new life forms?"