Bio of Mateus Lima

In this newsletter, we highlight the winner of the SEMS Student Paper Competition sponsored by Missouri Science & Technology University from this year's IISE Annual Conference & Expo. Mateus Jose do Rêgo Ferreira Lima, a Brazilian postgraduate student, won the prize.

His paper entitled "A Methodological Approach for Kaizen Events in Assembly Cells," was influenced by his summer internship for a US manufacturer (Phoenix Products), where he was responsible for improving the efficiency of an assembly line. He applied Lean Manufacturing methodology in a Kaizen event. His paper explored how he adapted the methodological approaches for the performances of the Kaizen events in the assembly lines.

In Brazil, Mateus studied Industrial Engineering at the State University of Maranhão; however, he completed his senior year at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). While enrolled in his UG degree, he became a research assistant where he worked on a project investigating the use of discarded tires in his home city of São Luís. At present, he is a Master's student at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He is working on his dissertation with the aim to complete in the next six months. He has focused on innovation, information & communications technologies, collaborative product development and lean manufacturing. 

His professional experiences were further enhanced with a maintenance internship with a local public sector environmental sanitation company in Brazil and with an American manufacturing company, while he was in the USA. Additionally, he went to France on a collaborative new product development research project. His studies and internships gave him opportunities to learn and apply his knowledge about operations research, lean manufacturing and facilities planning. 

His paper was motivated by a professional necessity when he was working as an engineering intern in Phoenix Products. He discussed the creation and adaptation of a methodological approach for the conduct of Kaizen events in assembly lines. After developing this methodology, he learned more about lean manufacturing during his Master's degree. The inspiration for the article came from the desire to help other practitioners in the development of kaizen events. It tells a story of the successes and struggles of planning and conducting kaizen events in manufacturing cells. 

Q: How was the writing process?
A:  The paper was mostly written by me with the help of a professor [Mauro Enrique Carozzo Todaro]. Before creating and testing this methodology, I dedicated myself to studying Kaizen events and the balancing of assembly lines. I did not find any methodology or procedure that fit exactly with my needs and struggles in improving the line balancing of the specific cell, that I was assigned to improve. I realized that both practical and theoretical gaps should be fulfilled. 

Q: What does the prize/award mean for you?
A: This prize is simply the highest point of my career so far. I've never been so proud of myself and so motivated to continue working as an Industrial Engineer. It is an enormous honor for me to be recognized by SEMS. I feel more confident of contributing to the IE area as both as a practitioner and as a researcher. 

Q: Do you plan to do anything further in the area?
A: I'm planning to apply for a PhD in the USA. I always wanted to go to the USA for graduate school since I started my education in Industrial Engineering in Brazil. After I had the chance of studying in such a great school as MSOE, this dream became even bigger. Probably I'll be applying for a PhD beginning in the school year of 2018 or 2019. 

Q: What advice can you give future applicants?
A: Research is one of the most powerful ways to contribute to the society. SEMS is a great organization and a great source of knowledge in the Industrial Engineering field. Hence, I strongly encourage future applicants and students to pursue knowledge from this kind of external source and to be in contact with amazing institutions like SEMS and IISE.

Q. What is your involvement in the SEMS and IISE? And how long have you been involved with SEMS and IISE?
A: This is my first year as a student member of both IISE and SEMS.