A Mississippi State graduate whose engineering and business career spans more than two decades is the first director of the university's Six Sigma Certificate Program, which teaches students how to blend problem-solving and quality-control techniques into the practice of their profession.
Larry G. Dalton, a Corinth native now residing in Brandon, recently was named to direct the program for MSU's James Worth Bagley College of Engineering. He is teaching an engineering statistics course and developing curriculum criteria that will guide participating students to Six Sigma "Black Belt" certification.
"We're very pleased to have him," said industrial engineering department head Larry Brown. "We had some very strong applicants for the job and brought several of them to campus for a visit before selecting Larry."
Dalton earned bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering at MSU in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and received a master's of business administration from Mississippi College in 1985. He is a member of the MSU Student Engineering Hall of Fame and, since 1984, a registered professional engineer in Mississippi who received Six Sigma Black Belt certification in 2000.
Prior to teaching at MSU, Dalton served since 1997 with Eaton Aerospace Corp. in Jackson. He began his professional career as an industrial engineer with General Motors and held various positions in manufacturing operations and quality assurance in private industry during the course of his career. He also has worked as a consultant, implementing Statistical Process Control methods.
Brown said several students have expressed an interest in the Six Sigma program and he expects many will enroll in a new spring course that requires completion of a special project.
The MSU engineering college received more than $500,000 from the 3M Co. earlier this year to establish a Six Sigma program, designed to provide students with industry's latest customer satisfaction training through quality control. St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M introduced the business process methodology more than three years ago to help the company achieve excellence in all of its business processes.
The diversified technology company praises Six Sigma for bringing "a systematic, root-cause analysis to problem-solving with a common language our people use on a global basis."
The MSU coursework includes engineering statistics, quality control and process improvement. Students are introduced to the Six Sigma philosophy and complete a project under the guidance of professors and Black Belts from industrial partners.
"Six Sigma is known throughout business and industry as a process for executing and sustaining ideal business performance and effectiveness," said Brown. "This process improvement methodology requires a deep understanding of the consumer's needs, and the use of data and statistical analysis."
For more information, telephone Brown at (662) 325-3865.