People Innovation Excellence

From the gridiron to a IIE quarterback

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President-Elect Foss Says Lesson From Football Match Well With The Profession
Before he even got the degree, Michael D. Foss became an industrial engineer on the football field at Texas Tech University. IIE’s new president-elect spent two years on the squad at a number of position, mostly quarterback. Foss now global director of logistics and trade optimization at Cameron International, said football taught him a lot about leadership, efficiency, taking advantage of opportunities and reducing waste.

“In the position of a quarterback, you’re a leader of that offensive unit, and you need to know what everybody’s doing plus yourself so you can take advantage of the defense and the opportunities it gives,” Foss said. “And so I think there’s a big correlation between IEs and a quarterback.

The electoral victory fulfilled the second of three goals he set years ago: getting named to Texas Tech’s Academy of Industrial Engineers for outstanding dedication to the profession; earning his alma mater’s distinguished service award (sometime in the future, he hopes); and serving as president of IIE.

One challenge for the profession has been explaining what the title of industrial engineers means, what IEs do and why organizations should hire them. “so I want to bring visibility to the significant value that an IE brings to so many different aspects of a company’s requirements or  business,” Foss said. “if there’s a process or there’s money spent, then an IE could help make it better.

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