Montana State University

Contact Me

Durward K. Sobek II, PhD
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Montana State University
P.O. Box 173800
Bozeman, MT 59717-3800

Tel: (406) 994-7140
Fax: (406) 994-6292
dsobek@ie.montana.edu

Durward K. Sobek II | Research

[Current Projects] [Past Projects] [Working Papers] [Books] [Journal Publications] [Conference Papers]

Current Projects

"Montana Healthcare Extension Program" -- This is a new initiative to set up an outreach program to regional healthcare organizations, with the aim of helping them improve the efficiency and quality of their operations.

Lean Product and Process Development -- An ongoing project to disseminate principles, tools and practices of LPPD that are knowledge-based and learning-centered, and to initiate research projects within companies at various stages of implementation. The Lean Product and Process Development Exchange has been established to further these aims on a national and international level.

Past Projects

"Innovating Health Care Delivery Using Toyota Production System Principles," a 3-year project funded by the Innovation and Organizational Change Program of the National Science Foundation to investigate whether principles that have proven highly effective in streamlining manufacturing systems could achieve similar results in a healthcare environment; and if so, how. Click here to view an A3 Problem-Solving tutorial developed based in part on the work from this grant.

"The Role of Design Representation in the Synthesis Process," a 5-year grant funded through the NSF CAREER program. The proposed activity will model student design processes in seven disciplines at MSU in order to study how one's choice of representation impacts one's ability to solve open-ended design problems.

Working Papers

M. Ghosh and D.K. Sobek, "Test of a Boundary Object for Process Improvement."

M. Ghosh and D.K. Sobek, "Effective Metaroutines for Organizational Problem Solving."

M. Ghosh and D.K. Sobek, "A Test of the Rules-in-Use in Healthcare," submitted to IIE Transactions.

S.H. Wilkening and D.K. Sobek, II, "A Statistical Analysis of Student Design Projects: Helping Good Design Processes Become Better," submitted to Design Studies.

Jain, V.K., and D.K. Sobek, II, "Process Characteristics that Lead to Good Design Outcomes in Engineering Capstone Projects", 2003 working paper.

Sobek, II, D.K., "Integrating Manufacturing Process Design and Product Design: The Toyota and Chrysler Models," presented at the 1997 Association of Japanese Business Studies meeting in Washington, D.C. and at the 1997 INFORMS meeting held in Dallas, TX.

Books

D. K. Sobek II and A. Smalley, Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota’s PDCA Management System, New York: Productivity Press; 2008. Received a 2009 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research.

J. Shook and D. Sobek,“Prologue: The Author and His Work,” in A. C. Ward, Lean Product and Process Development, Cambridge, MA: Lean Enterprise Institute, 2007.

Journal Publications

J. A. Ruder and D.K. Sobek, II, "An Experiment on System-Level Design," Journal of Engineering Design,Vol. 18, No. 4, August 2007; pp. 327-342.

D.K Sobek, II and V.K. Jain, "Process Factors Affecting Design Quality: A Virtual Design of Experiments Approach", Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 129, No. 5, May 2007; pp. 483-490.

Jain, V.K. and D.K. Sobek, II, "Linking Design Process to Customer Satisfaction Through Virtual Design of Experiments", Research in Engineering Design, Vol. 17, No. 2, September 2006, pp. 59-71.

Ballé, Michael, Beauvallet, Godefroy, Smalley, Art, and Sobek, Durward K., “The Thinking Production System,” Reflections, Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 2006, pp. 1-12 .

D.K. Sobek, II, "System-Level Design: A Missing Link?", International Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 22, no. 3, 2006, pp. 533-539.

C. Jimmerson, D. Weber, and D.K. Sobek, "Reducing Waste and Errors: Piloting Lean Principles at Intermountain Healthcare," Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, May 2005, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 249-257.

Ford, D.F., and D.K. Sobek, II, "Adapting Real Options to New Product Development by Modeling the Second Toyota Paradox," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Vol. 52, No. 2, May 2005; pp. 175-185.

Sobek, II, D. K., Cundy, V. A., and Briggeman, V. L., "Assessing the Given-Find-Solution Method in an Undergraduate Thermodynamics Course," The International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education,Vol. 32, No. 3, July 2004; pp. 183-196.

Sobek, II, D.K., Ward, A.C., and Liker, J.K., "Toyota's Principles of Set-Based Concurrent Engineering," Sloan Management Review,Vol. 40, No. 2, Winter, 1999; pp. 67-83.

Sobek, II, D.K., Liker, J.K., and Ward, A.C., "Another Look at Toyota's Integrated Product Development," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76, No. 4, July-August, 1998; pp. 36-49.

Sobek, II, D.K., Principles the Shape Product Development Systems: A Toyota-Chrysler Comparison, Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Michigan, 1997.

Ward, A.C., Liker J.K., Cristiano, J.J., and Sobek, II, D.K., "The Second Toyota Paradox: How Delaying Decisions Can Make Better Cars Faster," Sloan Management Review, Vol. 36, No. 3, Spring 1995. Received the 1997 Shingo Prize Research Award for excellence in manufacturing research.

Liker J.K., Sobek, II, D.K., Ward, A.C., and Cristiano, J.J., "Involving Suppliers in Product Development in the US and Japan: Evidence for Set-Based Concurrent Engineering," IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management, Vol. 43, No. 2, May, 1996.

Conference Papers and Presentations

C. Plumb and D. K. Sobek II,“Measuring Student Ability to Work on Multidisciplinary Teams: Building and Testing a Rubric,” Proceedings of the 2007 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Honolulu, HI.

D. K. Sobek II and C. Plumb,“Using the Engineering Design Process to Re-envision Multidisciplinary Educational Experiences for Engineering Students,” Proceedings of the 2007 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Honolulu, HI.

D. K. Sobek II and M. Ghosh,“A Framework for Quality Improvement Programs,” Proceedings of the 2007 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Nashville, TN.

M. Ghosh and D. K. Sobek II,“Fostering Second-order Problem-solving in Healthcare,” Proceedings of the 2007 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Nashville, TN.

D. K. Sobek II,“Rethinking the Basics of Product Development,” 2007 Lean Transformation Summit, Atlanta, GA.

D. K. Sobek II and J. A. Ruder, "Experimental Validation of an Improved Design Method," Proceedings of the 2006 American Society of Engineering Education conference, Chicago, IL.

D. K. Sobek II and S. F. Freeman, "Assessment of Hands On Introductions to Industrial Engineering," Proceedings of the 2006 American Society of Engineering Education conference, Chicago, IL.

M. Ghosh and D. K. Sobek II, "A Test of the Design Rules in Health Care," Proceedings of the 2006 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Orlanda, FL. Best Paper Award.

D. K. Sobek II and C. Jimmerson, "A3 Reports: Tool for Organizational Transformation," Proceedings of the 2006 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Orlanda, FL.

S. F. Freeman and D. K. Sobek II, "IE Hands-On: Introduction to the Field," Proceedings of the 2006 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Orlanda, FL.

M. Ghosh and D. K. Sobek II, "Practical Problem-Solving for Health Care: Principles, Tools, and Applications" presented at the 2006 Annual Society of Health Systems Conference, San Diego, CA.

J. Ruder and D.K. Sobek II, "Student System Level Design Activities: An Empirical Pilot Study on Improving Design Outcomes," Proceedings of the 2005 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Long Beach, CA.

D.K. Sobek II and D. Patel, "Representations in Circuit Design: A Test of Goel's Theory of Notationality", Proceedings of the 2005 International Conference on Education and Technology, Calgary, Canada.

D.K. Sobek II, "Transitions: From Conceptual Ideas to Detail Design", Proceedings of the 2005 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Portland, OR.

R. Costa and D.K. Sobek II, "How Process Affects Performance: An Analysis of Student Design Productivity," Proceedings of the 2004 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Salt Lake City, UT.

S. Wilkening and D.K. Sobek, II, "Relating Design Activity to Quality of Outcome: A Regression Analysis of Student Projects" Proceedings of the 2004 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Salt Lake City, UT.

D.K. Sobek II, and J.K. Jain, "The Engineering Problem-Solving Process: Good for Students?", Proceedings of the 2004 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Salt Lake City.

D.K. Sobek II and J.K. Jain, "Two Instruments for Assessing Design Outcomes
of Capstone Projects
", Proceedings of the 2004 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Salt Lake City.

D.K. Sobek II and C. Jimmerson, "A3 Reports: Tool for Process Improvement and Organizational Transformation," Proceedings of the 2004 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Houston, TX.

R. Costa and D.K. Sobek II, "Iteration in Engineering Design: Inherent and Unavoidable or Product of Choices Made?", Proceedings of the 2003 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Chicago, IL.

D.K. Sobek II and C. Jimmerson, "Applying the Toyota Production System to a Hospital Pharmacy," Proceedings of the 2003 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Portland, OR.

D.K. Sobek, II, "Representation in Design: Data from Engineering Journals," Proceedings of the 2002 Frontiers in Education Conference, Boston.

D.K. Sobek, II, "Use of Journals to Evaluate Student Design Processes," Proceedings of the 2002 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Montreal.

D.K. Sobek, II, "Preliminary Findings from Coding Student Design Journals," Proceedings of the 2002 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Montreal.

Sobek, II, D.K., "Understanding the Importance of Intermediate Representations in Engineering Problem-Solving," Proceedings of the 2001 American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Albuquerque, NM.

Sobek, II, D.K., "Teaching Novices how to Program PLC’s," Proceedings of the 2001 American Society of Engineering Education Conference.

Sobek, II, D.K., "The Role of Intermediate Representations in Engineering Problem Solving," Proceedings of the 62nd Annual ASEE Pacific Northwest Section Meeting, April, 2000.

Sobek, II, D.K., "Toyota's New Conventional Wisdom," 1998 INFORMS meeting held in Seattle, WA, based on the Harvard Business Review article, "Another Look at Toyota's Integrated Product Development." A version was also presented at the 1998 Implementation Road Map conference held by D.H. Brown and Associates in Dearborn, MI, and at the 1999 United Technologies Engineering Coordination Activities (UTECA) conference in Cromwell, CT.

Sobek, II, D.K., "Integrating Manufacturing Process Design and Product Design: The Toyota and Chrysler Models," 1997 Association of Japanese Business Studies meeting in Washington, D.C. (received Young Scholars Award), and the 1997 INFORMS meeting held in Dallas, TX.

Sobek, II, D.K., Ward, A.C., "Principles of Set-Based Concurrent Engineering," 1996 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Irvine, CA; received Best Paper Award.

Sobek, II, D.K., "Set-based Design and Body Engineering Examples from Toyota," 1996 International Body Engineering Conference, Detroit, MI; invited speaker.

"A Set-Based Model of Design: The Case of Toyota," 1996 National Design Engineering Conference, Chicago, IL; invited speaker. Also appeared as a feature article in Mechanical Engineering Magazine, July 1996.

Ward, A.C., Sobek, II, D.K., "Toyota and Set-Based Concurrent Engineering," 1994 ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference Proceedings, Minneapolis, MN; based on "The Second Toyota Paradox" paper.