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The Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education at UT will host an international event on October 6 that aims to improve business practices around the world.

“Accelerating Operational Excellence” will examine topics related to production, technology, and culture, providing participants with real-world examples of where such ideas have succeeded.

The John D. Tickle Engineering Building will welcome up to 100 participants for the day’s events, with students, faculty, researchers, and industry professionals from South America, Asia, and Europe joining online.

“We’ll look at every operational phase, every aspect of production, and work through how they can improve their processes,” said Rupy Sawhney, the Heath Fellow in Business and Engineering and executive director of CASRE. “The idea is to establish UT and our state as a base of knowledge in this growing field, and then continue to grow the seminar until we’re a major player.”

Heath Fellow in Business and Engineering Rupy Sawhney, right, works with a student.

To further highlight the state’s role in various industries, speakers from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Blount County–based DENSO and ARCONIC (formerly Alcoa), and Nashville-based Ardent Healthcare will make presentations and lead discussions on how adopting a new approach to operations has helped their respective businesses.

In addition to those corporations, five other universities in Tennessee and the University of Kentucky have been contacted to take part in the events.

Sawhney said organizers want participants to come to the conference with one question in mind: What is your biggest problem, what are the barriers, and what is your strategy to overcome those?

Having a broad range of perspectives will help the event reach its full potential.

“Our goal is to build a program second to none,” said Sawhney. “To do that, we are focusing on a strategy built on the four pillars of research, collaboration, industry, and programs.”

He said the eventual goal is to continue the steady increase of participants, with an eye on making the seminar a multiple-day event.


David Goddard (865-974-0683,