We’ve all heard of the gift that keeps on giving. If you ask Sean Paige, he might tell you that this sentiment could also apply to WPI’s Six Sigma training.
A chemical engineer with Life Technologies of Bedford, Mass., Sean recently completed the WPI Six Sigma Process Improvement Certificate and the WPI Lean Enterprise Certificate programs, and he has followed that up with MBA classes at WPI.
Sean immensely enjoyed the Six Sigma program, which he said gave him the tools that he and his team at Life Technologies use regularly – and repeatedly.
“We went through the program working in multiple teams on real projects,” he said. “The first round was so successful that we did it again. We drove a fair amount of change in the company based on our exposure to the WPI programs. We utilize the process flow that we learned in the classes in the WPI Six Sigma Certificate – in the way we interact, the ground rules, the lean aspect.”
And like that proverbial gift, Sean’s WPI training continues to pay dividends.
“I pulled out the WPI workbook over the weekend and it helped in setting the ground rules for an upcoming project. I use these tools regularly. If there is a specification failure in the plant, we now know enough to ask, ‘Is it due to common cause or special cause?’ The solutions come right back to that class I took three years ago.”
Adding to the endorsement, Life Technologies is just as impressed. The company has so far contracted for two Six Sigma training programs. “Although it was a monetary commitment, we did the program again because it was so effective,” Sean explained.
In addition, Life Technologies has continued to work with WPI through their Application Consulting Services. This allows companies to further utilize the tools taught in their on-site programs.
“We flew folks out from California. We were all holed up in a room for a week with (instructor) Jim Leonard to perform Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) at the start of a very intense continuous improvement process. These were high-powered individuals and scientists who attended. Jim facilitated, and it was definitely worth the investment.”
Naturally, there’s more to life than just work for Sean. He has three sons, aged 9, 10, and 12, and describes his family as a high-energy, non-stop group. Sean and wife Lisa, a physics teacher at Lawrence High School, are actively involved in scouting and hold leadership positions at the den and pack levels. Sean and his 12- year-old son went camping and whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River in Maine recently.
The kids are also involved in a variety of activities, including baseball, wrestling, swimming, and his oldest son runs track. In addition, Lisa and Sean run the chess club at the grammar school.
Asked how he juggles a demanding job and a busy family life, Sean laughed and said, “Not very effectively. It’s a lot of give and take; we continue to grow and improve.” It helps, he added, to have a very understanding boss. “I put in plenty of time, but I’m not held to a schedule. I get my job done.”
Speaking of the job, Sean noted that the WPI training and his MBA classes at WPI aided his career. Previously he was a staff engineer, then advanced to engineering manager, and has been a senior manufacturing manager since October 2010.