TITLE: Associate Vice President for International Partnerships, Department Head, and Distinguished Professor
UNDERGRADUATE: University of Bombay, Mechanical Engineering
GRADUATE: M.S. – Kansas State University, Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. – University of Illinois, Industrial Engineering
YEARS AT FIT: 29+
Dr. Muzaffar A. Shaikh’s interest in engineering and manufacturing goes back to his college days in the early 1960s in India. The country had become independent a decade and a half prior, and needed to establish a manufacturing infrastructure with factories producing small retail items to larger products. As this movement developed, Dr. Shaikh wanted to be a part of this new challenge for India.
“Times have changed and technology has changed, but my passion has not diminished. I continue to be passionate about letting others know important lessons from my engineering experience,” he said. “Nowadays, I am very interested in ensuring that engineers concentrate thoroughly on the design and modeling of a product or a system before actually manufacturing or developing it.”
Along with his responsibilities as associate vice president for international partnerships and head of the department of engineering systems, Dr. Shaikh works with Harris Corporation, Northrop Grumman, and General Electric Corporation, assisting them in implementing master’s degree programs in systems engineering exclusively for their engineers. “While manufacturing high-tech products is at the core of their businesses, these companies have come to the realization that systems engineering is what will make their products with minimal defects and on-time delivery,” he said.
Teaching is Dr. Shaikh’s main passion, and he continues to teach courses that currently include technology commercialization strategies and engineering operations and logistics. From all of his courses, current and past, there’s one thing he hopes his students take away: “What you learn in the classroom, all the tools and techniques, do not directly apply as a ‘plug in’ or ‘as is’ to an industry problem. Classroom learning provides a bag of tools and techniques that need to be modified and adapted in solving industry problems.”
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