Office of the Technical Fellow for Quality Engineering

During the latter part of my career with Ford, I was a Henry Ford Technical Fellow. During this time, I established a global network of engineering, manufacturing, and scientific professionals all working in the field of Quality Engineering and Failure Mode Avoidance for Ford Motor Company brands* somewhere in the world. We called this collaborative group The Office of the Technical Fellow for Quality Engineering.

Mission Statement of the Office of the Technical Fellow:

The Office of the Technical Fellow is a "Virtual Office" of employees who have a demonstrated level of competence and technical maturity in Quality Engineering. The work of the Office is coordinated by the Technical Fellow, but the members of the Office work in Product Development and Manufacturing in regular line jobs, with the usual functional responsibility. As a group, we are dedicated to providing the best possible collaborative, teaching & transfer of technical know-how, and facilitation help to Product Development and Manufacturing worldwide on the subject of Quality Engineering. Our specific mission is to help implement techniques aimed at Failure Mode Avoidance (in particular the early identification of failure modes), through improving robustness and avoiding mistakes, as well as promoting associated methods aimed at optimising designs for cost, weight, assembly, and manufacturability.

    Tim Davis, Technical Fellow

This page contains links to some of the members of the Office and their work. Not only are they all fine professionals, they are also my friends (you can gauge the impact of our work by Googling "Failure Mode Avoidance"), and I still collaborate with many of them on engineering problems.

Vasiliy Krivtsov (USA) - has PhD's in Electrical Engineering and Reliability. He is a native Russian speaker, but has a fine grasp of the subtleties and nuances of the English language. We have co-taught many seminars together over the years on statistical engineering topics, and we worked very closely together on the Firestone tire crisis, where we deployed the hazard function to good effect. Vasiliy's web site is here., Vasiliy himself became a Henry Ford Technical Fellow (the 19th) in 2023

Warren Jocz (USA) - is an exceptional masters-degree level mechanical engineer, who convinced me of the importance of the FMEA in our Failure Mode Avoidance work, and we often taught seminars together. He has just published a very nice paper in the International Journal of Product Development.

Jay Zhou (USA) - has a PhD in Structural Mechanics. He has experience of nuclear, aerospace and automotive engineering. Jay is originally from China, and he accompanied me on a trip there in 2006, where we co-taught several failure mode avoidance seminars to young Chinese engineers. Details of this trip, and of Jay's work in general are available on his web site.

Ed Henshall (UK) - has a PhD in Physics, and is a fine educator. He was the driving force behind the Engineering Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP), a late-80's Ford training program. EQUIP was way ahead of its time - we probably should have called it Six Sigma. Ed now teaches at Bradford University. His LinkedIn profile is here.

Huw Williams (UK) - has a PhD in Theoretical Mechanics. If ever I have a problem that requires some difficult maths to solve, I ask Huw - he has an amazing ability to think hard about a problem and then write down the answer. Here is an example of how good he is. You can find him on LinkedIn here.

Chris Gearhart (USA) - has a PhD in Nuclear Physics. Chris taught me about using Buckingham's Pi theorem for dimensional analysis and how it can be used to greatly reduce the number of runs in a designed experiment - he has a paper on this. He is now the Center Director at the Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center at National Renewable Energy Laboratory in CO. USA

Nathan Soderborg (USA) - has a PhD in Mathematics, and was the architect of Ford's model for Design for Six Sigma (DfSS), which in my view remains superior to all other models of DfSS that have been developed in other companies. He is also extremely knowledgeable about Lean Product Development. Nathan now works for Exponent Inc., and his personal page on his Company web site is here.

Ulrike Grömping (Germany) - has a PhD in Statistical Science, and while working for Ford developed the definitive guide to planning 2- and 3- level experiments. She is a brilliant statistician, and is now a professor at the Beuth Hochschule für Technik in Berlin; her web site is here.

Bob Thomas (USA) - has a masters degree in Statistics, and a first degree in Engineering - a very useful combination, which can be demonstrated in his co-authored paper on analysing designed experiments when the response has a frequency domain. You can find Bob on LinkedIn here

Apoorv Agarwal (USA) - has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and a project leader and technical specialist in powertrain research at Ford. We both share an interest in the history of the natural sciences, and enjoyed discussing how the process of understanding the natural sciences could help in engineering. He now works at Ingeneering Innovation LLC in North Carolina. His LinkedIn profile is here.

Bolennarth Svensson (Sweden) - has a PhD in Quality Engineering. His LinkedIn profile is here. Bolennarth worked with Stuart Pugh at Strathclyde University. We used to often theorize on matters regarding quality engineering while we were stuck in traffic queues on the way from his office at Volvo to Goteborg airport.

Karry Roberts (USA) - has a masters degree in Statistics, and works in manufacturing engineering at Ford. Here she is teaching about the importance of good designed experiments at a Detroit Chapter Meeting of the American Statistical Association. She has recently (2016) retired from Ford after a fine career and is involved in the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Statistical Association

Ulrich Horstmann (Germany) - has a masters degree in Statistical Science from City University. Ulrich did some pioneering early work on the use of hazard plotting in warranty data, and he was based in the USA at the same time as me. He now runs the Parts Recall Centres for Ford of Europe, so he can now see for real the failed parts that he was previously only plotting. His minimalist web-site is here.

Frank Gerhorst (Germany) - has a masters level degree in engineering and is a Master Black Belt in DfSS at Ford Werke AG, in Köln. Some his work in this area is contained in a paper he co-authored with Ulrike. Frank has a LinkedIn profile here.

Other members of the Office: Nobu Takeshige (Japan); Solomon Dent (Australia); Robert Hoglind (Sweden); Marcelo Magri (Brazil); Andreas Koczy (Germany); Krister Johansson (Sweden), Agus Sudjianto (USA).

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