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Acknowledgements and Biographical Note

Professor David Cochran (Director Production System Design Laboratory)

Jochen Linck (PhD student Production System Design Laboratory)

Scott Ball (Masters Student – Leaders for Manufacturing [LFM] Program)

Paul Gallagher – Research Associate (LFM)

David McManus – Manufacturing Manager

My entire family, for their support.


Martin Mbaya was born in Nairobi, Kenya on October 19, 1977. He attended primary school at Catholic Parochial School (January,1984 – March,1988) and Nyandarua Boarding Primary School (May,1988 – December,1991) where he received his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Subsequently he joined Alliance High School (January,1992 – December,1995) where he received his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). Soon after, he enrolled at Strathmore College (January 1996 – June 1996), a post high school institution based in Kenya, to study Information Systems and completed the first part of a diploma in IMIS (Institute for the Management of Information Systems). Before completing the diploma, he got enrolled at MIT (August 1996 – June 2000) where he will complete his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a concentration in Japanese in June 2000. While at MIT, he has traveled to China to carry out a seven-week Internet project at Fudan High School in Shanghai, China. He has also spent eleven weeks working on a machine design project at ULVAC limited (Japan’s leading producer of equipment for the vacuum industry) in Chigasaki, Japan. While in Japan, he also got to visit the Toyota Assembly plant in Nagoya and witnessed first hand the Toyota Production System at work. In the USA, he has been involved in designing a Lean Manufacturing cell for Middleton Corporation, a manufacturer of parts for the aerospace industry. He has also studied the Lean Manufacturing system at United Electric (a manufacturer of flow meters for the processing industry) that has successfully implemented lean manufacturing principles in its plant located at Watertown, Massachusetts. Over a two-year period he has taken classes with Professor David Cochran, Director of the Production Design System Laboratory. The PSD Laboratory is part of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity in MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department. Martin is also a cofounder of the MIT-AITI program, an initiative that is sending MIT students to African Schools to carry out 5-week long Internet related projects that help to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the West.