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Lean Six Sigma Instructors

Chris Christensen, PMP

Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen, PMP, specializes in project management, quality improvement, product development, futures research and strategic planning. He assists manufacturing and service organizations in forecasting their future, developing successful products, and developing and deploying practical strategic plans. Mr. Christensen offers coaching, and assessment services in project management, problem solving, process improvement, product development, teambuilding, organizational performance measurement, and technology forecasting. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Certified Quality Engineer, and Certified Quality Manager.

Mr. Christensen has over thirty years of experience as a project and program manager in the high technology electronic component manufacturing and systems integration industries. His projects developed air defense, intelligence data fusion, radar imaging, and satellite communication systems.

He has worked with 3M Medical Products, Albemarle Chemical, Ablestik Adhesives, The Aerospace Corporation, Amgen, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, The Boeing Company, BP-Arco Service Stations, Courtaulds Aircraft Lacquers, Delco Machine and Gear, The Disney Store, Dow Chemical Advanced Materials, Glendale Memorial Hospital, Havas Software Development (now Vivendi Universal), Hughes Aircraft Company, Los Angeles Times, Martin-Marietta Aerospace, Medtronic Diabetes (MiniMed), Pilkington Aerospace Transparencies, RAND Corporation, Raytheon, Schlumberger, Southern California Edison, Tosco Petroleum Refineries and Pipelines, Toshiba, TRW Space Systems Group, and Unified Western Grocers.

He holds an MBA from Pepperdine, an MS in systems engineering from West Coast University, and a BS in physics from the University of Utah.


Rick Hefner, PhD

Rick Hefner

Rick Hefner, PhD, specializes in systems development and maintenance; project management; Lean Six Sigma; process improvement, technology transfer; and risk management. His experience spans over 35 years.

Dr. Hefner recently served as director of process management at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where he managed corporate process initiatives related to Lean Six Sigma and program management. Previous positions at Northrop Grumman (formerly TRW) included managing technology process initiatives and helping to establish the corporate engineering and program management processes. Previously, at Aerospace Corporation, Dr. Hefner was the director of their software development department. He served as an engineer, technical specialist, project manager, and section manager.

Dr. Hefner has also worked with companies in the communications, electronics, and health sciences industries, including Applied Physics Laboratory, Ares Management, Boeing, DRS Technologies, Herbalife, Honeywell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, John Deere, L-3 WESCAM, Maytag, Motorola, Pacific Bell, Raytheon, Schlumberger, Southern California Edison, St. Jude Medical, Toshiba, U.S. Navy, and Xerox.

Dr. Hefner is credited with over 200 publications and presentations. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in applied dynamic systems control. He received his MS and BS from Purdue University in interdisciplinary engineering.


Carol Jacoby, PHD

Carol Jacoby

Carol Jacoby, PhD, specializes in mission analysis, systems engineering, decision analysis, and mathematical techniques. She has 28 years of experience in systems engineering at Hughes Electronics and Rockwell International. She led Hughes' Mission Analysis Center of Excellence in developing complex systems of systems for defense, transportation, and other areas. She was one of the first people to apply systems engineering to highway transportation. As a member of the National Automated Highway Systems Consortium, she led the development and evaluation of alternative concepts for driverless vehicles. She has recently worked with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Federal Highway Administration, Raytheon, and Boeing.

She co-authored the Systems Engineering Guidebook for the Federal Highway Administration and authored Simple Spreadsheets for Hard Decisions which brings many of the decision techniques of mission analysis to a general audience. Dr. Jacoby has been honored through the District One Toastmasters’ elite Speakers Bureau, multiple Hughes and Raytheon Achievement Awards, the Hughes Doctoral Fellowship, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Dr. Jacoby is an internationally recognized research mathematician, with several recent publications in peer-reviewed journals and a forthcoming book written for advanced graduate students and researchers. She earned her PhD at the University of California, Irvine, her MS at Northeastern University, and her BA at UCLA, all in mathematics.


Michael Sturgeon

Michael Sturgeon

Michael Sturgeon has over 29 years of experience in systems/software acquisition and development. He is currently the technical director and Certified Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Master Black Belt for the Air Force's 309th Operational Excellence organization, where he is responsible for quality and process improvement for a portfolio of 80 programs. His core competencies include Lean Six Sigma, project management, systems engineering, data analysis, and team facilitation.

Mr. Sturgeon previously served as the manager of mission assurance of Northrop Grumman Information Systems' Command and Control Division, where he was responsible for driving improvement in the business acquisition process focusing on risk reduction and affordability. At NCR Corporation, he was director of quality and Lean Six Sigma services. He was responsible for quality and process improvement implementation, supporting worldwide development and deployment of quality hardware, software, and services. Mr. Sturgeon also served as technology adoption lead of the Air Force’s Software Technology Support Center consulting services, and has been a visiting scientist of the Software Engineering Institute.

Mr. Sturgeon is a certified Lean Six Sigma master black belt, a lean facilitator, and a Capability Maturity Model Integrated authorized lead appraiser. He has his B.S. in electrical engineering (magna cum laude) from the University of Utah.