Dr. Zella Jackson Hannum

Western Michigan University’s First AGEP Ph.D. Graduate in Engineering

Zella Jackson Hannum, who will be WMU’s first National Science Foundation (NSF) Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) grant doctoral graduate in engineering, successfully defended her dissertation on May 16, in Walwood Commons.  Western Michigan University is partnered in a special AGEP Alliance with the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University in a federally funded initiative aligned with efforts to increase participation among underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Dr. Hannum was awarded a Ph.D. at the June 2012 commencement ceremony from the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, which is chaired by Dr. Paul Engelmann.

Dr. David Lyth, professor and co-director of the Engineering Management Research Laboratory in the College of Engineering, served as Dr. Hannum’s dissertation chair and guided her research, titled Development of a New Technology Balanced Scorecard Derived from Critical Factors that Impact Product Quality.  Hannum’s study used multiple linear equations to predict critical factors that drive product quality and that demonstrated significant correlations with measures of product quality management practices and product quality performance.  The second part of the study developed and tested scorecard performance capability and usability and demonstrated significant correlations with measures of scorecard performance capability and managers’ decisions to use the scorecard as a tool in making quality management decisions. Such a performance measurement tool will be important to business environments interested in cultivating new technology ventures (NTVs) through the use of continuous process improvement and quality efforts.

Other members of Dr. Hannum’s dissertation committee include the following: Dr. Tarun Gupta and Dr. Leonard Lamberson, professors, WMU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and Dr. John Lloyd, University Distinguished Professor emeritus, College of Engineering, Michigan State University.