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Micron recruits Boise State students to solve pressing operational issues

Micron Technology

A transdisciplinary group of Boise State students spent the spring 2020 semester investigating and correcting an operational issue for Micron Technology – a collaboration that launched in 2019.

Micron sought out supply chain management and industrial engineering students due to their academic training in understanding and solving complex operational issues. The final team was selected by Micron out of a pool of applicants based on their resumes and letters of interest. This year’s project team consisted of business majors Stacy Branzova, Aileen Campos, Kegan Kastner and Josef Sandahl, as well as engineering majors Jacob Garafalo and Sophia Mitchell.

The team was given a large dataset containing several hundred thousand observations. They spent several months interpreting and piecing together the data to develop a better understanding of the specific operational issue (which cannot be made public). The project also required the students to lead weekly project meetings with a Micron team, which were eventually delivered remotely as COVID-19 affected routine operations.

Jim Kroes, a professor of supply chain management, and Dan Rush, an assistant professor of information technology management, mentored the team as they delivered valuable insights to Micron while furthering their skills in data analysis and project management. According to Kroes, the effort was a great practical learning experience for his students that can lead to career opportunities for many in years to come.

“This project allowed them to apply the skills they have acquired in a multitude of courses to a real, critical business problem,” he said.

Sandahl, one of the participants in the project and a spring 2020 graduate, has now been hired by Micron as a manufacturing technician.

“It was rewarding to work with real data from a real company to provide solutions that are now actually being implemented,” Sandahl said. “We all grew immensely in both our hard and soft skills as a result of the project. The College of Business and Economics not only provided me with relevant classroom teaching but also opened doors to leading local businesses.”

– By Allison Wilde