Advisory Board

Location: Washburn Shops
Phone: 508-831-6117

Emmanuel Akese

Product and Process Specialist

UTC Aerospace Systems, Windsor Locks, CT

Emmanuel started his professional career at the DOW Chemical Company in Marlboro, MA as a Quality Analyst, and joined UTC’s Operations Leadership Program (OLP) from 2011 to 2013 after completing his MBA. While in the Leadership program, he functioned in multiple roles from Manufacturing Engineer to Quality Manager. After graduating from UTC’s OLP, Emmanuel took on his current role and has been successful at working to improve the performance of UTC Aerospace Systems Suppliers using Lean tools. Emmanuel is passionate about mentoring and has mentored both students and professionals. He identifies with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s quote: "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." Emmanuel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. While on campus, he maintained strong academic performance, graduating with High Distinction, and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Together with a few dedicated students, they formed the WPI-IIE Chapter and pushed for the chapter’s recognition in 2009. Emmanuel served as the first VP of the Chapter from 2008 to 2010. He believes that WPI has provided him with an invaluable opportunity.

Ronald Alciati

Tooling Solutions Manager, Consumer & Electronics

Nypro, Inc.

James H. Cain II

Director of Engineering


James Cain’s current area of responsibility covers Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Upstate New York. He is responsible for the long- and short-range operations planning related to performance, service, assets, technology deployments, and strategy. James earned his BA in communications at Indiana University. He has held positions in operations, industrial engineering, and information technology in various subsidiaries of UPS, including small package, air, and international operations, and supply chain solutions. He has served on advisory boards for Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Oklahoma and is currently on the advisory boards of Rochester Institute of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Alberto Ortega Cerbon

Sr. Siemens Production System / Lean Manufacturing Manager

Siemens Vai, Metal Technologies LLC

Mr. Cerbon is an accomplished supply chain and lean manufacturing expert in operations excellence with extensive direct experience in automotive, appliance, plastics and retail industries. His expertise includes several areas: (1) major Supply Chain operational processes such as master planning and scheduling, global sourcing, logistics, inventory, and forecasting/demand management; (2) full cycle implementation of ERP systems and finite scheduling software from design to delivery (QAD, JDEdwards Synquest); (3) design of integrated supply chain solutions; and (4) lean Six Sigma tools for reducing process variation, lead time and eliminating waste, and Kaizen Blitz. Mr. Cerbon received his degree in Industrial Engineering, Systems and Management from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and is certified by APICS CPIM and CSCP and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt & Lean Sensei.

Mervyn Chung-Fat

European Product Line Managers - Team Leader

Houghton International Inc.

Claudio Gelman

Director of Domestic Development, Engineering and Quality

New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.

Claudio Gelman has worked for New Balance, a leading group of pattern makers, developers and advanced manufacturing engineers in the development and commercialization of Made in USA products, for 17 years, holding positions in industrial engineering and manufacturing for 15 years, and now in R&D. He was trained in Toyota Production System techniques and thinking, which resulted in over 70 percent lead-time reductions; his knowledge of problem-solving tools were shared throughout the manufacturing area. He is now applying the same lean techniques in the development environment. He holds a BS in industrial engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, and an MBA from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Keith Kelble

Plant Manager

3M Corporation, Aberdeen, S.D.

In his previous role, Keith Kelble was manufacturing operations manager for many 3M manufacturing sites for hearing and eye protection. His prior experience includes that of plant manager of a Massachusetts site for Aearo Technologies, which was later acquired by 3M Corporation. He has worked in engineering and leadership roles in multiple sites in the United States. He has led project work and facilities in the U.S. and international sites in South America, Europe, and Asia. He began his career with Cooper Industries in its Manufacturing Management Development program as a process engineer. He specializes in leading organizations to execute and achieve operational excellence using many tools, including lean and Six Sigma. He earned his MS in industrial engineering from Purdue University and his BS in Management Engineering from WPI.

Joe Markiewicz

Plant Manager

GE Aviation, Auburn, ALA., Manufacturing Facility

At GE Aviation, world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, and military, business, and general aviation aircraft, Joe Markiewicz has held roles of increasing responsibility, including Six Sigma Black Belt, manager of shop operations, and sourcing commodity leader. He is a graduate of GE’s Operations Management Leadership Program. He earned BS degrees in mechanical engineering and in society, technology, and policy from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Northeastern University.

Joseph Mazzulo

Vice President

Business Processes, Staples Inc.

Joseph Mazzulo has been with Staples for over 16 years, six as global leader for Process Excellence. Over this time the scope has grown to include all the major global markets in which the company operates, significantly impacting the overall performance of the business. Prior to that he led an internal consulting team focused on business development and processes supporting the execution and aggressive growth of Staples. His background spans both business and IT roles. He also served as vice president of information systems at WSR Corporation, a northeastern-based auto parts retailer, where he led the redesign of information infrastructure; before that he was vice president of technical services, Retail Technologies. He also served in several other leadership roles in various business areas with First National Supermarkets.

Kristen McCloskey-Dexter

Senior Engineer

FedEx Ground Hub, Outbound Engineering Support Department

Kristen McCloskey-Dexter received her BS in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She has 18 years of IE experience with a background in resource and network planning, development and implementation of technological solutions, training, and, most recently, performance management. As a senior manager, she was responsible for directing the activities of industrial engineers in the eastern region of the United States, in addition to being responsible for the operating results of the region.

Deborah Foley McManus  ‘97

General Manager of Commercial Operations

Morpho Detection Inc.

Deb McManus is general manager of commercial operations of Morpho Detection, Inc., a leader in explosive and narcotics detection for aviation safety, checked baggage screening, and military and critical infrastructure protection. She is responsible for all customer service and commercial operations for Morpho Detection globally. Prior to her current role, she held the lead role for a team of product managers at Morpho Detection to set product strategy and lead new product introductions that served several market sectors. Under her leadership, the product management team released several products that resulted in the business far exceeding 2010 and 2011 revenue targets. Before that, she was a member of a number of GE businesses. While with GE Insurance, she was “At the Customer, For the Customer” Black Belt, responsible for process improvement projects with key business partners and customers. It was there she became certified as a Master Black Belt and led a number of sales force effectiveness and customer segmentation projects. During her time with GE Healthcare, she held a number of roles with increasing responsibility in manufacturing engineering, sourcing, and service engineering. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BS in industrial engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is a graduate of GE Operations Management Leadership Program.

Laura Gregory Roberts ‘93

Information Technology (IT) Manager

St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center, Hartford, Conn.

Laura Gregory Roberts's responsibilities include IT management of all financial, supply chain and human resource software applications within the St. Francis Care Health System. Prior to that she spent several years in engineering and IT roles for Deloitte & Touche, TNT Logistics, W. L. Gore, and Ernst & Young, focusing on ERP implementations and process improvements. In addition to serving on the WPI Industrial Engineering Advisory Board since 2000, she is an WPI Admissions Volunteer, and is active in her local community. She was named to Connecticut Magazine’s "40 Under 40" in 2011 for her professional and community service accomplishments. She holds memberships in the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Project Management Institute, Society for Health Systems and Healthcare Information, and Management Systems Society. She received an MBA from the University of Delaware and a BS in management engineering/industrial engineering from WPI.

Kathryn Dawson-Townsend

Senior Healthcare Executive and Healthcare Change Advocate

Kathryn Dawson-Townsend is a senior healthcare executive with experience in operations, strategy, and IT system implementations. Most recently she was vice president of service delivery at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. In this position, she led the member service and provider service contact centers, with a staff of over 500 associates who respond to calls, letters, and email. She graduated from the Executive Leadership Program of America's Health Insurance Plans in 2005. In 2011 she was awarded the Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from MIT. She has served on WPI's Industrial Engineering Advisory Board for several years, and now brings her experience and passion for improving healthcare to the Healthcare Delivery Institute. She is active in her community and was given the BlueCrew Distinguished Leadership Award for community service. She earned her BSE in engineering (industrial and operations) from the University of Michigan and her MBA from the University of Dayton (Ohio).  She currently resides near Zurich, Switzerland.