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Sommers, Alex (full)
Alex
N.
Sommers
Ph.D.
Professor
Tagliatela College of Engineering
Industrial, System & Multidisciplinary Engineering
203-932-7251
BCKM233C
Buckman Hall
Biography

    Entering academia in 1970 from the aerospace industry, taught continuously in the Departments of Management and Industrial Engineering while serving in a variety of academic administrative positions at the University of New Haven. Specialties include forensic engineering, manufacturing management, quality assurance, and supply chain management. Active in the business community, especially in the New Haven area Chambers of Commerce and the New Haven County Manufacturers’ Association, consulted for several companies and in 1995 became President and CEO of the Newton-New England Company, a prominent regional die casting foundry, in a turn-around effort ending in 1997. Current research interests center on casting defects and resultant modes of failure, using high-power x-ray imaging. Acts as Co-Director of the University’s Center for Thermofluid and Multiphase Phenomena, a research institute formed by a grant from Connecticut Innovations, Inc., a State economic development corporation. Responsible for the M.S. in Industrial Engineering programs, and for two graduate courses in forensic engineering in the Department of Forensic Science.

    Personal Data

    Elected to Pi Tau Sigma, Alpha Pi Mu, and Alpha Lambda Delta

    Citizenship: USA

    Preferred Mailing Address

    Residence: 71 Broad Street, Guilford, CT 06437
    Home Telephone 203 453-1530
    alex_sommers@yahoo.com
Academic Credentials

    Education

    Ph.D., Purdue University, 1968, Industrial Engineering
    M.S., Rutgers University, 1966, Industrial Engineering
    B.M.E., Cornell University, 1964, Mechanical Engineering
    Diploma, Warren Area High School, Warren, Pennsylvania, 1959

    Experience

    Co-Director, Center for Thermofluid and Multiphase Phenomena, 1997 – 2006, a research unit dedicated to die casting technology and process simulation, funded by Connecticut Innovations, Inc., Hershey Metal Products, Inc., and Opticon, Inc.

    President and CEO, the Newton-New Haven Co., one of the largest custom die casters in New England, 1995-97, for a turn-around effort to keep the company in New Haven as a major employer of local semi-skilled labor. Received incentives from the State which enabled the introduction of new methods, training, and new technology. Retained several major customers, including Crouse-Hinds Div., Cooper Industries, and UTC-Automotive, which were ready to switch suppliers. Worked closely with the Steelworkers local to avoid layoffs and install a pay-for-skills program.

    Acting Chair, Department of Industrial Engineering, 1993-94. Elected to chair the Department while the incumbent was on sabbatical. Prepared for ABET re-accreditation, and proposed new course sequences for Quality Assurance and Logistics concentrations. 

    Professor of Industrial Engineering, 1974 – present. Promoted and tenured in 1974, after joining the faculty in 1970 as an associate professor and Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Courses taught include Quality Control, Management, Organizational Effectiveness, Business Policy and Strategy, Systems Analysis, Decision Analysis, Introduction to Operations Research, Queuing Theory, Inventory Theory, Engineering Management, Introduction to Logistics, and Life Cycle Costing. Early research interests centered on transportation mode choice and integrated logistics support effectiveness. Published a number of important articles in ORSA[ now INFORMS], and SOLE publications, and presented over thirty-seven papers at professional meetings. Current research centers on die casting logistics and the industry’s supply chain relationships with the automotive and aerospace industries. A sabbatical in 2000 was received to study die casting logistics relative to supplying manufacturing operations in Mexico under NAFTA. With assistance from The Enterprise Center in New Haven, and in partnership with faculty in the Yale School of Management, began in 1999 a technology transfer project to open a high-technology die casting factory for magnesium products in the City’s Empowerment Zone.

    Employment History

    Transportation systems analyst, Vitro Laboratories, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1968-70; assignments to Polaris, Talos, and Harpoon projects, as well as to FAA and NASA research activities.
    Experimental Mathematician, Turbine Analysis Group, Allison Division, General Motors Corp., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1966-68; assignments to short haul aircraft and engine designs.

    Public Service and Professional Society Activity

    Member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, 1994 – 1996. Viewed as a specialist in manufacturing, plant locations, and quality assurance. University Representative to the Manufacturers’ Association of New Haven County, and a member of its Board of Directors, 1990 – present.  Director of Education, Connecticut Roundtable, Council of Logistics Management, 1998 – 2002. Member of the Education and Training Committee, Connecticut Association of Purchasing Management, 1998 – present. Member of the Research and Development Committee, North American Die Casting Association, 1996 – 2001. Active in the local chapters of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Institute of Industrial Engineering, American Society for Quality, and the Society of Logistics Engineers.  Member, Editorial Board, Moldmaking Technology,  2004-2006.

    Elected President of the Connecticut Association of Purchasing Management for 2003-04, and re-elected for 2004-05. CAPM is an affiliate of the Institute for Supply Management[ISM], with 600 members in Connecticut.  www.capminc.org