Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Professor for Production Management
University of St. Gallen
Thomas Friedli, Ph. D. is Director of Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). His main research focus is the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises. His area of expertise is in Operational Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Collaboration Management, Management of Industrial Services, and Quality and Process Management. He leads a group of postgraduate students who develop new management solutions for manufacturing companies in today’s business landscape. In 2007, he became an Associate Member to the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) and joined the SAQ (Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems) as an advisory council in 2009. Furthermore, he is a member of the HSR Committee of Experts in Machinery/ Innovation. As of 2012, he is acting as president of the jury for the REHAU economic award. Since 2014, he is an active member of the RUAG Holding Advisory Board. He is teaching in several executive programmes in St. Gallen, Fribourg, Salzburg and Aachen. In fall 2008, he spent several weeks as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Purdue University in West Lafayette, USA. He also is the author or co-author of 13 books and various articles. Among his recent books in the area of Operational Excellence is “Leading Operational Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry” published in 2013, "The Pathway to Operational Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry", published in 2010 as well as “Operational Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry”, published in 2006.
Jim McKiernan is an engineer and CEO of McKiernan Associates. He has spent his career in manufacturing and supply chain, specializing in life sciences. He works at all levels of global organizations, able to engage with senior level executives in strategic discussions as well as working at shop floor level to get real change effected. His work has included many large-scale programs to implement operational excellence concepts such as lean and six sigma as well as working to ensure effective new product launch through effective cross-functional process between R&D and Technical Operations. Jim is also an active contributor to industry initiatives; he was a founder member of ISPE’s Operations Management Community of Practice and joint author of the recently published Good Practice Guide. He is an animated trainer running in-company education programs as well as successful courses at universities and business schools. Together with INSEAD he has developed and led an annual Masters’ module in Medical Product Supply at Copenhagen Business School. Jim’s career spans over 35 years ranging from hands-on functional management (Production Operations, Project Management) to consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Honors), University College Dublin and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, American Society for Quality.