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News & Events

Fri, 03/01/2019
Announcing RIT Online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Announcing RIT Online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

CQAS’s new online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification program builds upon the tools learned and experience gained in our Green Belt program. You will become an expert in Lean Six Sigma prepared to drive process excellence throughout your organization. CQAS Black Belts are leaders, change agents, strategic thinkers, trusted coaches, expert resources, and vigilant project managers who lead complex high value projects.

RIT Online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Tue, 09/19/2017
RIT to provide process expertise for health screening project for 3-year-olds

Increasing access to GROW Rochester health and developmental screenings could help improve early childhood learning

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Rochester Institute of Technology and GROW Rochester have teamed up on a city-wide project to help increase the number of 3-year-olds in the city receiving timely and necessary health and preventive services. Early screening to assess health issues and providing suitable interventions could increase the likelihood of children being well-prepared for, and doing well, in school.

Identifying 3-year-olds in the city for health assessment screenings has been a challenge, with only about a third of the children readily accessible in early preschool programs or other formal and easily identified organizations. For the remaining children, GROW Rochester is intent on finding multiple ways to increase parental and community awareness of and access to screening, assessment and follow up services.

RIT’s John D. Hromi Center for Quality and Applied Statistics (CQAS) is participating with GROW Rochester and the Children’s Institute providing process support on this major health and developmental screening project with the goal of engaging a much higher percentage of families with 3-year-olds. The team intends to increase access from 1,000 children and families to 3,000.

Generally, by the time children are 3 they have completed well-child visits. GROW Rochester will complement existing care by “going to where the children are” and provide screenings for vision, hearing, speech, dental, social-emotional, cognitive, motor and other developmental needs that could impact learning if not checked prior to beginning school, said Rebecca Ziebarth, CQAS project manager.

Read more: GROW

Fri, 09/15/2017
Lean Six Sigma Trends by Vincenzo Buonomo

Lean Six Sigma Trends by Vincenzo Buonomo

Lean Six Sigma Trends by Vincenzo Buonomo

Lean Six Sigma for All

There have been many approaches over the past decades to driving continuous improvement.  Methods such as total quality management, quality circles, problem solving, process re-engineering, just in time, and others are familiar terms to many.  While some organizations have had great success with some of these, others have struggled or had numerous “false starts.”   Two other popular approaches are lean and six sigma.  Lean, in general, focuses on eliminating waste and decreasing cycle time, while Six Sigma is geared toward reducing variability and improving quality. Today, more and more organizations are fully integrating these two continuous improvement methodologies.   Lean Six Sigma (LSS) focuses on eliminating waste in systems and on implementing statistical methods to drive breakthrough improvements to an organization’s processes. 

There are several reasons why LSS has been successful whereas other quality efforts have failed. A key reason is the focus on the financial impact of the project. By keeping track of the impact that the cumulative projects have on the bottom line of the organization, management is more convinced about the value of the program and more readily supports it.  The results from clients have been outstanding, with many organizations reporting significant financial benefits, enhanced customer satisfaction, and reduced costs.  The average project benefit was over $95,000 based on completed LSS projects last year from Green Belts and Black Belts trained though Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) John D. Hromi Center for Quality and Applied Statistics (CQAS).

More Information

Tue, 05/02/2017
Helping Businesses Improve Performance
Variety of Clients and Goals

Mark SmithRIT established the Center for Quality & Applied Statistics (CQAS) in 1983, naming it for its first leader, John D. Hromi, a Frederick H. Minett Distinguished Professor. The goal was to meet the needs of local manufacturers for applied statisticians and quality professionals. Since then, the mission of CQAS has evolved to keep up with dramatic changes in the economy. Although CQAS staff still work with manufacturers, the diversity of clients now varies from health care to call centers to the service industry to local government entities and community colleges, according to Mark Smith, the center’s director.

“Our mission overall is to help organizations improve their performance by leveraging all the expertise that we have here at RIT in statistical methods, decision sciences, process engineering.”

About 80 to 85 percent of the training offered by CQAS is the Lean Six Sigma methodology, which focuses on a structured problem-solving process to achieve better productivity and efficiency. It’s a team-oriented approach, with participants achieving various levels of expertise, starting with Yellow Belt, then progressing to Green Belt, and finally Black Belt.

Teams of employees hone in on an immediate problem a business faces, Smith said. “We’re not there to teach at them. … We’re trying to get them to incorporate tools and a structured methodology to address real challenges and problems they have.”

CQAS staff meets with interested businesses to tailor programs to their needs, too. Even after the formal training ends, CQAS staff will keep in touch with participants and company sponsors until a project is completed or in the “control phase” of the process.

“We’re not successful until they’re successful,” Smith said.

Smith cited examples of success from companies that have worked with CQAS:

  • Reducing inventory cost by 5 to 10 percent for a total annual savings of $200,000 to $300,000;
  • Reducing the amount of material that goes to landfills by 50 percent;
  • Reducing scrap by 90 percent;
  • Reducing the cost of project planning, tracking, and management by 50 percent;
  • A hospital’s emergency department reduced by 80 percent the amount of time patients spent on a long spine board, which is very uncomfortable.
Training Programs

CQAS also has a strong commitment to the RIT community, Smith noted. For example, Yellow Belt training is offered for students prior to the beginning of each semester and during spring break. An academic course is also taught that leads to a Yellow Belt and offers the students the opportunity to earn a Green Belt by executing an individual project under the guidance of a sponsor and CQAS. Lean Six Sigma training can help students be more marketable to potential employers, Smith noted.

CQAS works with faculty who need assistance with research, and the center also may connect faculty to companies that need consultation after training.

A variety of other courses are offered by CQAS focusing on improving performance. While most classes are offered at RIT or on-site at an organization, CQAS offers “blended” programs (on-site and online) and will be offering both Green Belt and Black Belt training online later this year, Smith said.


Wed, 12/07/2016
CQAS Newsletter

Tue, 08/09/2016
New American Statistical Quality Medal Honors Dr. John D. Hromi

ASQ has unveiled a new medal honoring John D. Hromi, a past ASQ president and honorary member who died last year.

Dr. Hromi was a professor emeritus at Rochester Institute's of Technology's Quality and Applied Statistics Center, which was named for him in 1992 because of his well established reputation as an International authority in industrial statistics and quality control.

He had worked at the New York university since 1981, having served as professor and the center's executive director.

The Hromi Medal will recognize individuals who have made significant and noteworthy contributions to the science of inspection and the advancement of the inspection profession.

Nominations are due October 1, 2017 for more information visit ASQ Hromi Medal.


Thu, 05/12/2016
RIT Center for Quality and Applied Statistics participates in the United Way Day of Caring

United Way Day of Caring

Nearly 7,000 people planted, painted, read to kids and more during the United Way Day of Caring on May 12, 2016.

The RIT Center for Quality and Applied Statistics participated at the Episcopal Life Community in Henrietta, NY.

They power washed the senior living facility, washed windows, and prepared gardens for the spring.


Mon, 04/25/2016
B2E helps Central Hudson meet new challenges, needs

The utility industry is in the midst of a major shift that requires innovative solutions to meet customers’ evolving needs. The transformation is largely driven by advances in technology, changing expectations, New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision and other state and federal regulations.

Central Hudson’s Bridge to Excellence initiative is helping to inspire employees to meet these challenges and find creative ways to streamline processes, eliminate waste and reduce expenses. B2E touches all areas of Central Hudson and is becoming an integral part of the Company’s culture. Every employee can benefit from B2E by eliminating unnecessary processes, minimizing laborious tasks and enhancing the work environment.

“B2E is a road map to utilize the tools and knowledge of Lean Six Sigma and apply it to our everyday work,” said Director of Operational Excellence Jeff Cito. “B2E is here to serve anyone looking to leverage its tools to improve their work. We already use these tools every day, we just need to capture and concentrate this innovation for the betterment of all employees and our customers.”

Read more: B2E helps Central Hudson meet new challenges, needs

Sun, 04/24/2016
RIT Remembers John D. Hromi

John Hromi, RIT professor emeritus and namesake of the John D. Hromi Center for Quality and Applied Statistics, died May 3. He was 94. Professor Hromi was known internationally as an authority in industrial statistics and quality control.

Professor Hromi, originally from western Pennsylvania, earned degrees from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Clemson College, University of Pittsburgh and University of Detroit. At the same time, he spent nearly 30 years working in industry, most notably at U.S. Steel and Ford Motor Co., and doing international and local consulting. He was a World War II veteran and earned the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Reserve.

Professor Hromi came to RIT in 1981 as the Frederick H. Minett Distinguished Professor, and in 1983, he established the Center for Quality and Applied Statistics. The center achieved international recognition for excellence in the fields of quality management and applied statistics. Today, the center is known for its graduate-level, non-degree courses in quality management, quality engineering and industrial statistics. The center is also hailed for helping to expand and strengthen the graduate program; presenting quality management and technology seminars, training, auditing and consulting programs; and for providing statistical computer access analysis and support through the Mason E. Wescott Statistics Laboratory.

Professor Hromi was president of the American Society for Quality and in 2004 was named an honorary member, bestowed upon him by the Canadian Society for Quality, the Philippine Society for Quality Control, the Czech Society for Quality and the International Academy for Quality.

“Dr. Hromi achieved something that only a very few of us ever achieve in academia: to follow one’s intellectual passion and transform that passion into a nationally recognized academic center of excellence in one’s area of expertise,” said Harvey Palmer, dean of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “The John D. Hromi Center for Quality and Applied Statistics is a testament to his vision, his tenacity and his mastery of the field. John was a true leader, both here at RIT and internationally in his profession. We at RIT are extremely fortunate that John agreed to come to RIT to build both academic and industry outreach programs in quality and applied statistics.”

He is predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Rachel; parents George and Anna; and his son Timothy. He is survived by his son Jon; daughter-in-law, Cindy; sister, Evelyn; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.