There’s no doubt that Dr. Mozammel Khan leaves a lasting impact in his students’ lives. The professor and founder of Sheridan’s Quality Assurance – Manufacturing Management program has played an important role in hundreds of students’ careers through a personal commitment to student success, a passion for the field of Quality, and his vision for program excellence.
Quality Assurance, or Quality, refers to the business practice of continually examining and adjusting processes, products and services to meet or exceed quality standards. A mechanical engineer originally from Bangladesh, Dr. Khan quickly developed an interest for Quality as the field began to emerge in the mid 1980s.
“When I was an undergraduate student, there was no such thing as Quality Assurance,” says Dr. Khan. He completed several industrial experimentation and robust design courses and research during his Masters and PhD studies that would serve as early precursors to Quality Assurance. He also closely followed the work of Quality pioneer, Genichi Taguchi. After studying and self-mastering the Taguchi method of robust design to improve the quality of manufactured goods – becoming one of the only experts in the method in North America – his work brought him to teach in Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
“Dr. Khan never entered his class to only deliver lectures… he always came in with a smile on his face and created a fun-filled learning environment. He chimed away on theories and backed them up with lively life experiences that the students could easily relate to.” – Basab Goswami
He was approached by a colleague to establish a unique, first-of-its-kind Centre for Quality in Singapore, to respond to Singapore’s booming manufacturing industry’s demand to adopt and master the practice of Quality. “This was the first time a Centre for Quality had been established in Southeast Asia,” says Dr. Khan. “At that point, I totally shifted from Mechanical Engineering to Quality.”
Dr. Khan immigrated to Canada in 1994 to teach Mechanical Engineering at Sheridan’s emerging School of Engineering. A few years into his role, the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology asked him to help develop a Quality Assurance program at Sheridan.
Drawing on his experience developing curriculum at the Centre for Quality in Singapore and his expertise in the field, Dr. Khan created the Quality Assurance – Manufacturing Management postgraduate program, which still runs today.
Dr. Khan designed the rigorous program with postgraduate students in mind. He saw the field of Quality as a unique re-skilling opportunity for those with math or science backgrounds looking to upgrade their skills – particularly apt for the growing community of new Canadians with manufacturing or engineering experience in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) looking to obtain Canadian qualifications, and international students.
The program was founded in 1998, and held the distinction of being the first Quality Assurance postsecondary program of its kind in Ontario. Dr. Khan developed the curriculum working closely with the Canadian chapter of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) – who still serve as Program Advisory Committee members today. Since its founding, the program has retained small class sizes of about 50 students, a strong co-op component, and a thriving alumni network that supports new students. “My graduates are all around. They are working in the industry, and in turn they help build our program’s network,” says Dr. Khan.
Dr. Khan personally reviews many student applications and often speaks directly with prospective students who are curious about the program. As a teacher, his students note his personal dedication to their success, and his commitment to working with each student to help them overcome any barriers.
Basab Goswami, a graduate of the program, fondly remembers Dr. Khan’s role in his education as a new Canadian: “Dr. Khan never entered his class to only deliver lectures… he always came in with a smile on his face and created a fun-filled learning environment. He chimed away on theories and backed them up with lively life experiences that the students could easily relate to,” he says. “Outside the classroom, my peers and I often went to him for help, direction and guidance. “
“Students and graduates of the program attest that his example keeps them striving to succeed long after they graduate, to reach their highest potential.” – Dr. Srinivas Ganapathyraju
Goswami also notes that Dr. Khan’s careful program design prepares graduates well for the significant demands of the Quality field. “Consumerism today has evolved towards fast development and a ‘zero-defects’ requirement, allowing no room to learn from mistakes. Quality practitioners today are the last line of defense. Thanks to my experience in the program and the guidance of Dr. Khan, I could hit the ground running at my first job.”
Dr. Srinivas Ganapathyraju, a colleague of Dr. Khan’s in the School of Engineering who teaches several courses in the Quality program, recognizes Dr. Khan’s philosophy of inspiring his students by example: “Dr. Khan has always striven to be the best that he can be, and he motivates his students to do the same. Students and graduates of the program attest that his example keeps them striving to succeed long after they graduate, to reach their highest potential.”
As a tribute to Dr. Khan’s enduring influence on the graduates of this program, Chair of the Voice of Customer of ASQ Canada, Lorraine Fraser, collected and aggregated testimonials from 60 graduates showcasing their exemplary successes achieved in Quality. A book was published by the name of Transforming Lives at Sheridan: A Tribute to Dr. Mozammel Khan. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the Mozammel Khan endowment fund, created by the Sheridan College Foundation in 2017 to give one award, by the name of the Mozammel Khan Scholarship, annually to a Quality Assurance student.
Dr. Khan is poised to make a new mark at Sheridan in the coming years, by also serving as coordinator of Sheridan’s upcoming Bachelor of Engineering – Mechanical Engineering program, which he helped develop. The program, which will be offered starting Fall 2019, will be closely aligned with the internationally recognized Conceive-Implement-Design-Operate (CDIO) methodology that has fueled Sheridan’s Engineering education since 2013.
Pictured at top of page: Dr. Mozammel Khan poses with the Coordinate Measuring Machine used for Quality Assurance courses. Taken at Sheridan’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies at the Davis Campus.
Written by: Carolina Salcedo, Internal Communications Officer at Sheridan.