ThunderBolt - Alumni & Friends Newsletter

October / November 2013

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Chemical Engineering alum practicing lean in sports industry

Chad Walters didn’t have to travel far from home to find the perfect college. The 2002 chemical engineering (ChE) alumnus, originally from South Bend, Ind., chose to attend Tri-State University (now Trine) because his stepfather attended the school and the Allen School of Engineering & Technology boasts a highly regarded chemical engineering program.

Chad Walters

Chad now owns his own company, Lean Blitz Consulting. As a lean consultant, he shows businesses and sports organizations, such as the Atlanta Braves, how to apply lean principles that focus on creating value and improving efficiency. His purpose is to help keep business dollars local, and allow companies and organizations to improve their service using a cost-effective alternative.

So, how does one go from being a chemical engineering major to owning your own lean consulting firm? During his time in the ChE program, Chad says he was challenged to solve problems, which encouraged the use of creativity and thinking differently. Innovation and trying new things were also encouraged. He credits many of his successes at Trine to David Finley, Ph.D., a former chemical engineering professor.

Chad encourages others to find and do what brings happiness. After graduating from Tri-State, he became an engineer in the corporate world and quickly learned that where he was and for whom he was working wasn't the right fit. However, he was able to learn about lean manufacturing and knew it was the field for him.

Chad holds a Master in Business Administration from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, and is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt through the American Society for Quality. His work has been highlighted on and’s Sports Biz. To read Chad’s entries, visit