Advanced Maintenance & Reliability Management Diploma

An Interview with 2009 advanced maintenance and reliability management diplomaGraduate Kevin Conrad, Novozymes Project Execution/Maintenance Manager; Blair, NE. 

To evaluate the long term impact of the Advanced MRM Diploma we contact past graduates. We recently spoke with Kevin Conrad. After speaking with Kevin, we felt that his responses were worth sharing with all future diploma students. Kevin summerizes the impact of NC State's and Marshall Institute’s MRM Diploma as, “no matter how mature or in need of improvement your organization is, this diploma will help you attain your goals.” 

Rinnette Lowder; Marshall Institute Interviewer (RL):  Tell us about your company and yourself.

Kevin Conrad (KC):  Novozymes is a biotech-based company and leader in bio-innovation.  It is headquartered in Denmark and employs approximately 5,400 people in 30 countries.  

When taking MRM, I helped manage a very mature and robust maintenance organization in Franklinton, NC.  Since then, I have moved to our Nebraska plant; a new production facility charged with producing enzymes for the fuel ethanol industry.

RL:  Why did you select the MRM diploma?

KC:  I desired new ideas and techniques to propel my organization to the next level.  NC State’s online brochures and overview of concepts were a good place to start.  I quickly realized the diploma aligned with what we needed—it complimented things my organization was already doing, yet covered sorely needed concepts and ideas.

RL:  How would you describe the diploma to future students?

KC:  The diploma is extremely valuable; it is challenging!  There is a lot of information, class work and homework.  This is not a “get out of work for a week and play golf” seminar; the benefits are beyond measure.  It is loaded with interactive hands on activities and reinforces the concept that maintenance is a value-adding aspect of any company.  I gained tools to explain this to upper management, so we can leverage more reliability and maintenance programs.

RL:  Outside of diploma content, what other benefits did you receive?

KC:  I enjoyed the spontaneous discussions with instructors and participants about ideas and issues facing maintenance organizations across the world.  It put into perspective the different views, the different levels of maintenance integration, and the core values of various companies.  Being able to sit for the CMRP exam was a huge benefit.

RL:  How has the diploma impacted your daily work?

KC:  It has given me credibility within my organization.  Other professionals now trust that the vision I have for the organization is correct.  The course materials alone are a great reference tool; they generate ideas and conversations amongst the reliability group and supervisors.

RL:  How do you see the diploma helping you in the future?

KC:  Given we are a start-up facility, I am building the maintenance organization from the ground up.  I will leverage many of the learned concepts and techniques to design a world-class maintenance organization.

RL:  Would you recommend this diploma, and if so, why?

KC:  Absolutely!  I have already sent two of my reliability engineers to the class.  One of them has actually taken over as reliability manager in Franklinton.  My goal is to have my entire reliability group get this diploma.

From everyone at Marshall Institute and NC State University, we wish Kevin and all our MRM graduates best of luck on their maintenance and reliability journey.


Kevin Conrad receives his MRM diploma from Marshall Institute's VP of International Programs, Tracy Strawn

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