Rick Ruzga
Rick RuzgaMarquette University

David Straz Hall, 685

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-0823

Instructor of Practice, Supply Chain Management

Mr. Rick Ruzga started teaching in Supply Chain Management as an adjunct in 2015 and created the applied Lean Six Sigma curriculum that is used at the undergraduate level.  He focuses on getting “real-world” continuous improvement experience for the students and has designed the course to make half of the total final grade be dependent on project management and execution for each Lean Six Sigma team.  Project sponsors come from well-known area businesses and Marquette departments.  He has since taught in the Graduate School of Management on topics in Change Management, Process and Quality Management, and Introduction to Marketing, IT, and Supply Chain.  Recently, he was offered a Professor of Practice role in the newly created Masters in Supply Chain Management online program.  Rick concurrently owns a management consulting company that helps clients from a broad range of sizes and industry segments achieve operational excellence through continuous improvement activities.  He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois and completed his MBA at Marquette while working fulltime.

Rick brings an industry sensibility to the classroom having worked for 3M after graduate school, and then later in global leadership positions for GE Healthcare, Actuant, Brady, and Numotion.  He worked as a consultant for a private equity group that took two companies to market and were sold to public corporations, where he stayed on as an integration leader.  The biggest career highlight is the fact that Rick has been in over 200 company locations doing continuous improvement activities and learning best practices along the way.  He has lectured at industry and association conferences, company roundtables, and at other universities.

Mr. Ruzga has been taught continuous improvement from Toyota Shingijutsu and Shingijutsu North America and is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt.  He has participated in training at GE’s famous Crotonville leadership program and is a certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach, Trainer & Mentor.  He holds recognition from the American Society of Quality as a certified Quality Manager / Operational Excellence (CQM/OE), as well as, a certified HACCP Auditor (CHA).


  • MBA, Operations/Finance ٠ Marquette University, 2005
  • M.S., Materials Science & Engineering ٠ University of Illinois, 1990
  • M.S., Materials Science & Engineering + Polymers ٠ University of Illinois, 1988

Research Interests

  • Application of Blockchain strategies to optimize (lean), increase transparency and security, of supply chains
  • Developing methods for traceability and improved safety in food supply for manufacturers and restaurants
  • Creating Green, Sustainable, and properly regulated supply chains when insourcing from global companies


  • Brady Lean Visual Blog (press releases and content – weekly releases for 2 years [80 blogs])
  • Lean Daily Management, Visual Summit, 2010
  • Administrative Lean Moves Forward, AME, 2008
  • USACERL technical publications

Honors and Awards

  • Nominee for Outstanding Adjunct Teacher of Excellence, Marquette, 2018
  • Brady: President’s Exceptional Value Award, 2011
  • Actuant: yearly performance awards
  • GE Healthcare: 9 Management Awards, 2 patents issued, 11 disclosures written, 3 Corporate Six Sigma Recognition and Project of the Year (DFSS), 2002
  • 3M Company: Alpha Award (Algae Block, now 3M Scotchgard roofing), Technical Circle of Excellence, and Golden Step Award


  • Radiation Detector with Microphotonic Optical Switches to Route Light in an Imaging System, Patent number 6710350, 2002
  • Scintillator Arrays for Radiation Detectors and Methods for Making Same, Patent number 6448566, 2001