Industrial Research Institute
IRI e-Innovation Newsletter
No. 428
September 2015
Member Spotlight

Lou Gritzo
Expanding the Impact We Make

Serving as manager of the research division and 1600 acre campus of FM Global, a commercial and industrial property insurance and risk analysis organization with offices worldwide, Lou Gritzo traces the start of his professional journey to a road trip with a friend to visit Texas Tech a year after high school.

"I was very interested in engineering and agriculture as a kid," he said. "I spent a lot of time working on motorcycles, cars, and trucks growing up in New Mexico, and I always enjoyed working on my grandparents' farm in the summers. Engineering and agriculture were what I knew and I enjoyed them both tremendously."

A meeting with Professor Dvorachek at Texas Tech's Agricultural Engineering Department in the early 1980s led to a scholarship that allowed him to pursue his educational goals. Ten years later, Lou received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and went to work at Sandia National Labs, where he would stay for over 13 years. Lou said he then began looking for a chance to broaden his technical horizons and expand the impact he could make professionally, and was fortunate to connect with FM Global for such an opportunity.

"It's challenging work and it's very satisfying," he said. "Over a variety of cases I have worked, my team and I have encountered very complex problems that lacked a clear answer. Creating an environment where smart people with strong, and equally valid, technical perspectives on such problems can come to closure on these issues, and satisfy third party participants despite differing agendas, is among my biggest challenges and one that I am thankful for having facilitated successfully over my ten years at FM Global."

He says he is most proud of having set a vision at FM Global that puts a management team and the resources in place that allows bright, well-educated scientists and engineers do great things, even beyond what they thought was possible. Lou also goes beyond his professional life to affect his community. He currently serves on the Industrial Research Institute's Board of Directors, he received the Texas Tech Distinguished Engineer award in 2014, and he was an invited panelist at the 2015 UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. He and his wife are also the sponsors and namesakes of the Gritzo Family Engineering Scholarship at Texas Tech, allowing kids who have aged out of foster care to receive a financial stipend to assist in paying for their education over 4 years.

Lou's advice to young professionals: "Listen, learn, work hard, be patiently persistent, open minded, and develop thick skin."

Member Companies in the News

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Upcoming Events


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Dearborn, MI
Sept. 16 - 18

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September 24


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October 18 - 21

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In This Issue
Member Spotlight: Lou Gritzo
Member Companies in the News
Upcoming Events
Thank You 2015 Industry Sponsors
RTM Special Issue: Service Innovation
Share Your Good News

Special Issue of RTM on Service Innovation

sept 123 cover

While manufacturing and service companies are often considered separate entities, manufacturing firms are increasingly moving from a product-oriented business model to one focused on advanced services. This trend, known as servitization, is explored in the special issue of Research-Technology Management (RTM), the Industrial Research Institute's flagship journal, released this month.

For your copy of this special issue, log in to your IRIweb account and access the RTM library today!

Successful servitization relies on extreme customer intimacy. "Companies are doing more today to meet customer needs than ever before," said Jim Euchner, Editor-in-Chief of RTM and Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear. "Even business units that are several steps removed from direct customer contact are building in feedback mechanisms from customers to researchers who are designing new products. We are all, in some way, becoming service industries."

To subscribe to RTM, contact Ana Escobar.

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