The Lawrence D. Miles Value Engineering Reference Center was established in honor of Lawrence D. Miles, the "Father of Value Analysis and Value Engineering."

In 1947 Lawrence D. Miles created and introduced the techniques of value analysis and value engineering at General Electric. Soon after he developed this systematic methodology, his concepts were recognized as a powerful approach to problem solving through function-based techniques, and they found their way outside GE to many parts of the world and many environments, including industry, healthcare, and government services. Miles' techniques have saved design engineers, manufacturing engineers, purchasing agents, and service providers millions of dollars by showing users "why so much unnecessary costs exists in everything we do and how to identify, clarify, and separate costs which bear no relationship to customers' needs or desires."

Larry Miles was confident enough to articulate that many decisions are based on honest but wrong beliefs and that his methods provide the highest customer acceptance at the lowest cost. He acknowledged how many professionals identify as solutions what they want to do and not what needs to be done.

After Miles' death in 1986, his wife, Eleanor Miles Walker, became an officer on the Board of the Lawrence D. Miles Value Foundation and donated $5,000 to the foundation to organize and present to the public everything related to VA/VE that her husband had collected over the years. She entrusted the project to Professor Thomas J. Snodgrass, a life-long colleague of Lawrence Miles. This led to the establishment in 1993 of the Lawrence D. Miles Value Engineering Reference Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Center includes (1) the Lawrence D. Miles Value Engineering Papers Collection, (2) the journal, Value World (1977-present) (3) proceedings from the annual conference of the Society of American Value Engineers from 1966-present, and (4) many related books, other references, and audiotapes and videotapes.

It is due, in large part, to the efforts of Professor Thomas J. Snodgrass that the Miles Value Engineering Research Center was established. Enid Simon was instrumental in locating the Center at the Wendt Library. Her effort and commitment is greatly appreciated.

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