Burr cites her intense, 12-month Krannert master’s program as instrumental in shaping the business acumen that complemented her engineering background and contributed to years of success at DuPont and later success with Textronics and adidas.

“My intention in coming to Krannert was to rebrand or reposition myself as a business person with a technical background. Krannert gives you the opportunity to restart and retool if you’ve been in the working world, so I was interested in that.

“I enjoyed it right off the bat. I really enjoyed the case-study methodology and the give-and-take between classmates. You were required to up your game in class as opposed to taking notes. It was incredibly intense because you do two years of work in one year, so it was super good skill development around time management.”

Burr says she consistently applied her experience in industry to what she was learning. After returning to the workplace, she embraced tough challenges.

Electronic soccer ball

Stacey Burr's division at adidas recently introduced a high-tech soccer ball with a suspended internal sensor that provides data and coaching feedback. (Photo by Charles Jischke)

“I found that I loved working with businesses that were new and emerging, or ones that were challenging and troubled,” she says. “I liked the creating and the fixing aspects of business — not so much the running of large businesses. I liked the businesses that were a little less defined.”

Burr says she also realized that she wanted to work with something tangible at a time when so much attention in technology was on software or Web-based, dot.com enterprises.

“I like product — physical product, particularly consumer products. And with Textronics we were putting different functions into fabric including heating, illumination and fabrics that would sense.”

Today, and in much of the time since 2008 when her entire team was acquired by adidas to become its Wearable Sports Electronics division, Burr is focused on the “miCoach,” (pronounced “my coach”) product line. It includes wearable electronics hardware, clothing and apps that monitor, analyze data and provide coaching feedback for fitness and sports — from novices to professional athletes.

Introduced in June, the miCoach Smart Ball is a high-tech soccer ball with a suspended internal sensor that provides data and coaching feedback on speed, spin, trajectory and strike point via Bluetooth to apps on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

And Burr advises us all to stay tuned.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she says. “We are in the infancy of personalized, customized sports and fitness information. This will pave the way to a transformation in health care and individualized insights via prescriptive wellness prompts or alerts. There will be tracking devices that people wear 24/7 — for sports, fitness, health and a vital lifetime.”

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