Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

December 2016    |    Volume: 48    |    Number: 12

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Keeping pace with IIE in the March 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer

Have a soft drink and an IE career

Lecturer, director of performance excellence is IIE’s New Face of Engineering

Sara Falkiewicz has Pepsi and the love of people to thank for her industrial engineering career.

IIE’s choice for the New Faces of Engineering 2011 had a summer job for one of the soft drink maker’s plastic blow molding (bottle making) facilities. She found out she really liked process engineering, so she moved away from computer engineering into IE.

“I think I discovered that summer that I much preferred talking to people and being out on the floor and interacting than being in front of a computer,” said Falkiewicz. “I found out that industrial engineering would allow you to be kind of technical as well as personable.”

The New Faces of Engineering program highlights the vitality, diversity and rich contributions of engineers 30 years old or younger who have been in the field for five years or less. It is sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation. Falkiewicz and her fellow New Faces honorees were featured in an ad in USA Today during Engineers Week, which was Feb. 20-26.

“I was honestly very surprised,” said Falkiewicz, who is director of performance excellence for ProHealth Care Medical Associates. “I think there are so many people moving into quality and process improvement. I thought I would be against so many individuals. And healthcare is kind of a newer subset of IE, so I wasn’t sure if that would be an advantage or a disadvantage.”

Falkiewicz also teaches as an adjunct lecturer in the industrial engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. In the distant future she might return to school, get her Ph.D., and teach full time. She has a B.S. in industrial engineering and an MBA.

Right now she concentrates on her job at ProHealth Care Medical Associates. She started in administration in 2007 and moved on to the clinical side.

“In the near future I’m going to continue to navigate the stormy waters of healthcare reform,” she said. “We have a really long way to go when it comes to standardization, efficiency and clinical outcomes that match those of other countries and even other regions of the United States. So I want to stay in healthcare long enough to kind of see that happen and build a better healthcare model … than we have now.”

She enjoys the altruistic side of industrial engineering, which she refers to as a kind of “people engineering.” In her case, instead of making better products, she’s making outcomes better for the patients.

“It helps you get up every day and deal with some very hard stakeholders,” she said. “Physicians are not easy to change. They’re quite a challenge to sell on standardization and improvement methodologies, and doing things all the same way is not something they’re used to.”

Speakers on board

Lineup consolidating for Annual Conference and Expo

There will be four keynote speakers – including a part-time race car driver – at the 61st Annual Conference and Expo, scheduled for May 21-25 at the Grand Sierra Resort Hotel in Reno, Nev.

The four renowned experts in industrial engineering and management will set the tone for the various sections of the annual conference, IIE’s largest event.


Hobnobbing with the best of the best is as simple as attending IIE’s annual honors and awards dinner, ceremony and dessert reception at the Annual Conference and Expo 2011.

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. May 23 and ends at 10:30 p.m. IIE formally honors practitioners and students in education, leadership, research and service, along with giving out a host of specialty awards.
Tickets must be pre-ordered because they will not be sold at the site. Attendees can buy one ticket at the discounted rate of $65. Additional tickets are $90 each.

To register for the conference and buy tickets for the honors and awards gala, go to and click on the Registration tab.

Sabah Randhawa, provost and executive vice president at Oregon State University, will speak at 8 a.m. May 22. Randhawa serves as chief operating officer and provides leadership to Oregon State’s academic enterprise. He manages the 11 academic colleges and oversees functions required to enable success of the academic enterprise, including faculty and student services, information technology services, graduate program administration, and activities and initiatives for outreach and engagement. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering.

Jack Scott, president of Applied Systems and Technology Transfer (AST2), will talk at 8 a.m. May 23. Scott founded AST2, which expedites commercialization of emerging technologies in the energy, manufacturing and defense markets. He formerly was president and chief operating officer of Parsons Corp., where he was responsible for operations of one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies. During Scott’s tenure, Parsons consistently maintained double-digit growth in both revenue and profitability. He also has been a leader in promoting collaboration between industry and academia.

Louis A. Martin-Vega, the dean of engineering at North Carolina State University, will speak at 10:45 a.m. May 23. Formerly dean of engineering at the University of South Florida, Martin-Vega also has held several positions at the National Science Foundation, including acting head of its Engineering Directorate. The IIE fellow served as president of the IIE Board of Trustees in 2007-08. His many accolades include the 2008 Outstanding Engineer in North Carolina by the North Carolina Professional Engineering Society. He has a B.S. in industrial engineering, an M.S. in operations research and M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial and systems engineering.

Matthew Gardner, general manager of Bombardier Transportation, North America, will take the podium at 8 a.m. May 24. Gardner is in the driver’s seat for Bombardier Transportation’s North American propulsion and control equipment, which is considered “the heart, muscles and brain of the train.” Since starting his post in December 2009, he has ensured 100 percent compliance of health, safety and environmental policies and regulations. The senior member of IIE graduated from the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. In his spare time, Gardner races cars and manages several small businesses that he founded.

For additional information, go to

Ergo Cups overflow

Conference primed for new events and features

A record number of teams submitted entries for this year’s Ergo Cup, and 40 that exceeded the stringent criteria were selected to compete in three categories at the upcoming Applied Ergonomics Conference 2011.

Twenty-two teams will vie for top honors in Team-Driven Workplace Solutions, 14 under Engineering/Ergonomist-Driven Workplace Solutions and four in Ergonomics Program Improvement Initiatives.

Ergo Cup winners in each category will be announced March 24. The internationally renowned competition always seems to be one of the conference’s most exciting events.

This year’s conference, scheduled for March 21-24 at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla., also will be the official launch of GOErgo, the Global Organization of Ergonomics. The GOErgo website,, already features tools, resources, case studies and Ergo Cup history. It will become the first place ergonomics professionals look to for help with resources and networking. The group has access to an ergonomics buyer’s guide, career center and training courses as well as pages on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

New this year is the Ergo Quiz Bowl contest. This fast-paced game will have two rounds before a winning team is crowned. It’s a great chance to network with other ergonomics professionals, academics and researchers, as well as test your knowledge of ergonomics facts, fiction and folklore.

Two new awards are available this year. The first, the CE Practitioner of the Year Award, is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. It recognizes achievements in the creative application of ergonomics. Examples include process improvement, education, applied instrumentation and product development. The CE Practitioner award can be for a specific achievement or for a series of achievements in ergonomics, and it will be awarded to an individual or a group contributing to the same achievement.

The CE Student of the Year Award, sponsored by CNA Insurance Co., recognizes achievements in applying or researching ergonomics. Examples include process improvement, education, applied instrumentation and product development. The CE Student award can be for a specific achievement or for a series of achievements in ergonomics. It will be awarded to one student.

The winners will be announced at the Luncheon Awards Ceremony on March 24.

Another new twist will happen after the conference closes, as many of the sessions will be taped and posted on the conference website. For further updates, visit

Giving kids the world

Central Florida and student chapter collaborate to benefit nonprofit

During the past year, IIE Central Florida Chapter 104 has lent hands to the local nonprofit group Give Kids the World.

Members from Universal Orlando Resort worked on projects evaluating the group’s maintenance and housekeeping departments. They also mentored two teams of students from IIE University of Central Florida Student Chapter 811 who were working on their senior design classes. One team analyzed guest demand for scheduling purposes, while a second team evaluated and recommended improvements to reduce food and labor costs.


The genesis of Give Kids the World came when Orlando, Fla., hotelier Henri Landwirth agreed to a little girl’s request for a complimentary stay so she could visit the city’s famous theme parks.

Landwirth had granted such wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses before. Unfortunately, plans took too long, and the child succumbed to leukemia before she could make the trip. According to the Give Kids the World website, Landwirth wanted to make sure the story didn’t happen again.

Hospitality industry colleagues came together to help bring these families to the area, within 24 hours if necessary. The program expanded, and the village opened in 1989.

“Our chapter’s board of directors was discussing what type of community service activities we could do, so I suggested we adopt a villa at the Give Kids the World Village, a project that has proven beneficial to our chapter, the student chapter and Give Kids the World,” said Rob Kantor, vice president of the Central Florida Chapter.

The Give Kids the World Village is a 70-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort near central Florida’s main attractions. Children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacations, complete with accommodations in whimsical villas, transportation, donated attraction tickets, meals and more. Since 1986, Give Kids the World has welcomed more than 100,000 families from all 50 states and 70 countries.

The benefits of industrial engineering quickly became apparent to Michael Bausman, director of facilities resources at Give Kids the World. He said the IIE members helped the nonprofit better maintain its property, improve operations and reduce unnecessary costs.

“The six-month study in our guest services and food services departments allowed us to better serve our families through streamlining our processes without negatively impacting their experience,” Bausman said.

For the Adopt a Villa program, a work crew of eight members of the Central Florida chapter, 49 members from the University of Central Florida’s student chapter and four students from Lake Mary High School cleaned the villa inside and out. They followed by decorating and setting up Christmas trees.

“Through our Adopt A Villa program, which the Central Florida IIE chapter has become a part of, we are able to provide not only the manpower, labor and skills needed to keep our villas in family-ready condition, but we are also able to bring that extra special 'something' that a dedicated group of volunteers bring with them to help transform the villas into a truly magical place for our families to call home after a busy day at the attractions,” Bausman said.

Eliminate waste, reduce variations

New conference targets lean and Six Sigma professionals

The Engineering Lean and Six Sigma Conference 2011, which will be held Sept. 12-14, will bring together seasoned and new professionals at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, one of Atlanta’s premier hotels.

The conference is ideal for top and midlevel managers; lean implementation leaders; industrial, management, manufacturing, design, quality and test engineers; green and black belts, auditors, researchers, and operations and supply chain managers.

The pre-conference workshop will be “Adapting Lean in Job Shops,” led by Shahrukh Irani, an associate professor in the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University. It will be held Sept. 12.

Visit for updates.

Tour of operations

Visit four facilities and learn from the best

Want to find out how the better operating half lives? Then attend IIE’s Behind the Scenes Corporate Tours scheduled for April 4-5 near Minneapolis. The trip is a grand opportunity to benchmark for companies business processes and performance metrics against some of the best.

The tour provides the chance to visit and observe operations at four outstanding facilities: 3M in St. Paul, Boston Scientific in Arden Hills, Honeywell in Golden Valley and Andersen Windows & Doors in St. Paul. See how these organizations use innovative research and development, lean Six Sigma, healthcare manufacturing, lean office, lean manufacturing and continuous improvement in their daily processes.

After each tour, participants can comment, discuss and debrief with the hosts. At the end of each day, the luxurious motor coach will return everybody to their original pickup point: the Courtyard by Marriott in Roseville, Minn.

The fee includes four facility tours, expert facilitation, transportation to and from Courtyard by Marriott to each of the facility locations, complimentary parking for hotel guests and local residents and lunch each day.

On April 4, participants will visit the 3M site in the morning and the Boston Scientific site in the afternoon. The next morning’s tour is the Honeywell facility, followed by Andersen Windows & Doors that afternoon.

Limited space is available. For more information and to register, go to