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 May 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer 

Hot topics by day, cool socials by night

IIE’s signature event is on its way to the high desert

The biggest industrial engineering conference of the year hits “the biggest little city in the world” from May 21 until May 25.

The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2011 will feature five days of presentations, exhibits, networking and professional development at the Grand Sierra Resort Hotel in Reno, Nev., which sits in the high desert valley at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

2010 IIE Annual Conference and Expo

Attendees gather in a hall during the welcome reception at the 2010 IIE Annual Conference and Expo in Cancún, Mexico.

In the downtime from learning new ways to save money and improve efficiency at their organizations, attendees have easy access to the resort’s bars, restaurants, bowling, indoor golf, casino, spa services and shopping. Add that to the more than 700 educational sessions available.

Take a glance at the following sample of this year's events:

Saturday, May 21
PAK study: The Industrial Engineering Committee for the Professional Engineer Exam is looking for volunteers to help with its Professional Activities and Knowledges (PAK) study. The meeting will develop a list of tasks, knowledge and skills to help create a survey to develop or modify the major content areas and specifications that are the basis for the IE PE Exam. Potential volunteers can earn eight professional development hours. If you are interested and have an active PE license, please contact IE PE Committee Chairman Ron Janzen at

Doctoral colloquium: This all-day event is designed for doctoral candidates expecting to graduate by spring 2012. Panels of experts will lead discussions on topics that include the job search, life in academia and industry, the tenure process, teaching, research and professional services.

New faculty colloquium: This all-day event is for new faculty, specifically junior faculty within their first three years on a tenure track. Information provided will help participants navigate the challenges of an academic career. Participants can ask questions, network with peers and interact with senior-level professors.

Networking reception: Attendees receive a complimentary ticket for this reception, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Any additional guest tickets should be bought during conference registration. This reception is sponsored by various universities and industrial engineering departments.

Sunday, May 22
Keynote speaker Sabah Randhawa: Randhawa, provost and executive vice president at Oregon State University, will speak at 8 a.m. The university’s second ranking administrator serves as its chief operating officer and provides leadership to the institution’s academic enterprise. He manages the 11 academic colleges and, during his 16 years in teaching, research and scholarship, received numerous teaching awards.

ABET workshop: The IIE Accreditation Advisory Council will sponsor the workshop “Preparing for ABET Accreditation Visits” in the afternoon. The session will help industrial engineering and industrial engineering technology department chairs and assessment coordinators prepare for upcoming ABET accreditation visits. This session is limited to 35 people. Participants need to pre-register by contacting Bonnie Cameron, IIE headquarters operations administrator, at

Welcome reception: Network and mingle with exhibitors and peers from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the exhibit hall. Conference attendees receive one ticket. Any additional guest tickets should be bought during conference registration.

Monday, May 23
Exhibit hall: The hall, which this year includes more than 9,000 square feet of products and services exhibits, will be open from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Posters and bloggers wanted at annual conference

Got a knack for writing quick, crisp commentary about what you have seen and heard? Do you love tweeting and posting messages and photos from your mobile devices?

If so, do what comes naturally at the IIE Annual Conference in Reno, Nev. Make quick posts about what’s happening, post photos, or go even further and write a short blog about the day’s events.

For more information, go to or contact David Brandt at

Keynote speaker Jack Scott: Scott, founder and president of Applied Systems and Technology Transfer (AST2), will speak at 8 a.m. He focuses on expediting commercial application of emerging technologies in the energy, manufacturing and defense markets. The former president and COO of Parsons Corp. was responsible for operations at one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies.

Keynote speaker Louis A. Martin-Vega: Martin-Vega, who will speak at 10:45 a.m., is the dean of engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. With more than 8,500 students, 700 faculty and staff and $129 million in annual research expenditures, N.C. State’s College of Engineering is internationally recognized for the excellence of its research, education and outreach programs.

Honors and awards dinner and dessert reception: IIE formally recognizes the accomplishments of prominent practitioners and students with a variety of awards. There is an additional fee for this event, and tickets must be purchased before the conference.

Tuesday, May 24
Exhibit hall: The hall will be open from 9:15 to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Keynote speaker Matthew Gardner: Gardner, general manager of Bombardier Transportation’s North America Propulsion and Controls Division, will speak at 8 a.m. Since taking this position in December 2009, Gardner has ensured 100 percent compliance of health, safety and environmental policies and regulations. Achieving high levels of success fast can be seen as second nature to Gardner, who spends his spare time racing cars.

Aerospace companies dominate Ergo Cup®

The third year was the charm for two Ergo Cup teams from Spirit AeroSystems.

The supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components took home Ergo Cups for Team-Driven Workplace Solutions and Engineering/Ergonomist-Driven Workplace Solutions at the Applied Ergonomics Conference 2011 in Orlando, Fla. Another aerospace company, GE Aviation subsidiary Middle River Aircraft Systems, won the cup for Ergonomic Program Improvement Initiatives.

“This was the first time we had won the cup award, so you can imagine how delighted we were to win two cups,” said Kathy L. Jester of Spirit AeroSystems.

Spirit AeroSystems

The intervention that won Spirit AeroSystems one of its two Ergo Cups this year reduced the amount of time workers spend in Boeing 737 wing boxes by tenfold.

One company product is wing boxes for Boeing 737s. The boxes are 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet by 12 feet long, and workers used to crawl into the structure to apply sealant. They had to squat with their legs crossed and lie down on their sides. Stress from the awkward postures contributed to problems in employees’ necks, knees, shoulders and backs, Jester said.

The plan that won the Team-Driven Workplace Solutions Ergo Cup resequenced the tasks so panels could be sealed, for the most part, before assembly. The time spent crawling inside the boxes was reduced by tenfold, Jester said.

Engineers calculated that the changes improved quality by 60 percent, productivity by 40 percent and reduced ergonomic risk by 85 percent.

The aircraft industry has to torque a lot of bolts, and one employee in the propulsion section had to use 560 pounds of force on one bolt. The Engineering/Ergonomist-Driven Workplace Solutions Ergo Cup was won for replacing an elongated manual torque bar with a mechanical solution.

Instead of four workers pushing and leveraging, all while moving across the floor, an employee of any stature can do the task, Jester said. Quality improved by 15 percent and productivity by 66 percent. Ergonomic risk was reduced by 96 percent.

The Middle River Aircraft Systems Joint Safety and Ergonomics Review Board (JSERB) faced similar issues in its drive to improve efficiency and safety. Its Ergonomics Program Improvement Initiatives Ergo Cup showcased a number of programs the joint union-management board implemented.

One process required six people to lift a large composite aircraft structure for the 747-8 program off of a layout die, stand it up and move it to a cart for transportation, said Chip Gruber, Middle River’s environmental health and safety leader.

Facility leader Russ Mobley said picking up the awkward, sharp-edged object strained workers and caused cuts. The solution was a vacuum system that lets two people complete the process. An uninterruptible power supply keeps the system operating in case of electricity failure.

Before JSERB’s programs, the plant recorded 61 ergo injuries: 18 of those totaled 1,058 days away from work and 21 represented 928 days of restricted work activity, Gruber said.

GE Aviation

The vacuum lift being used by Middle River Aircraft Systems employees Gordon DeShields (left) and Alan Cole was one of the program improvements that helped the subsidiary of GE Aviation win an Ergo Cup award.

After JSERB, ergonomics injuries have dropped to zero days away from work and only 56 days of restricted work activity. Overall, ergonomics injuries have been reduced by 39 percent.

Teresa A. Bellingar, incoming chair for the 2011 conference, said the Ergo Cup always is a highlight.

“They’re getting better every year,” she said. “It gets more challenging for the Ergo Cup committee to go through and judge them.”

Bellingar, a senior corporate ergonomist with Haworth Inc. who will chair next year’s ergo conference, called this year’s edition a solid success. A new sessions track called Applied Research aimed to expand university involvement and give practitioners the chance to take applied research and immediately use it in the field.

More than 400 people signed up for the Global Organization of Ergonomics, or GOErgo, Bellingar said. The worldwide resource, housed at, is dedicated solely to supporting the ergonomics profession.

“I think it’s going to really help the conference move forward internationally,” Bellingar said.

CIEADH production wins an Emmy

Video gets prospective students excited about IE careers

The producers of an industrial engineering video for the Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads (CIEADH) have won an Emmy from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

“It’s just very gratifying that it’s recognized as both an excellent piece of art, if I can say that, along with being very effective at getting the message out to prospective industrial engineering students,” said Alice Smith, chair of CIEADH and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn University.

Smith’s department already has used the New York Emmy Award-winning video, “Industrial Engineers Make A Difference,” at three large venues. She said it generates numerous questions and enlightens students about the possibilities of a career in industrial engineering.

CIEADH updated its previous video several times but, in the wake of its success, decided to commission a new production. Rakesh Nagi, chairman of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Industrial Engineering, suggested that the university’s Center for the Arts Video Production group would produce a high quality, cost-effective video. Smith said CIEADH got a bid from the video center, then reached out to members and alumni who could be filmed doing and describing their interesting jobs.

Production took a little less than a year, and the video premiered on June 30, 2010. The video features IEs in diverse workplaces such as Hershey, Disney and the Kennedy Space Center. CIEADH members also have access to raw footage in case they want to use it in their own promotions, Smith said.

To view the video, go to the IIE YouTube page at

Be your own leader

May 9 nomination deadline looms

It’s not too late to provide nominations for IIE’s board of trustees, along with other leadership positions.

The open BOT positions include president-elect; senior vice president at large, academics; senior vice president, continuing education; and senior vice president, regional operations. The other positions vice president, technical networking and vice presidents for the North Central and South Central regions. Click here for more details on these posts.

The deadline is May 9. For details about the submission process and the positions available, go to


Celebrating member achievements

Charles H. Reilly 
Missie Smith 
Marcus Peacock 

Charles H. Reilly has been named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The industrial engineering professor is associate dean for academic affairs in the University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Missie Smith has received the Harry C. Simrall Engineering Excellence Award from Mississippi State University. In addition to the $250 award, her name will be added to a plaque in the university’s engineering building that lists all the past Simrall Award winners.

Marcus Peacock has been named Minority Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget. Previously, Peacock served as the deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as a subcommittee staff director in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Let your peers know about hirings, promotions, awards, appointments and other notable accomplishments. Send Kudos items to Michael Hughes at