Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

January 2011    |    Volume: 43    |    Number: 1

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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

Turning research into reality

SHS conference speaker says IEs can make a better healthcare world

The best research in the world will make no difference unless organizations can translate that knowledge to the field.

Kenneth J. Musselman aims to impart this message during his keynote speech Feb. 19 at the Society for Health Systems Conference and Expo 2011. The IIE fellow and past president is strategic collaboration director at the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University. He brings 30 years of experience in both the healthcare and manufacturing fields.

In his position, Musselman works with four distinctive camps: providers and hospitals; associations composed of physicians, nurses and others; researchers at universities; and the sponsors, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, that fund research. Industrial engineers working in those camps have a great opportunity to improve healthcare significantly, or, as Musselman said, turn “research into reality.”

For the most part, news about the healthcare industry is negative, Musselman said. And it’s true that the industry isn’t where it wants to be.

“But we are in a good place to take action in that we all are empowered to do it, and we can do it, especially given the kind of capabilities that we have as productivity people or quality people,” Musselman said.
He noted that the Institute of Medicine paints a picture of healthcare with six aims that are key for IEs.

“The opportunity we have is to drive toward that vision,” Musselman said. “And that vision is one that’s rooted in healthcare that’s safe and efficient and patient-centered and timely and effective and equitable.”

The 23rd SHS conference is scheduled for Feb. 17-19 at The Peabody Orlando hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information and updates, visit

The numbers of ergonomics

AEC lines up sessions, master tracks and other learning opportunities

Those attending the Applied Ergonomics Conference and Expo 2011 can look forward to the following numbers: 78, five, three and six.

The conference, scheduled for March 21-24 at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla., will include 78 educational sessions, five pre-conference workshops, three master ergonomist sessions and six roundtables.

The 78 sessions are labeled conveniently as basic, intermediate or advanced, with some open to all levels of practitioners. They cover everything from manufacturing and office work to ergonomics programs. One even delves into ergonomic risks associated with veterinarians operating on small animals.

The master ergonomist sessions last 90 minutes, offering more in-depth analysis and discussion of the three topics: managing global ergonomics programs, ergonomics and lean manufacturing, and ergonomics regulations.
And like IIE’s previous 13 ergonomics conferences, the 14th allows plenty of opportunities for practitioners to network with and learn from other practitioners.

More information and updates are available at

Pre-annual annual

Workshops before IIE’s biggest conference can put you ahead in the game

Don’t look now, but IIE’s Annual Conference and Expo 2011 is approaching fast. OK, go ahead and look, because IIE is offering four pre-conference workshops to let attendees update their skills in healthcare, education, software or risk management.

Introduction to Health Systems Engineering is a workshop led by Junell Scheeres of LS2 Performance Solutions. Scheeres, who also writes a monthly column about health systems for Industrial Engineer magazine, will offer hands-on learning through case studies and interactive exercises. Practicing the soft skills needed to build relationships with healthcare practitioners will be especially important in improving performance in that sector.

The first day of Scheeres’ two-day workshop, May 21, will be an overview of health systems and their participants, environment, revenue cycle and technology. The second day, May 22, delves into supply chain and inventory, performance management, risk management, the pursuit of excellence and emerging trends and opportunities for IEs in healthcare.

In Six Sigma Applied to K-12 Education, scheduled May 21, a group of educators and staff from the Washoe County School System in Reno, Nev., will share how the school system has used Six Sigma to lower operating costs and improve operational quality in transportation, IT, capital projects/facilities management, food service and human resources.

Murali Chemuturi of Chemuturi Consultants takes aim at productivity in software development on May 22 with Measurement of Software Productivity – Role of IE. This daylong seminar illuminates some of the current, incongruent methods of estimating productivity in software development. The area is ripe for IEs to use their tools to lower costs and set productivity norms.

In Project Risk Management, attendees can spend May 22 learning how to handle risk in-depth. The last year has featured disasters ranging from volcanoes in Iceland to BP’s infamous Gulf oil leak. Businesses that can minimize risks and maximize opportunities in an uncertain world will remain successful. The seminar is led by Greg Hutchins of Quality Plus Engineering.

The conference will be held May 21-25 at the Grand Sierra Resort Hotel in Reno, Nev. For more details and continual updates, visit

To the future through the past

One-day work standards conference focuses on boosting productivity

As the world economy chugs slowly out of the recession, many organizations are looking to boost productivity by reintroducing the proven methods of using work standards.

To help manage business operations, work measurement develops the standard time to perform operations, with time standards defined as the time a typical operator performs a specific task using a certain method, allowing time for personal needs, fatigue and delay.

Time standards, work standards, or just standards are critical pieces of management information that apply to all kinds of work, including manufacturing, assembly and clerical.

The one-day Managing Work Standards Conference aims to help organizations boost their work standards programs. It will be held March 7 at the Doubletree Hotel at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

This conference/symposium will feature industry experts from various disciplines who will illustrate how their organizations are implementing and managing their work measurement programs.

Mark your calendars and keep updated via

Jump-start that career

University regional conferences offer networking and research

So you’re a student member of IIE and want to get more out of your membership.

Well, the 2011 university regional conferences that open this month in Canada provide a perfect starting point. The conferences provide a forum for students to present papers reflecting their undergraduate research and industry-based projects. Regional competition winners can advance to present papers at May’s IIE Annual Conference and Expo in Reno, Nev.

The gatherings help spark research and creative thinking through team competitions, all while promoting leadership, communication and organizational skills. Students also can jump-start their future careers by making contacts and developing networking skills.

In addition, the conferences help chapters communicate with other chapters in the region and with IIE.

The dates, locations and contacts for the currently scheduled university conferences follow:

Canada – Jan. 13-16
Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Montreal,
CONTACTS: Laurie Lanoue,; Martin Trepanier,

Western United States – Feb. 18-20
University of San Diego, San Diego
CONTACTS: Renee Thomashow,; Rick Olson,

Mid-Atlantic United States – Feb. 24-27
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
CONTACTS: Colton Griffin,; Joe Wilck,

Southeast United States – Feb. 24-27
University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
CONTACTS: Andrew Vittetoe,; David Medoff,; Joe Hartman,

Great Lakes United States – Feb. 25-26
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
CONTACTS: Marie Minnich,; Tao Yuan,

South Central United States – Feb. 25-26
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.
CONTACTS: Chandler Radford,; Samantha Zacker,; Balabhaskar (Baski) Balasundaram,

Central and South America – March 10-12
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia
CONTACTS: Daniel Gallon Isasi,; and Luis Manuel Pulido,

Asia – March 19-21
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
CONTACTS: Rick Li,; Fugee Tsung,; Zhibin Jiang,

Northeast United States – March 25-27
Northeastern University, Boston
CONTACTS: Erika Moody,; Emanuel Melachrinoudis,

North Central United States – March 31-April 2
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
CONTACTS: Laura McMullen,; Sydney Smith,; Matthew Frank,

Mexico – April 12-15
Universidad Politecnica de Aguascalientess, Aguascalientess City, Mexico
CONTACTS: Daniel Martinez,; Antonio (Jose) Vazquez,

Find more information, along with any updates or additions to the schedule, by going to and clicking on Conference Schedule.


José Alejandro Sepúlveda, an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Central Florida, has been named a 2010 Hispanic Luminary by Great Minds in STEM, formerly the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference.

Charlene A. Yauch, associate professor of industrial engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, has been named the industrial engineering program director at the school.

Abhijit Deshmukh has been named the new head of the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. Deshmukh also was named an IIE fellow in 2010.

G. Don Taylor, president-elect of IIE and head of Virginia Tech’s Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been selected as a fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science.

Ali Ahmady, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Wichita State University, won the 2010 international Akao Scholarship for (Quality Function Deployment) QFD for the best “Student QFD Paper” of the year.

Iowa State University's College of Engineering named Gary Mirka its associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education. Mirka, department chair and the John Ryder Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, has been at Iowa State since 2007.

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