I am writing to share good news and request input for my upcoming NSF Workshop 3/16-3/21/2014.
The Directorate for Education and Human Resources has implemented a new program for “Improving Undergraduate STEM Education” (IUSE) through its Division of Undergraduate Education (EHR/DUE). An “Ideas Lab” is a new merit review strategy being used at the National Science Foundation to address grand challenges in STEM research and education. The Ideas Lab process is modeled on the “IDEAS Factory” program  http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/routes/network/ideas/Pages/experience.aspx developed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the United Kingdom. The Ideas Lab process starts with submission of a brief application to participate in the Ideas Lab, indicating a Principal Investigator’s interest in and preliminary ideas regarding the specific Ideas Lab topic. A diverse sub-set of participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds will be selected from the submitted applications by NSF and will be brought together in an intensive, interactive and free-thinking environment, where participants immerse themselves in a collaborative dialog in order to construct bold and innovative approaches.
I have been selected to participate in the workshop below and would like your input. Please provide your answer to 1) Why did you choose engineering? 2) How can we get more folks (as described below) to choose engineering? What new strategies could be used????
Social inequality in engineering education and practice is a durable problem, one that has resisted perennial efforts to “broaden participation,” “increase diversity,” or “improve recruitment and retention of women, minorities, and people with disabilities.” While a great deal of previous and ongoing work has focused on fostering the ability of individuals to access and persist in the engineering education system, this Ideas Lab will focus on changing the system itself.
Ending inequality in engineering is crucial because it represents a direct and effective way to meet workforce needs; because members of marginalized groups should not be on the sidelines in shaping our infrastructure and technological future; because workforce diversity strengthens work product; and because increased participation in high paying, prestigious workforce sectors like engineering is itself a strategy for achieving greater equity.
Many prior efforts for inclusion have been hampered by a presumption that certain parameters can’t be changed (for example, eligibility criteria, narrow definitions of what counts in or as engineering, limited roles for 2-year institutions, or a four year degree model). This ends in disappointment and frustration when change is not achieved. A radical rethinking is needed to move forward.
In the Engineering Phase I Ideas Lab, engineers and social scientists will face head on the systems and structures that reproduce social inequality in engineering education and in the engineering workforce. A complete and direct discussion is not afraid to examine manifestations of racism, sexism, and ableism in engineering, and to also consider classism, heteronormativity, ageism, and obstacles faced by Veterans and other non-traditional groups. The Engineering Phase I Ideas Lab will generate new framings and new strategies to move the nation toward greater inclusion of marginalized groups in engineering.
As part of the Engineers Week Activities, the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) UTA Student Chapter held a joint meeting with the DFW Professional Chapter on Tuesday, February 18. Students were able to enjoy some slices of pizza and also had the opportunity to network with IE professionals. Guest speaker, Dr. Joseph Michels, presented the benefits of getting a Professional Engineering license. Dr. Michels is himself a licensed engineer who works with the international management/engineering consulting firm of Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC. Michels has extensive experience with businesses as well as non-profit and governmental organizations and is an active member of the local community. He serves as Co-Chair of the Young Engineers Committee and is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. In 2012, he was awarded the Montana Ambassador of the Year Award.
In addition to the guest speaker, winners of the annual Outstanding IIE scholarship were announced. Rachel Machbitz won for Outstanding Senior, and Cynthia Rodriguez, earned the Outstanding Junior Award. Congratulations to the both of them.
Even though the outstanding student scholarships were awarded, there are plenty of IIE events scheduled this semester. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining IIE, the professional organization for industrial engineers, you can join here.
Special Thanks to:
Marco Torres, IIE Outreach Director
for providing information and photo for this blog post
Another year and another semester are upon us. I made a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water. In order to drink more water I need to drink less Diet Coke. It’s day 9 of no Diet Coke and I haven’t died of dehydration, so I think that means I’m doing pretty well so far. I’d like to challenge all of our UTA Industrial Engineering undergraduate students to make a New Semester’s Resolution. Let’s call it “Get Involved in 2014!”
There are so many great opportunities for students to get involved in the department, at UTA, in the community and as industrial engineers. Our student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers is very active. They have monthly meetings, plant tours, social outings, a student lounge in Woolf Hall, intermural teams, a newsletter, and a Facebook page just off the top of my head. If you haven’t been active with IIE in the past, that’s an easy, fun, rewarding way to “Get Involved in 2014”.
If you want to challenge yourself even more think about taking advantage of one of the many extra opportunities that are available to IE undergraduate students. One example is the Values and Ventures competition being sponsored by TCU and open to undergraduate student teams from UTA. The competition involves building a business plan for “for-profit enterprises that impact society in meaningful ways.” I know a lot of you are interested in entrepreneurship and this would be a great way to gain some experience in that arena. You can find more information about the competition at the following website:
Texas A&M University is accepting applications for its 2014 Summer Undergraduate Research Program. As part of the program, undergraduate students work closely with faculty members on current or individual research projects, attend development and GRE workshops, make a formal poster presentation of their research experience, and submit a final written report describing the results of their research. A $5,000 scholarship, tuition and fees, housing and travel expenses are provided. This is opportunity would be especially valuable for any student considering graduate school. You can find eligibility requirements and details can be found here: http://easa.tamu.edu/usrg.
There are also several opportunities to get involved with service learning in the IMSE department this coming semester. I have an immediate opportunity to work with Mission Arlington on improving operations in their healthcare clinic. I also have a very exciting upcoming project involving developing a healthcare app for older adults. These opportunities would allow you to put your IE skills to use in some service environments as well as allow you to serve your community.
These are just a few opportunities. There are many, many more announced every week. These types of activities allow you to improve your resume, network with professionals from around the world, gain valuable experience, and give back to the community. All while improving your IE skills. If you have any questions about any of the specific activities I’ve mentioned or want to learn how to make yourself aware of other opportunities feel free to contact me. UTA IE undergrads, I challenge you to “Get Involved in 2014.” If I can give up Diet Coke you can do anything!
UTA’s Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) focuses on innovative and strategic systems engineering research. This blog entry focuses on one of the students affiliated with UTA’s SERC and his research related to real-world needs.
Clement Smartt is a Ph.D. candidate with a focus on Systems Engineering. Clement received the 2012 INCOSE Foundation Stevens Doctoral Award. This award recognizes innovative doctoral-level research related to the field of systems engineering. His research addresses the important, but relatively unexplored topic: the use of systems engineering on proposals. Organizations whose primary business is executing contracts must be able to capture contracts to survive. When the contracts involve engineering complex systems, systems engineering often plays a significant role in the proposal process, sometimes leading the technical effort. This research seeks to find an optimal use of systems engineering in proposal management to maximize the probability that a supplier organization will be awarded contracts.
Smartt suggests that a number of systems engineering related factors that can potentially be used to predict contract awards and pertain to the organization, the skill levels of employees, the competitive environment, the proposal project, the contract, and the relationship with the customer. A survey was conducted to gather information related to these factors as well as contract award status for recent proposal efforts. Smartt’s analysis of the survey results indicates that suppliers seeking to be awarded new contracts should: (1) keep their existing customers very satisfied with the contract work already captured, (2) invest adequate resources in systems engineering labor to understand the requirements and define a solution in support of the proposal, and (3) maintain an adequate number of face-to-face contacts with the customer during the proposal process.
A modeling framework was developed and validated to help decision makers determine an optimal use of systems engineering on their proposals. The framework allows users to maximize the probability of a contract award given constraints such as budget and employee availability by strategically allocating resources to key systems engineering activities and employee with various skill levels. Organizations that engineer complex systems can use the findings of the survey analysis and the modeling framework to improve the chances of survival for their organizations.
Clement Smartt will be defending his dissertation on Friday, November 1, 2013 in Woolf Hall Room 200. If you are interested in learning more about systems engineering or about our M.S. Systems Engineering or Ph.D Industrial Engineering with Systems Engineering focus, please feel free to contact the IMSE Department at UT Arlington at 817-272-3092 and ask to speak to an advisor or email us with your questions at IMSEinfo@.uta.edu.
On May 2, 2013, the IMSE Department celebrated the inaugural Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Banquet by honoring graduating seniors, award winners, and scholarship recipients. Attendees included our Advisory Board members, former and current faculty members, as well as our current and former students and their families. The gala began with a reception and delicious catered dinner inside the San Saba Room at the University Center. Jim Crites, Executive Vice President for the Operations Division of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, presented the keynote address to graduating seniors. His speech urged the soon-to-be graduates to use their IE degrees to help find solutions to real-world problems. As he stated, only IEs have the gift that can be utilized to find efficiency while optimizing profit margins, citing numerous problems that industrial engineers have resolved in the airport industry. Crites explained how skills gained from an IE degree can solve real-world problems because IE are trained to think on a multi-dimensional level.
Following the keynote address, Interim Chair Dr. Tory Chen presented the endowed scholarship winners. The first scholarship awarded was the G.T. Stevens, Jr. Endowed Alumni Scholarship, which was established in 1998 to honor our Chair Emeritus. The award is given to outstanding Industrial Engineering students. This year’s recipients were Senior Luke Brigmon and Junior Anna Mai.
The next award, the Elinor Pape Endowed Scholarship, was established in 2006 to honor Dr. Pape’s service and dedication at UT Arlington as a member of the IE faculty. The Professor Emeritus was on-hand to present the scholarship to award winners Holly Lane, a senior, and Angel Decena-Guzman, a junior.
The final two scholarships that were presented were established by alumnus Keith Weiss. This year’s awardee for the Keith and Carolyn Weiss Industrial Engineering Scholarship was Harrison Armstrong. The Weiss Family Endowed Scholarship in Industrial Engineering was awarded to Ashvin Thomas.
After the scholarships were presented, Dr. Jamie Rogers presented the Industrial Engineers Outstanding Student Awards to Outstanding Senior, Adam Achkantana, and Outstanding Junior, Walter Joseph Multhur.
The last IE award presented was The Texas Industrial Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award which was created in alliance between Industrial Engineering departments at public universities that include UT Arlington, UT El Paso, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, and Lamar University. These universities select awardees based on the impact of their career on society. This year’s winner was alumnus, Mr. George Pickett, for his long career as an IE and his innovations in the founding of Atlantic Southeast Airlines which was acquired by Delta Airlines in 1999 and survives today as ExpressJet, the world’s largest regional airline carrier.
Finally, the evening was capped with a big surprise as Dr. Jamie Rogers honored Dr. Don Liles with a plaque for excellence in service for more than three decades as a faculty in the IMSE department. All the attendees gave him a well-deserved standing ovation as he received his award. Dr. Liles served as Chair of the department from 1998 to 2012 and remains at the university as Professor and Academic Advisor for the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering programs.
The event was a wonderful success as the IMSE Department got to honor their graduating seniors and award winners for the first of what will hopefully become an annual event.
This year is off to a great start for Dr. Jamie Rogers – in addition to becoming Full Professor, she has just been elected ABET President-Elect (www.abet.org). In addition, she has been nominated for IIE Fellow and the prestigious Piper Professor Award. Very exciting – stay tuned!
A recent article in The Shorthorn cited a study from Georgetown University which claimed that degrees in healthcare were among the top college degrees to have due to the low unemployment rates in that field. It’s no wonder that healthcare is a growing field. With our aging society and the Affordable Care Act in place, more Americans will be seeking medical care in the near future.
So, what does a job in healthcare have to do with a blog about industrial engineering? As an industrial engineer, you can seek employment in a variety of industries, businesses, or institutions, including areas such as manufacturing, retail, banking, government, and healthcare. As the healthcare field grows, hospitals and other healthcare-related businesses will be seeking ways to optimize the efficiency of their workplaces. As an industrial engineer, your skills can be utilized to design systems that will merge people, information, materials, and equipment to provide the most efficient, productive, and safest methods. Industrial engineering has been called the people-oriented engineering profession. What better way is there than to apply your skills to the healthcare industry to better the lives of the doctors, nurses, staff, and patients?
In fact, the IMSE department’s Center on Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) is currently working on several projects in the healthcare field such as nurse planning, nurse triage services, adaptive pain management, and biomaterial fabrication. The healthcare industry is just one of the many areas that utilize the versatile skills of industrial engineers.
The University of Texas at Arlington provides active on-campus recruiting opportunities for corporations. As a result, our Industrial and Manufacturing Systems graduates are employed in a variety of industries and businesses such as TXU, Bell Helicopter, Raytheon, General Motors, and Frito Lay. Being in the heart of the DFW Metroplex offers a great advantage to our students because of the relationships that the university and the department maintains with local industries. Alumni, local industry leaders, and job recruiters often contact the department about job openings and internships at their workplaces, such as the opening we just posted on the IMSE website for a student position as PressCut Industries. You can view details about the job opening here.
Want to know when we receive job announcements? Then be sure to follow us on Twitter (@utaIMSE) and Facebook (facebook.com/utaIMSE) and we’ll let you know!
One of the toughest decisions you make in your college life will be to declare a major, which is the reason why many students enter college undecided. There are even some who might be interested in an area such as engineering but might not know which field to study. Are you one of these people?
If you’re looking for an engineering degree and want to make a difference in the lives of people, Industrial Engineering is what you’re looking for! Today in America recently filmed a segment about Industrial Engineering and the differences industrial engineers have made in the world. Hear from real industrial engineering professionals about their job and how much they enjoy doing something that makes a difference. Take a look here:
If you’re interested in industrial engineering or would like to know more about it, come by our office in 420 Woolf Hall and ask to speak to someone about your questions. You can even email us at IMSEinfo@uta.edu.
Contact us today to see if Industrial Engineering is the right career choice for you!