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An Integrated Approach to Developing Business Expertise in Industrial Engineering Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Engineering Economics New Frontiers

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.191.1 - 26.191.16



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Paper Authors


Paul C. Lynch Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Paul C. Lynch received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Lynch’s primary research interests are in metal casting, manufacturing systems, and engineering education. He has been recognized by Alpha Pi Mu, IIE, and The Pennsylvania State University for his scholarship, teaching, and advising. Dr. Lynch worked as a regional production engineer for Universal Forest Products prior to pursuing his graduate degrees. He is currently a Lecturer and Academic Adviser in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University.

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Cynthia Bober Penn State University

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Cynthia Bober is a fifth year student at Penn State University concurrently pursuing M.S. and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Six Sigma Methodology. As a Schreyer Honors College scholar, she is writing her thesis in Engineering Education, specifically from a Learning Styles perspective. In the summer of 2013, Bober interned with the Walt Disney Company in the Workforce Management Department. As an intern, she was able to create a Variance Analysis Tool to monitor workload forecasting for the Walt Disney World resort. She returned to the Walt Disney World Resort during the summer of 2014 as a Staffing Strategies Intern.

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Joseph Wilck East Carolina University

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Dr. Joe Wilck is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Department at East Carolina University and a registered Professional Engineer. He is a volunteer leader with the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is also an active member of INFORMS, INCOSE, and TRB. Wilck's research is in the areas of applied optimization and engineering education, and he has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, among others. He primarily teaches courses in analytics, operations research, supply chain, and logistics.

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An Integrated Approach to Developing Business Expertise in Industrial Engineering StudentsNow more than ever companies are expecting students graduating from baccalaureateengineering degree programs to have both strong technical problem solving skills and a level ofbusiness expertise. With corporate investment and engineering project funding decisionsbecoming increasingly reliant upon company financial statement and stock price impact, it iscrucial for engineers to have a working knowledge of financial accounting and finance.After collecting feedback from corporate executives it was evident that every industrialengineering student should be exposed to financial accounting topics including financialstatements and financial ratio analysis with an emphasis on understanding how engineeringproject decisions impact company financial statements. At this large University, engineeringstudents must typically minor in Business/ Liberal Arts to gain a working knowledge ofimportant financial accounting terminology and finance.This paper discusses an integrated approach being taken in an industrial engineering program toincrease student interest in engineering and business while teaching the important businessconcepts outlined above in a required engineering economy course for industrial engineeringstudents. This paper discusses the evolution of a student group deemed the “Business andEngineering” group in industrial engineering at this large University. The paper discusses thecurriculum changes in the engineering economics course to incorporate important financialaccounting and finance topics. The paper will discuss in detail a company sponsored case studycompetition implemented into the course to complement the financial statement analysiscurriculum added to the course.Student feedback regarding the updated curriculum, course delivery, and the company sponsoredcase study competition will also be discussed.

Lynch, P. C., & Bober, C., & Wilck, J. (2015, June), An Integrated Approach to Developing Business Expertise in Industrial Engineering Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23530

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015