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Educating and Training the Next Generation of Industrial Engineers to Work in Manufacturing

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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

Industrial Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.568.1 - 26.568.14



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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 is a member of AFS, SME, IIE, and ASEE. Dr. Lynch’s primary research interests are in metal casting, manufacturing systems, and engineering education. Dr. Lynch has been recognized by Alpha Pi Mu, IIE, and the Pennsylvania State University for his scholarship, teaching, and advising. He received the Outstanding Industrial Engineering Faculty Award in 2011 and 2013, the Penn State Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Alumni Faculty Appreciation Award in 2013, and the Outstanding Advising Award in the College of Engineering in 2014 for his work in undergraduate education at Penn State. 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 & 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 a M.S. and B.S. Degree 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. Dr. Paul Lynch and Cynthia hope to create a model to implement into the classroom to increase learning and satisfaction in undergraduate Industrial Engineering Education. In the summer of 2013, Cyndy 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. His 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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Educating and Training the Next Generation of Industrial Engineers to Work in ManufacturingNow more than ever manufacturing in the United States needs a workforce with a blend of bothstrong hands on trade skills and the technical problem solving skills typically learned through thecompletion of a B.S. Industrial Engineering program. This paper discusses a holistic approachbeing taken in an industrial engineering program to increase student interest in manufacturing byproviding a hands on educational experience in a manufacturing processes course whileproviding ample opportunities for students to gain hands on manufacturing work experiencethrough undergraduate teaching internships and manufacturing co-ops and internships.This paper discusses the active role that senior undergraduate students with manufacturinginternship and co-op experience play in helping to deliver the manufacturing processes course.Senior undergraduate industrial engineering students with manufacturing industry internship orco-op work experience are helping to deliver a manufacturing processes course through hands onlab instruction, on site plant visits, industry speakers and networking sessions, and a final coursecase study. The active learning assignments, laboratories, and delivery of the course will bediscussed in detail.The paper displays the results of a questionnaire that included a blend of qualitative andquantitative questions administered to the junior and senior level industrial engineering studentscompleting the manufacturing processes course. In addition to data collected on studentsatisfaction and motivation with course delivery, data was also collected to test prior studentknowledge of manufacturing processes, perception of manufacturing, and student interest inmanufacturing careers before and after taking the manufacturing processes course. Data was alsocollected on student internship and co-op trends for the industrial engineering studentscompleting this manufacturing processes course.The results of the questionnaire showed that only one student out of the fifty five students polledactually stated that he or she had a “Strong Knowledge Base of Manufacturing Processes” beforetaking the manufacturing processes course. The results showed that approximately one third ofthe students stated they “Would Not” consider a career in manufacturing prior to taking themanufacturing processes course but after taking the course they “Would” consider a career inmanufacturing. 94% of the junior level students that searched for a summer industrialengineering co-op or internship had already secured an internship or co-op by the time theycompleted the questionnaire during the final week of this course during Spring semester.

Lynch, P. C., & Bober, C., & Wilck, J. (2015, June), Educating and Training the Next Generation of Industrial Engineers to Work in Manufacturing Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23906

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