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Industrial Engineering Made Simple

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.313.1 - 4.313.8

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Paper Authors

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Sema Alptekin

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Deena Daggett

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3257

Industrial Engineering Made Simple

Deena Daggett, Sema Alptekin Georgia Institute of Technology / Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo


Many high school students these days do not quickly recognize or identify Industrial Engineering (IE) procedures, practices, and products. Recruitment of qualified students into IE programs requires continuous planning, publicizing, and networking. Traditional recruitment efforts have included high school visits, brochures & flyers, and university-sponsored workshops. However, these techniques have only achieved mediocre success.

Currently, a need exists for new promotional materials that utilize visual tools and provide a “hands-on” approach. We have developed several exercises that successfully introduce IE. Two such exercises are explained in this paper. The first exercise demonstrates the differences between Assembly line and Cellular Manufacturing by engaging the students in various stages of a production line. The students are then asked to study the effects of different strategies as they manufacture a simple product. The second exercise introduces Mechatronics. Students are asked to build a model car that responds to a source of controlled light. In limited trials, these exercises have proven successful.


As academicians, we work in the community a great deal to help students gain a better understanding of the field of engineering. We have spoken to a wide range of students from elementary to university levels, and we always receive the same reaction: students are unaware of the industrial engineering field. Although most students can identify electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering responsibilities, few understand or have even heard of industrial engineering. Furthermore, even some other engineers have limited knowledge of the industrial engineering field. The reason for this lack of knowledge, we believe, lies in the complexity of industrial engineering applications. IE impacts a diverse range of industries from banks and securities firms to fast food restaurants and car manufacturers. The increasing need for IE promotional materials has encouraged us to develop innovative exercises two of which are explained in the following sections.

Alptekin, S., & Daggett, D. (1999, June), Industrial Engineering Made Simple Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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