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Successfully Partnering With Industry Through The Industrial Engineering Senior Design Project

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Industrial Engineers Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1039.1 - 7.1039.8



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Paper Authors

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Bopaya Bidanda

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Kim Needy

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Session 2257

Successfully Partnering with Industry through the Industrial Engineering Senior Design Project Kim LaScola Needy, Bopaya Bidanda University of Pittsburgh


This paper describes a model for successfully partnering with industry through the Industrial Engineering Senior Design Project. It describes the model for the senior design project at the University of Pittsburgh, the instructor’s role, how projects are assessed, how projects are solicited, how projects are selected, how project teams are formed, and benefits to the department, faculty, students and industrial sponsors.


It has been shown that industry experience is a proven benefit in the education and learning process of engineering students. The Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh has had a long history of utilizing team-based senior design projects working with a company on a significant problem during the final semester of the students’ senior year. Over the last decade, the senior design class faculty have made a concerted effort to enhance the senior design experience by improving the process by which projects are selected, monitored, and administered. In the Fall 2001, the department launched its Sponsor An Industrial ENgineering Team (SAINT) Program. Via this formalized program, the faculty and students work more closely with their industry sponsors, requiring a greater commitment on the part of the industry sponsors to support the project throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, the industry sponsors are now charged a fee for a student team. This has raised the sponsor’s expectations and students are charged with bringing their project to a successful completion. Our experience has been that this new program has been a win-win situation for all. For example, students get more challenging projects, industry sponsors get good solutions to their problems that can save them money, and faculty develop long-term relationships with the companies leading to future collaboration in the form of research projects. This paper describes the model being used at the University of Pittsburgh and its benefits. This approach or elements of it can be easily adapted into an existing senior design capstone course.


Students in the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh work in a team of three or four students and utilize analytical investigation techniques to solve a significant problem at a client site utilizing industrial engineering capabilities acquired during their program study. The course provides a good learning experience for students whereby they gain project team experience, write a formal technical report, and professionally present their findings. The

Proceedings of the 2002American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Bidanda, B., & Needy, K. (2002, June), Successfully Partnering With Industry Through The Industrial Engineering Senior Design Project Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10266

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