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The Iowa State University Industrial Assessment Center A Winning Combination For Students, Faculty And Industry

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.631.1 - 5.631.7



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Paper Authors

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Tim O'Neill

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Gregory M. Maxwell

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

Session 2793

The Iowa State University Industrial Assessment Center- A Winning Combination for Students, Faculty and Industry

Gregory Maxwell, Tim O’Neill Iowa State University


This paper describes the Industrial Assessment Center at Iowa State University. The center’s mission is to provide a service to small and medium-sized manufacturers to help reduce energy usage, waste generation and increase plant productivity while at the same time providing an educational opportunity for engineering students. The center utilizes teams comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of engineering disciplines that are lead by engineering faculty. Teams visit 25 manufacturing facilities per year to study the plant operations, collect data and write reports which detail the findings. Since the center’s beginning in 1991, nearly 100 students have participated and 239 manufacturing facilities have been studied.

I. Introduction

Engineering education is always enhanced when students have an opportunity to be involved with engineering practice, and with the present demand for engineering graduates, there are many ways students can gain engineering experience prior to graduation. In today’s economy future employers routinely seek out students for co-op programs, internships and summer employment. In addition, faculty often employ undergraduate students to work on research projects. While these experiences are all beneficial to the student’s learning, they tend to focus on a single project or process within the context of the work assignment.

The Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center program (IAC program) provides students and faculty with a broad-based approach to engineering education while at the same time providing a service to industry. The IAC program exposes students to a wide range of manufacturing processes. The clients served by the program include small and medium-sized manufacturers in standard industrial codes (SIC) 20-39. Manufacturing processes in these areas can range from full automation to those oriented around intense manual labor. Industries served by the program are:

• food processing • apparel • tobacco • lumber • textile mill products • furniture

O'Neill, T., & Maxwell, G. M. (2000, June), The Iowa State University Industrial Assessment Center A Winning Combination For Students, Faculty And Industry Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8519

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