Athens, OH 25 November 2014 –
Each year, the seniors in industrial and systems engineering are assigned a senior design project to complete before they graduate in May. The senior design projects are real-life problems or areas that need improvement from companies. It’s great because we get to help them, learn, and apply industrial engineering practices, and the companies get to have a problem solved.
When seniors enter senior design, they have the opportunity to select projects from real companies that interest them. They serve as industrial engineering student consultants and the companies are their real clients. There is accountability for both the students as consultants and the companies as clients. The students are given a problem, and are responsible for analyzing that problem and applying industrial engineering principles following the Six Sigma methodology to come up with a solution to the company’s problem.
My group’s senior design project is with a distribution company. The company has a lot of machines across many locations which, naturally, require maintenance. Our project is to analyze the requirements of their facilities, interview maintenance staff, talk with senior leaders, and then research maintenance management software to implement. One of their key goals is to get oversight over how each of their locations is performing so that they can better understand their business and potential areas where they can save money. By keeping their machines running, and downtime at a minimum, they can ship products faster and more reliably, which means customers can benefit too! We’ll be looking at the pros and cons of different packages, how it affects their company, and then presenting our final recommendation.
Having the opportunity to work on hands-on projects is one of the great things about the Russ College of Engineering and Technology that is going to really help me. It’s one thing to talk about a theory or concept in class, but the real learning comes from interacting with real people, doing presentations, and solving problems. Engineering at Ohio University isn’t just about doing math and science, it’s about learning to work with other people as a team toward a goal, and developing your personal and leadership skills. Once you develop these skills, you’re unstoppable, and I think our college truly understands that.