Steve Burns

Steve Burns,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 10 April 2013 – This semester two other ISE students and I were involved in an international computer simulation competition. The competition was a two month long project, put on by IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers). We were given a problem statement about 2 months ago and along with some basic guidelines to follow. The top three teams from around the world, decided by a group of judges, get to travel to Puerto Rico to show off their projects with a chance to win first prize.

The problem statement was about a coal company’s coal shipping operation from three cities in the United States to four cities around the world. The overall goal of the project was to see if the current operation was successful and if not, then to provide a solution that will produce the lowest overall shipping costs for the company. The way we could change the operation was to change the number of ships that the company was using, and also route the ships differently around the world.

Animation was a big part of the judging for this competition. Below is a snapshot of the animation of our project. You can see some ships traveling from city to city, and the smaller screens are the individual cities where you can watch the ships coming into the shipping harbors.

Simulation Screen Shots

This project was a lot of fun to work on. The problem statement was full of small details that could greatly influence the outcome; such as weather causing shipping ports to close or the cost it takes a ship to travel through different canals. It also gave our team a chance to participate in the student expo here at the university, where students from any discipline across campus come and show off projects they have been working on throughout the year.

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