Category Archives: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Summer Co-op at Eaton Corp.

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 01 September 2016

As the school year begins everything seems crazy, hectic and fast paced. It is insane to me that I am entering my senior year. I have been enjoying every moment of my 4th year at OU so far.

This summer I interned with Eaton Corporation in Euclid, Ohio and had an amazing experience, so I think that is why I was so ready to hit the ground running for senior year.

With Eaton I was an industrial operations intern in the aerospace sector. I worked on a team of 10 quality engineers and I had projects that dealt with optimization and quality control. I was able to implement one of my projects by the end of my 12 weeks, saving the company money and time in the fuel pump assembly cell.

I loved everything about Eaton—the people I worked with, the company culture and the exposure/experience I was able to get in the manufacturing world. After this summer I choose to apply to do the spring co-op program with operations and technical sales. About a week ago I received a written offer to return to Eaton this upcoming spring and summer, for my 2nd and 3rd rotations. I am so happy to be returning to Eaton and it has made the start of my senior year even more memorable and exciting.

Summer in Detroit

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 31 August 2016

This summer I spent 10 weeks in Detroit doing a summer internship with Bridgewater Interiors. Bridgewater Interiors manufactures seats for a select number of General Motor vehicles. I interviewed with the plant manager (an OU grad) this past spring and was offered a position as an industrial engineer intern at the Detroit plant.

This internship gave me a chance to grow both personally and professionally. After taking a class on lean manufacturing in the spring, I was able to see a real-world facility that based its operating procedures off of a lean philosophy. I worked with full-time engineers to ensure that the plant was prepared to implement a new set of seats that were to be made for the first time.

Living in Detroit gave me an opportunity to explore a new city and a new culture that is very different from the one I grew up with in Columbus and the one I’ve become accustomed to in Athens. One thing that I had to get used to very quickly was the difference in the driving in Michigan. From the increased speed to the “Michigan left”, I learned quickly that Detroit is a much faster-paced city than Columbus or Athens.

Though Detroit is still suffering from the recent recession, I saw first-hand that the city is definitely making a comeback. As someone who loves cities and urban environments, I was drawn to and captivated by the love that people living in Detroit have for their city.

This summer definitely taught me a lot about myself and about the manufacturing world. I am very grateful for the opportunity to live in Detroit and work with Bridgewater.

Summer in Milwaukee



Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 August 2016

This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work for
FedEx Ground
as an Industrial Engineering Intern in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was a life-changing experience for me because Milwaukee is 8 hours away from my home and I knew once I got up there, I wouldn’t be coming home until the end of summer.

I knew nobody in Wisconsin when arriving, so I really wanted to branch out, meet people, and have the best possible experience. This was a very similar situation to my freshman year at Ohio University because I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and meet people.

I wanted to have the best experience in Milwaukee in and out of the workplace. Their winters are brutal up there with the snow and temperature, so in the summer, they sure know how to have fun in the outdoors. I have never seen so many beach volleyball courts in my life. My first couple games of volleyball were rough because I couldn’t even hit the ball over the net. I could tell that people were thinking, “Get this Ohio kid off my volleyball court!”

Not only did my beach volleyball skills improve, but my engineering skills also improved. I had a really great manager who got me involved in projects that applied many things learned in classes here at OU. This internship just validates my passion for Industrial Engineering and I cant wait for the future.

Finally, at the end of the summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates came to town and played the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

Pirates at Miller Park

Everybody who knows me knows I am a huge Pittsburgh sports fan. This was really cool to see my favorite team play at a different ballpark than I am used to in Pittsburgh. This summer was one to remember.

Optimization in Senior Design

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2016

The biggest project of many senior engineering students is Senior Capstone. This is a course where all your knowledge and experience are tried out in a real world scenario. Each group has an industry client and is assigned the project the client chooses. I knew that this could be a challenge and a great learning experience for life after college. It has definitely met both of those expectations!

The team I am on was assigned a project with Exel/DHL. They run warehouses for customers in various consumer industries. Our task was to create a model that could be used to evaluate existing and new, custom box sizes for packaging their customers’ products.

We created a model to take into account the size of products, boxes and costs involved in using different variations of box sizes. The model consisted of multiple equations that describe the different aspects of the situation we were studying. We set it up to choose optimal box sets based on making the void (empty space) when packing products as small as possible.

This project incorporated so many skills that I had been building throughout my time in college! Not only were skills in software and coursework utilized but also soft skills like presenting ideas and logistics and time management skills for working on the project while continuing to take a full load of courses! It also challenged and helped me to build on my leadership and motivational skills when working in a group. It was definitely a challenge working with conflicting schedules, deadlines, client demands and having to learn on the job.

Our project was to search for optimal box sets but the biggest takeaway for me was learning to create optimal team work and time management when working. These are huge takeaways that can be used in everyday life for years to come! Even though it had its stressful times, overall Senior Capstone was a great learning experience I truly enjoyed.

Summer Co-op Plans

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 24 March 2016

Its crazy to think about how there is only one more month left of my junior year. As the semester comes to a close I have been extremely busy with class, research, and work. As finals approach classes have been getting busier and busier.

Spring semester is always crazier than the fall because OU has so many great events when the weather gets better. A huge event coming up is the Student Expo, which is a university-wide research exposition. I have been working on my research project for almost 2 years now and in 2 weeks I will finally be presenting it in front of judges at the Student Expo.

Once my junior year comes to an end I will be moving back home (Cleveland area) for the summer to start my summer internship. I am extremely excited to be working with Eaton Corporation this summer.

Eaton Logo

Eaton is a multinational power-management company. I will be working as an Industrial Engineering Intern in the Operations Sector. I will be working in a team in my department and with one other intern.

I received this internship by going to the Society of Women Engineers National Conference in Nashville this past fall. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to go with the OU chapter of SWE to this conference. Working for Eaton has been a goal of mine for a while now so I am counting down the days till I can finally start my summer internship.

ISE Senior Design: Simulation

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 20 March 2016

As an industrial and systems engineering student, I have to partake in a senior design project. Towards the end of last semester, we got assigned to a project based on our group preference. My team of four was assigned to do a project for DHL/Exel, to simulate the operations of one of their warehouses.

DHL/Excel operates the warehouse and want us to calculate the capacity of the warehouse during its peak season. Since the facility stores toys, the peak season for the demand of this toys is the month before Christmas, and 40 percent of the sales occur during this month.

Our group decided to build a simulation model of their picking and packing processes. These two processes are the ones that require the most labor and account for most of the processing time.

For building the model, we are using a software that we learned in our simulation class, and in addition to this we have our advisor who is the “master” in simulation.

The project has been challenging since we’ve had to deal with managing the time of all of our team members, as well as the difficulty of the project itself. I am very excited to see the outcome of this project and really hope that our project improves the company’s operations!

Spring Break in Vegas

Paige Preske

Paige Preske,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 7 March 2016

This spring break I traveled all the way out west! I spent two days in Las Vegas enjoying what the city had to offer. The second part of my vacation was spent climbing and hiking through national parks in Utah and Nevada.

Spring Break

I was lucky enough to have weather in the high 70s and sunny the entire week. The biggest difference I noticed between Ohio and Nevada, besides the obvious temperature difference, was the dry air. It made me very thirsty!

One of the parks I explored in Utah was Snow Canyon State Park. This park has amazing views of red and white Navajo sandstone. The park also has lava tubes throughout the park. I have a very big fear of heights but this park had very simple and beginner trails I could walk.

Another park that I visited was Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. This park has lizards everywhere and in all sizes. The park is rich in history with 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs on the sandstone. I really enjoyed looking at the petroglyphs because it is so amazing how they got on these rocks 50 feet in the air.

Spring Break

The last major thing I did over my spring break was go golfing. The golf courses out in Nevada are beautiful with mountains surrounding every part of the course.