Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

May 2013    |    Volume: 45    |    Number: 5

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013 will be held at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Keeping pace with IIE in the May 2013 issue of Industrial Engineer 

New twist on venerable improvements

Annual conference will mirror Puerto Rico as a blend of old and new
Puerto Rico is a place where the Old World of Europe met the New World of the Americas after Christopher Columbus’ second trans-Atlantic voyage.

This blending of old and new is an appropriate setting for the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013, which comprises the Applied Solutions Conference and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC). Practitioners from industry and academia alike can benefit from finding new ways to sustain and enhance the gains of venerable improvement techniques and management methods. The conference will feature presentations, exhibits, networking and professional development opportunities combined with more than 700 educational sessions.

The conference will be held May 18-22 at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Additional accommodations are available at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza hotel. For more details, visit and take a glance at the following sample of this year's events:

Saturday, May 18

  • Doctoral colloquium: This all-day event is designed for doctoral candidates expecting to graduate by spring 2014. Panels of experts will lead discussions on topics that include the job search, life in academia and industry, the tenure process, teaching, research and professional services. Attendees must be nominated and pre-register.
  • New faculty colloquium: This all-day event is for new faculty, specifically junior faculty within their first three years on a tenure track. Information provided will help participants navigate the challenges of an academic career. Participants can ask questions, network with peers and interact with senior-level professors. Attendees must be nominated and pre-register.
  • Networking reception: Attendees receive a complimentary ticket for this reception, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Any additional guest tickets should be bought during conference registration.

Sunday, May 19

  • First-time attendee orientation: If you’ve never been to the world’s premier industrial engineering conference, this session, scheduled from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., will educate you. This orientation also is offered from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Monday, May 20.
  • Pre-conference workshops: One half-day workshop on using hoshin kanri to accelerate lean and Six Sigma and two daylong workshops: one on using geometric dimensional tolerancing to reduce manufacturing costs, and one covering how to sustain a lean transformation.
  • ISERC: The ISERC sessions start, continuing through Tuesday, May 21.
  • Keynote speaker S. David Wu: The dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University, Wu holds the Lee A. Iacocca endowed chair. He is a well-known scholar in operations research who specializes in optimization, game theory and statistical analysis.
  • ABET workshop: The IIE Accreditation Advisory Council will sponsor this workshop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to help industrial engineering and industrial engineering technology department chairs and assessment coordinators prepare for ABET accreditation visits. The session is limited to 40 people. Participants must pre-register by contacting Bonnie Cameron, IIE headquarters operations administrator, at
  • Welcome reception: Network and mingle with exhibitors and peers from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the exhibit hall. Conference attendees receive one ticket. Any additional tickets should be bought during conference registration.

Monday, May 20

  • Keynote speaker Guy Primus: The chief operating officer of Overbrook Entertainment oversees operations and manages staff for the film, TV and transmedia production company founded by producer James Lassiter and actor/producer Will Smith. He also leads Overbrook’s strategic ventures group and is co-founder and managing director of Tentpole Ventures, a seed-stage technology investment fund that focuses on consumer lifestyle companies.
  • Applied Solutions: The Applied Solutions Conference sessions start, continuing through Wednesday, May 22.
  • Exhibit hall: Exhibitors will be on hand to give attendees a chance to learn about useful products and services. It will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Honors and awards dinner and dessert reception: IIE formally recognizes the accomplishments of prominent industry and academic practitioners and students with a variety of awards. This event carries an additional fee, and tickets must be purchased before the conference.

Tuesday, May 21

  • Facility tour: For an additional fee, attendees can take a full-day tour of Medtronic’s Puerto Rico operations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A free lunch will be provided.
  • Keynote speaker Felix Diaz: Diaz, president of the Latin American Region for Pall Corp., has more than 35 years of experience, beginning as a manufacturing engineer with Baxter Corp. Four years after Pall started its Latin America geographic expansion initiative, compound annual growth has been more than 25 percent. 

Celebrating health systems engineering

Healthcare conference feted SHS 25th anniversary and more
The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2013 was a winner for healthcare engineering beginners and veterans – from the pre-conference workshops to the closing networking reception.

Ashlea Milburn (left) presents the 2013 Graduate Student Paper Award to Sabrina Casucci.


IIE’s Society for Health Systems held its first awards dinner, celebrating its 25th anniversary, at the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2013. The following awards were presented:

  • 2013 SHS President’s Award: John Templin
  • 2013 SHS/HIMSS Excellence in Healthcare Management Engineering/Process Improvement Award: Dean Athanassiades
  • 2013 SHS Scholarship: Christina Boeryd, Cal Poly Pomona
  • 2013 SHS Graduate Student Paper Competition: Sabrina Casucci, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, “A Theoretical Model for Patient Care Transition Process to Reduce Hospital Readmissions”
  • 2013 SHS Student Case Study Competition: Yiling He, University of Central Florida; Claire Lucas, North Carolina State University; and Talayeh Razzaghi, University of Central Florida (Team Green)

Conference Chair Amanda Mewborn, senior healthcare operational planner at Perkins+Will, said the Society for Health Systems conference committee used feedback from previous conference attendees to focus on three main points: Networking, strong educational content and “buzz,” meaning enthusiasm for the conference. Having this framework helped the conference committee prioritize the various activities.

While she was hard-pressed to select one favorite part of the conference, she had to go with the 25th anniversary celebration on March 2.

“It was the first time the society had an awards banquet or celebration. Many of the original founders of the society returned to the conference to partake in the celebration,” Mewborn said. “I was honored to have the opportunity to meet the folks who have gotten SHS to the point that it is now.”

In addition to specific awards and competition winners listed in the sidebar, the celebration recognized the founding members, 10 honorees, 50 recognized individuals, 58 diplomates, all committee participants, the SHS board of directors and former society president Lucy Young.

The two keynote sessions were well-received, according to Mewborn, who counted them among her favorites. Roger Gerard from ThedaCare highlighted the importance of improvement in healthcare and discussed ThedaCare’s lean journey. The closing keynote came from Dr. Joseph Guarisco of Oschner Health System in New Orleans. He spoke about the recovery of the healthcare system in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and gave attendees a great flavor of the local culture, complete with many photographs and music by local artists.

The conference had several networking events throughout, including a student networking reception and opening reception, followed by the Dutch treat dinners, the 25th anniversary celebration and the joint networking reception with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

“All events were well-attended, and attendees commented about the many opportunities to network,” said Mewborn.

One other aspect of the 2013 conference that was different was the buzz. Each week leading up to the conference, a team of more than 40 volunteers shared information on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn about the conference and things to do in New Orleans, which led to a lot of excitement about the event.

SHS board members Rudy Santacroce (from left), SHS President Jean Ann Larson and former SHS President Lucy Young enjoy the dinner and reception that marked the 25th anniversary of the Society for Health Systems.The social media campaign continued at the conference, with QR codes for people to learn to use social media, as well as a dedicated hashtag (#SHS2013) for Twitter. The tweets are still accessible on Twitter – type the hashtag in the Twitter search box and see what pops up. In addition, visit to view the 2013 conference photo album, video highlights, and blogs by Tze Chao Chiam, Mark Biscone and Jenn Badylak-Reals about different aspects of the conference.

The more than 350 conference-goers made the 2013 gathering one of the most well-attended in years. As the 2014 conference chair, Karl Kraebber has taken the reigns to lead the conference committee to another great event in Orlando, Fla., next year.


Leadership wanted

May 7 is deadline to nominate candidates for BOT, other posts
Nominations for election to the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ board of trustees, along with other leadership positions, are due by May 7.

To nominate yourself or a colleague, email a brief biography or resumé and contact information to, or mail the information to Donna Calvert, IIE, 3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200, Norcross, GA 30092. For any inquiries, contact IIE COO Donna Calvert at (770) 349-1108.

The election is scheduled for December. Winners take office in April 2014.

The three open board of trustees positions are president-elect; senior vice president, publications; and senior vice president, technical operations.

Other open posts include vice president, technical operations as well as regional vice presidents for the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Canada regions.

Future IEs take the lead on networkingFaculty advisor Rohan Shirwaiker (left) and students from North Carolina State University smile for the camera while waiting for the start of an event at West Virginia University during the 2013 IIE Mid-Atlantic University Regional Conference in March. (Photo courtesy Emily Koledin)

Between January and March, industrial engineering students around the world gathered at nearby universities to network with fellow future IEs at the IIE university regional conferences. 

These events provide a forum for the presentation of student papers reflecting undergraduate research and industry-based projects; stimulating research and creative thinking through team competitions; promoting leadership, communication and organizational skills; developing networking skills and contacts; and strengthening communication among chapters within the region and with IIE.

Visit to see photo albums and videos taken at the regional conferences.



Brian King  Brian King has been named a senior associate with Gannett Fleming, a global infrastructure firm. He is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and was formerly manager of maintenance facilities in Gannett Fleming’s Transit and Rail section.
Lee Blank  IIE fellow and former board of trustees president Lee Blank, professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, has been named interim dean of engineering at American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, where he was previously permanent dean of engineering.
John English  John English, dean of the College of Engineering at Kansas State University, will take over July 1 as dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. English also will hold the Irma F. and Raymond F. Giffels Endowed Chair in Engineering at Arkansas.
Hans Demmel  The Systems Engineering Research Center recognized Hans Demmel, a senior manager at Raytheon Missile Systems, for writing the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK) Part 6 “Related Disciplines” topic “Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering.”


Let your peers know about hirings, promotions, awards, appointments and other notable accomplishments. Send Kudos items to Michael Hughes at