Outstanding ISE Capstone Senior Design Project

This award is sponsored by:

  • The Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering (CISE)
  • Each year additional ISE Departments join in the support of this important Award. Recent contributors have been Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech. 

The IISE Outstanding Capstone Senior Design Project Award recognizes individual students or teams for practical application of ISE knowledge and skills that result (or will result) in significant impact to an organization. The award encourages undergraduate students to convert from student members to professional members of IISE. Awardees are recognized for outstanding and excellent reduction to practice in the ISE capstone senior design course.

Deadline to enter is April 28, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A student or team that has successfully completed a project, or is in-flight and pending completion before, on or slightly after the IISE Annual Conference & Expo can apply.
  • We will also accept applications for projects that were completed in December.
  • We will accept any project that was completed for the ABET Senior Capstone Design Requirement regardless of the "format" of the course/project (e.g., length, multidisciplinary, individual or team, etc.).
  • The project must demonstrate the successful use of ISE principles, tools and techniques/methods to solve a problem, design a new process, capture an opportunity, make something better.
  • At least one student must be present at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo in order to apply for this award.
  • All Students on the team must be student members of IISE and provide membership numbers.
  • At least one student from the top three teams must present in an IISE (Chapter #1) webinar in September or October following the conference. These are virtual Zoom, lunch and learn format, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern time.
  • No more than one application from a given department.
  • The award is International, any team from a Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering anywhere in the world may apply.

Nomination/Application Details

  • Nominations/applications should be driven by the department capstone coordinators and faculty mentors for the capstone projects but students/teams also should be proactive in self-nominating with endorsements from coordinators/mentors/heads as well as sponsors.
  • A nomination/application will consist of:


  • The student(s) will be required to complete an  IISE membership application All team members must submit an IISE membership application with the award application package to be eligible for the award. Students from the top 20 teams will receive first year professional memberships paid for by the award.  These membership applications will then be processed immediately after the IISE Conference.  The award will pay for the first year for the students on the teams in the Semi-Final Group.
  • Conference registration: The nominating department capstone coordinator, faculty member or department agrees to cover the cost of attending the 2023 IISE Annual Conference & Expo for at least one student presenter from each team.
  • Application implies intent to attend the conference.
  • Winners of the competition will receive recognition during the pre-keynote presentations on Monday or Tuesday and perhaps also at the Honors and Awards Banquet.
  • All projects will be screened. Up to 20 projects will be showcased on Sunday at the Conference. The Elite 8 will be identified and then the Final Four teams will be selected for a panel presentation (Bake-off) on Monday morning during the IISE Annual Conference & Expo.

Note: Members of the IISE Board of Trustees, the Honors Steering Committee, those involved in processing, such as the Director of Honors, or any headquarters staff member may not be used as a nominator or reference.

Recognition and Rewards

Students participating from the top 20 ranked projects will receive complimentary first year IISE memberships, $79 value (the award will pay for those students conversions). Please complete the IISE application form and include with the nomination package and we'll process those memberships immediately.

The winners will receive a certificate of recognition and be recognized at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo Honors and Awards Banquet.  The Four Finalists will sit with the Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering at that Banquet.

The Winning Teams will participate in a Global Webinar sponsored by IISE in September providing great Global Visibility for their team members, Departments and Universities and Sponsors.

Departments will be provided with funds from the Award Account (amount TBD) to support student attendance at the IISE Conference the following year.

Rubric Utilized by the Committee to Evaluate the Projects

  • Did the project make a difference and was that proven defendable?
  • Does the project represent the successful application (reduction to practice) of a set of ISE principles, methods, tools? What elements of the ISE Body of Knowledge does it reflect?
  • Was there an innovative component or aspect to the project?
  • Does the work demonstrate an ability to identify, formulate and solve a complex engineering problem by applying engineering, science and/or mathematical principles?
  • Does the work demonstrate an ability to apply engineering design to produce solution(s) that meet the specified needs with consideration of the appropriate factors and/or constraints?
  • Does the work deliverables, presentation show that the student(s) have an ability to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders and audiences?
  • Does the work demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret data/facts and use engineering judgement to draw conclusions?
  • The work demonstrates that the student(s) understand the impact of engineering solutions in the following dimensions: Economic, sustainability of solutions but also impact on sustainability, stakeholder impact and system impact (both scope of system but also time horizon).

Review and Decision Process (Showcase and Final Presentations)

  • The Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering (all members of the Industrial Advisory Board) will serve as the evaluators, Judges.

The Schedule Milestones

  • April 28, 2024:  We realize that many projects will be in flight but also that posters should be done by this point and application packages can be completed.
  • On or before May 3: The evaluation committee will perform a first pass filter on the applications and determine the top 20 finalists. Those finalists will be notified on or before May 3, 2023 and at least one team member should register and be prepared to attend the conference and participate in the Capstone Showcase Sunday, May 21, 2023.
  • May 21: The top 20 teams will participate in a Capstone Power Showcase from 1-3. Judges will review the projects as second time and the top three will be identified and announced at the Leadership Mixer from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • May 22, first session of the Performance Excellence Track, the Top 4 Finalists will do a bakeoff presentation and the judges will decide on 1, 2, 3, 4. 
  • May 22: The three finalists will have complimentary Honors and Award Banquet Tickets and the results will be announced at that banquet, Monday evening.
  • September 2024: The four finalists will participate in an IISE Performance Excellence Global Webinar.

2023 Winners

1st place:
Data-Driven Supplier Selection for New Product Launches, Georgia Tech  

Isaac Altman, Jinghan Chen, Margaret Fowler, Maxim Geller, Aila Khan, Madeleine Pollack, Justin Rickerson, Kota Teasley, 

2nd place:  

Tool & Equipment Management at IMP Aerospace, Dalhousie University

Katrina Bagnell, Emma Holle, Olivia Murray

3rd place:
Visualizing Success: Developing a Visual Management System to Decrease Mentor/Mentee Backlog, Enhance Interdepartmental Communication & Operational Efficiency, Toronto Metropolitan University

Aman Nahan, Saifaldeen Zaghloul

4th place:
Optimizing Outbound Shipments for Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Virginia Tech

Sam Barnes, Will Carlyle, Ashley Girod, Drew Martin, Zach Schwinger 

2022 Winners

1st place:
Loblaws DC Operations Scheduling Problem & Solutions, Dalhousie University

Connor Newman, Matthew Laforest, Justin Wright, Catherine Shaw

2nd place:
Amazon Multi-Ship Mode Forecasting and Optimizing Method Development, University of Washington

Drake Foster, Daniel Murphy, Daniil Tchistiakov, Emily Whelan, Trent Wydrowski

3rd place:
Redesign for a 17-fold throughput increase in the Production Line of the Powered Air Purifying Respirator to meet Covid-19 driven demand, West Virginia University 

Anthony Garber

4th place:
Increasing Production Capacity through a Lean Transformation, Virginia Tech 

Kristina Pratt, Casey Crawford, Mary Buetow, Mason Colby

2021 Winners

1st place:
Amazon Freight Cold Chain Design, Georgia Tech 

Thomas Culwell, John Browning, Matthew Link, Riley Martin, Shrey Udhaya, Viviana Osorio, Isabelle Liffton

2nd place:
Personnel Deployment Manager (PDM) for the United States Air Force, North Carolina State 

Mariel Jeffris, Jason Wheeler, Samuel Cynamon

3rd place:
Robins AFB Radome Repair Process Flow and Facility Redesign, Georgia Tech

Kathryne Otte, Vishal Hansalia, Rahil Manji, Matthew Oswald, Harper Power, John Raj

4th place:
Balancing Inbound and Outbound Flow of Trailers by Predicting Customer Compliance and Seasonality, University of Arkansas

Parker Tankersley, Alyssa Roth, Remy Kirk, Grayson Lee, Jacob Underhill

5th place:
Cost-effective Freight Carrier Selection for ArcBest, Oklahoma State University

Kaustuvi Thapa, Torie Richardson, Cade Phelan

2020 Winners

1st place:  
Product Wheel Optimization for Devils Backbone (AB Brewing Company), Virginia Tech

Chris Brassel, Joshua Glaab, Rachel Hollatz and Cher Wang

2nd place:  
Kanban System Optimization for Improved Flow in Fire Truck Assembly Plant - Sutphen Corporation, The Ohio State University

Aaron Kramer


3rd place:  
Increase Waste Diversion for the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Tech

Abhita Moothy, Erin Abbott, Elena Buter, Benjamin Espy, Kiran Gite, Toral Kadakia, Sahana Subramanian and Caleb Tysor  

2019 Winners

1st place:    
Optimization of Shipping Mode, Georgia Tech

Karan Agrawal, Shelby Carswell, Weichao Chen, Trishla Chokshi, Shaiv Gandhi, Guergana Ilieva, Kayla Raabe and Pavlos Sepetas

2nd place:  
Simulation Design & Development to Support the Concept Design and Detailed Design for a New 2-oz. Bottling Line for Abbott Nutrition, The Ohio State University

Talia Zaverdinos

3rd place:  
Inventory Optimization for Eastman Chemical, Virginia Tech

Jad Haj Ali, Jiyao Shang, Haonan Zhou and Tushar Rajesh Kumar