Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

July 2022    |    Volume: 54    |    Number: 7

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Keeping pace with IIE in the January 2012 issue of Industrial Engineer

High-stakes health mandate

Healthcare conference keynote speakers are no gamble 

Dr. Steve Markovich, president of OhioHealth’s Riverside Methodist Hospital, will be sharing strategies for successful health systems in his keynote address at the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference in February. 
As the closing keynoter at the conference, HIMSS Vice President of Government Relations David W. Roberts will cover the importance of looking at process improvement as a whole and not focusing strictly on IT. 

With all the challenges facing the healthcare industry today, the Society for Health Systems wanted to present a 2012 conference focused on advancing quality, productivity and efficiency in healthcare facilities. The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference, which will be held Feb. 18-21 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, is on track to be just such an event.

Some of the conference objectives will be achieved with two keynote speakers who will discuss healthcare issues in government policy, technology and hospital administration.

Dr. Steve Markovich, president of Riverside Methodist Hospital of the OhioHealth system, will kick off the conference at 10 a.m. Feb. 19. He plans to discuss successful strategy, development and execution of solid healthcare systems, particularly getting senior leaders engaged in process improvement.

“I’m a president who believes wholeheartedly in a lot of the techniques and models industrial engineering uses. I’m an engineer by training. So how do you get your senior leadership involved? What tools and techniques can you use that will support what you’re trying to do? And how … do you show value and show that it really is the way of the future because healthcare is lagging in terms of adoption of these kinds of techniques and principles,” Markovich said.

Techniques are just as important to David W. Roberts, vice president of government relations for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In his presentation scheduled for 3:10 p.m. Feb. 20, he will stress the importance of looking beyond information technology and focusing on whole process improvement.

But having spent a career primarily in public service, including a stint as mayor of Solana Beach, Calif., Roberts also is passionate about how national policy affects healthcare.

“We’re concerned about privacy and security issues, which [have] always been a tremendous concern and challenge in the policy world,” said Roberts, who also serves as the senior executive for the HIMSS Virginia Office. “So I wanted to focus on some of those key things bringing my perspectives. I’ve been doing this now a total of 31 years, which is hard to believe. … [I want] to share how the policy implications are going to be affecting their positions wherever they happen to be in the healthcare setting in the future.”

Like Roberts, Markovich also brings a broad perspective. In addition to being a physician and an administrator, he is a brigadier general in the Ohio Air National Guard, where he serves as the chief of staff and formerly was the senior medical officer.

In addition to the keynoters, the conference will have five featured speak-ers as well as 10 tracks of educational sessions covering topics such as change management, information technology, lean, meaningful use, patient flow and career development. And students will have a big presence at the event with student poster sessions and the SHS Student Paper competition.

To register and find out more about the conference, go to To read the full interviews with Roberts and Markovich, go to and

Open wide for the Panama Canal

Agile conference features supply chain heavyweight Tompkins
Panama Canal authorities plan to complete a third set of locks linking the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans by 2014. The renovations will allow the nearly 100-year-old canal to handle larger ships, more of them, and likely will transform supply chain patterns and options.

IIE’s Best Practices in Supply Chain Management Conference anticipates this. James A. Tompkins, president and CEO of Tompkins Associates, will be the keynote speaker at the daylong “agile” conference, scheduled for Feb. 7 in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Tompkins is an international authority on leadership, logistics, material handling, outsourcing and supply chain best practices. As the founder and CEO of Tompkins Associates, he provides leadership for Tompkins globally. He has more than 35 years as CEO of a consulting/integration firm, has written or contributed to more than 30 books and has spoken at more than 4,000 international engagements.

Tompkins is also Industrial Engineer magazine’s new supply chain columnist. His debut column is on Page 26.

“We live in a business climate of risk, instability and rapid change,” the former IIE president said. “Through my keynote at the Best Practices in Supply Chain Management conference and my quarterly thought leadership pieces in IE magazine, I’ll be sharing more on supply chain evolution and adaptability to compete in this ever-changing market.”

Other presenters include Steve Buffington, Coca-Cola’s vice president of supply chain development; Kyle Hancock, vice president of CSX Transportation; James Metzger, special projects manager for FedEx Ground; and John Trestrail, director of supply chain design at Llamasoft.

The early-bird registration rate lasts through Jan. 16. The conference will be held in conjunction with MODEX 2012, a four-day show focusing on the manufacturing, distribution and supply chain industries.

For more details and to register, go to

Mentor, IIE giant Barany passes away

James W. Barany, a giant in industrial engineering and mentor to numerous students at Purdue University and through IIE, died Nov. 8, 2011, according to the university.

Jim Barany was honored with the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2007.“This is truly sad news,” said Johann “Hans” Demmel, IIE’s senior vice president for industry and a senior manager of systems engineering for Raytheon Missile Systems. “Jim was the face of IIE to many of us as we participated in IIE through our university years.”

A native of South Bend, Ind., Barany earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame while working the night shift at the Studebaker Motor Corp. He entered Purdue’s industrial engineering graduate program in 1956 with the first class of industrial engineering undergraduates. After completing his master’s degree, he was appointed to the faculty as an instructor in 1958 and promoted to assistant professor after finishing his Ph.D. in 1961.

As a researcher, Barany gained international recognition for his studies of hemiplegic gait using a force platform of his original design, fabrication and validation.

He became a full professor in 1969 and was appointed the next year to the associate head of undergraduate programs for the School of Industrial Engineering, a position he held for many years – even coming back after his first retirement to help out the school, according to Purdue.

“With his passing, the School of Industrial Engineering, the College of Engineering and Purdue University have lost one of the most respected and beloved members of our family,” according to Purdue’s statement. “Seemingly from the day he arrived at Purdue in 1958 through the last seven decades, Dr. Barany has been the heart and soul of Purdue IE.”

The statement praised Barany’s dedica-tion and passion for students, noting that he spent countless hours helping them succeed. In 1972, he became the faculty advisor for the student chapter of IIE. He was considered an expert in advising undergraduates and graduate students on every aspect of their education – courses, jobs, internships, co-op appointments and majors.

“Jim will be deeply missed,” said Don Greene, IIE’s chief executive officer. “He was a 53-year member of the institute, and a truly dedicated servant to the institute and the profession. Jim did so much for so many, mentoring and guiding countless students at Purdue and throughout IIE, that his contributions simply cannot be measured.”

Until his death, Barany stayed active with the industrial engineering department, student organizations and IIE. He was teaching IE 200, Introduction to Industrial Engineering, and he was active in class scheduling, the co-op program and scholarship selection. He also has served as faculty fellow since 1975. He continued to attend IIE conferences and support the institute.“In fact, he seemed to put in as much time after his retirement as he did before he retired [the second time],” according to the Purdue statement.

Moving toward the future

University regional conferences kick off this month
For students embarking on an industrial engineering career, the world may be their oyster. But they still have to harvest and shuck it.

That’s where IIE’s 2011 university regional conferences come in. Students can use these gatherings to launch their academic, research or private-sector careers by presenting papers that show off what they have done in their undergraduate research and industry-based projects. Regional competition winners advance to present papers at May’s IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012 in Orlando, Fla.

Other opportunities include team competitions to promote leadership, communication and organizational skills, plus the ability to make contacts, develop networking skills and communicate with other chapters in your region and throughout IIE.The dates, locations and contacts for the currently scheduled university conferences are:

Canada – Jan. 19-21
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
CONTACTS: Matt Richards,; Clifton Johnston,

Southeast United States – Feb. 16-19
Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
CONTACTS: Shawn O’Brien,; Whitney Sanders,; Lu Ann Sims,

Great Lakes, United States – Feb. 17-19
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
CONTACTS: Bobby Smyth,; Brent Miller,; Julie Higle,

Atlantic United States – Feb. 24-26
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
CONTACTS: Adam Newton,; Anita Vila-Parrish,

North Central United States – March 1-4
North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D.
CONTACTS: Seth Johnson,; Brandon Miller,; John Cook,

South Central United States – March 2-3
University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
CONTACTS: Luke Burns,; James Noble,

Western United States – March 2-4
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.
CONTACTS: Alex Newman,; Toni Doolen,

Mexico – March 6-9
Instituto Tecnologico de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
CONTACTS: Ricardo Viveros,; Miguel Chavez,

Central and South America – March 15-17
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
CONTACTS: Natalia Lozano,; Gonzalo Mejia,

Northeast United States – March 23-25
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.
CONTACTS: Abbey Burns,; John Kaemmerlen,

Find more information, along with any recent updates or additions to the schedule, by going to and clicking on Conference Schedule.

A tripartite convention

IIE joins forces for conference in Singapore
IIE is teaming up with the Asian Network for Industrial Engineers (ANIE) and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department of the National University of Singapore to organize the 2012 IIE Asian Conference.

The conference is scheduled for June 28-30 at the Furama RiverFront Hotel Singapore. Abstracts and full papers must be submitted by Feb. 1. Authors will be notified of acceptance by April 1, with final paper submission and author registration set for May 1.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed, and accepted papers will be published in the electronic conference proceedings. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research (APJOR).

For more details, visit

Arrive early; learn much

Annual affair features five pre-conference workshops
A bevy of pre-conference workshops are slated for the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012 before it formally convenes at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Fla.

The gatherings give attendees a chance to spend more time on particular subjects for in-depth learning, building on the tools and methods taught. The conference is scheduled from May 19-23. The early workshops, including one two-day affair on applying IE tools to healthcare, are May 19 and May 20. Continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs) are available.

Junell Scheeres of LS2 Performance Solutions will take May 19-20 for Introduction to Health Systems Engineering, which will teach the analytical tools and “soft” people skills necessary to build relationships and push continuous improvement in the healthcare field.

The other May 19 workshops focus on lean Six Sigma and simulation. Merwan Mehta of East Carolina University will introduce participants to the particulars of looking at any process with a goal toward improvement. At the end of his Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification course, attendees can take the 45-minute LSS White Belt test. David Sturrock of Simio will teach Rapid Problem Solving with Object-Oriented Simulation, a course appropriate for IEs and process analysts looking to learn or refresh simulation skills, for educators looking to integrate simulation into their instruction, and for managers and others who would like to understand the technology better.

On May 20, Khaled Mabrouk of Sustainable Productivity Solutions will conduct a hands-on training program that teaches the basic skills of positive recognition, empowerment and conflict resolution. Engaging Your Workforce will teach practical skills that effectively increase workforce engagement, thus helping managers and leaders motivate their employees more effectively.

That same day, Jane Henderson of H&H Business Services will introduce a management overview of the concepts, structure and organization of Six Sigma. The Six Sigma Yellow Belt course is for people who need to understand Six Sigma as a strategic initiative.

For more information, go to and click on the pre-conference workshops link.

A safe place to learn

Applied Ergo Conference celebrates 15th yearGary Allread (left) of the Institute for Ergonomics at The Ohio State University served on the conference committee and presented two sessions at last year’s Applied Ergonomics Conference and Expo.
GOErgo’s 15th annual Applied Ergonomics Conference and Expo 2012 is right around the corner, as ergo and human factors professionals worldwide are planning to show off and learn how they have ensured safety in manufacturing, healthcare, government, energy and other industries.

The conference is March 26-29 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. In the past few years, networking events have exploded, and this year will mark the second edition of the Ergo Quiz Bowl Contest. Other happenings include receptions each night, Dutch treat dinners and a “Night of Country Fun.”

Eight tracks will address the latest issues in ergonomics and human factors, including product design and evaluation, policies and auditing, applied research and office ergonomics. Attendees could earn up to 1.6 continuing education units (CEUs). Pre-conference workshops will cover ergo basics, ergo with lean and Six Sigma, helping staff return to work after musculoskeletal disorders and program management.

As usual, the highlight will be the annual Ergo Cup competition. And for the second year GOErgo will present the Creativeness in Ergonomics Practitioner of the Year and Student of the Year awards.

For more details, visit Early-bird registration ends Jan. 13.