The Institute

Keeping pace with IISE

The happiest place for industrial and systems engineers

Annual Conference attendees reveled in content, solutions and Disneyland magic
Year after year, the breadth and scope of the IIE Annual Conference and Expo continues to electrify attendees and organizers. Sean Genovese of Boeing and his wife, Jennifer, show off their ears at the President’s Reception on May 23. 

Industrial and systems engineers from around the world converged May 21-24 at the Disneyland Resort Hotel in Anaheim, California, to choose from more than 400 educational sessions, facility tours, networking events, town hall meet-ups and workshops across the conclave’s Applied Solutions Conference and Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC). They viewed products at the exhibit hall, examined solutions at poster sessions and palled around with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy.

As usual, the venues for keynote speakers – Brian Betts of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Phil Kaminsky of the University of California-Berkeley and Jack B. ReVelle with ReVelle Solutions LLC – were packed.

Marketers have dubbed Disneyland “the happiest place on earth.” Judging from the reaction of attendees, a lot of Disney’s magic rubbed off.

“I was really impressed by the wide range of attendees at the conference,” said Paul Componation, professor and chair of the Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Presenters included new students, senior academic researchers and industry practitioners. The conference is a place where you can be a part of the larger industrial and systems engineering community and make a contribution no matter who you are or where you work.”

Sreekanth Ramakrishnan, a senior data scientist, client experience, for IBM Corp., said a shift in the perception of understanding clients was evident across the various tracks and keynote speakers.

“We have moved from the terminology of customer requirements to ‘client experience,’” said Ramakrishnan, a chair of the Engineering Management track for the Applied Solutions Conference. “Moreover, the role of an industrial and systems engineer is transforming from doing time studies to data science and analytics. This is an exciting time to be in this field of expertise.”

Patrick Hester, like Componation a chair of the Engineering Management track at ISERC, said the Society for Engineering and Management Systems Town Hall was well-attended by both academics and practitioners.

“Many of the attendees were eager to volunteer to help with SEMS moving forward, indicating what I hope is an inclusive and shared governance of SEMS,” said Hester, an associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering at Old Dominion University.

Next year, attendees will head to the Northeast, as the IISE Annual Conference and Expo 2017 will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Click here to see the conference photos.