Keeping pace with IIE in the May 2014 issue of Industrial Engineer 

Ports and power

Learning opportunities at annual conference range from sessions to facility tours to networking 

The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014 will be held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. (© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin)

The best way to find out about best practices is to view them in action.

The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014 gives attendees two valuable opportunities to do that with facility tours at the Hydro-Québec Beauharnois Generating Station, the Molson-Coors Distribution Center and the Port of Montreal. Add those to the networking opportunities, dozens of research and applied solutions sessions, keynote speakers and pre-conference workshops, and conference-goers can pack in a lot of knowledge from May 31 to June 3. The conference will be held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. An additional fee is required for facility tours and pre-conference workshops. For more information and to register, visit The following is a sampling of this year’s events:

Saturday, May 31

  • Doctoral colloquium: This all-day event is designed for doctoral candidates expecting to graduate by spring 2015. 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.
  • Pre-conference workshops: "The Ninth Muda," "Basics of Invention and Innovation," or "Leading Change and Managing Changes," all from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Networking reception: Attendees receive a complimentary ticket for this reception, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Additional guest tickets can be purchased on the online registration form or during conference registration.

Sunday, June 1

  • First-time attendee orientation: For those who never have been to the world’s premier industrial engineering conference, this session, scheduled from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., will educate them on the ins and outs.
  • ISERC: The ISERC (Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference) sessions start, continuing through Tuesday, June 3.
  • Applied Solutions: The Applied Solutions Conference sessions start, continuing through Tuesday, June 3.
  • Keynote speaker George Nemhauser: The A. Russell Chandler Chaired Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, Nemhauser currently researches applications involving large-scale, mixed-integer programming problems and robust optimization. He also is a partner in The Sports Scheduling Group, which schedules various college leagues and Major League Baseball. He is scheduled to talk at 9:45 a.m. Go to to learn more about his presentation.
  • 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 upcoming ABET accreditation visits. The session is limited to 40 people. Participants must pre-register by contacting Bonnie Cameron, IIE headquarters operations administrator, at
  • Student networking mixer: Sponsored by The Hershey Co. and Northeastern University's Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute, this is a perfect opportunity for students to make connections for future educational and employment opportunities. It’s scheduled for 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • ISERC poster sessions: Take the opportunity to discuss research one-on-one with presenters. Posters also will be on display in the exhibit hall during exhibit hours June 2 and June 3.
  • 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, June 2

  • Keynote speaker Mica R. Endsley: The chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force serves as the chief scientific adviser to the chief of staff and secretary of the Air Force and provides assessments on scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. She will speak at 9:45 a.m. Go to to learn more about her presentation.
  • Exhibit hall: Exhibitors will be on hand to give attendees a chance to learn about useful products and services. The hall will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Facility tour – Molson-Coors Distribution Center, Montréal: Molson Coors Brewing Co.’s Montréal Distribution Center covers 225,000 square feet and has a warehouse capacity of 900,000 beer cases. Attendees will be able to taste some products at the end of the tour. No cameras, competitors or attendees younger than 21 allowed for the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. tour.
  • Facility tour – Hydro-Québec Beauharnois Generating Station, Beauharnois, Québec: Discover the exceptional design of one of the world’s largest hydropower facilities. Note that pacemaker users cannot go into the power plant. The tour is from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Honors and awards dinner and dessert reception: IIE formally recognizes the accomplishments of prominent practitioners and students with a variety of awards. This event carries an additional fee, and tickets must be purchased before the conference. The dinner and ceremony is scheduled from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., followed by the dessert reception until 10:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Montréal Ballroom at the Westin Montréal hotel.

Tuesday, June 3

  • State of the institute address: IIE Chief Executive Officer Don Greene will detail the current state of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. The discussion is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Keynote speaker Kevin Bartelson: The general manager for Boeing Canada Operations in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Bartelson is responsible for leading Canada’s largest aerospace composite manufacturer – the country’s third largest aerospace facility. Bartelson will speak at 9:45 a.m. Learn more about his presentation at
  • Facility tour – Port of Montreal, Montreal: Situated 1,000 miles inland from the Atlantic, the Port of Montreal moves more than 1 million TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) containers, representing more than 12 million tons of containerized goods annually. The tour is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Exhibit hall: Exhibit hall will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Small organization motivation

Ergo Cup competition brings home the meaning of ergonomics conference 

GE’s Greenville, S.C., team shows off its gas turbine airfoil cutback, which won an Ergo Cup for engineering/ergonomist-driven workplace solutions.

Brian Roberts admits to being prejudiced for the little guy.

So when a small Pacific Northwest roofing and sheet metal company won an Ergo Excellence Award in its first visit to GOErgo’s Applied Ergonomics Conference, the incoming conference chair was pleased.

"They’re not a Boeing," said Roberts, director of manufacturing and ergonomics for CNA Insurance. "They’re not a Honda. They’re not a Ford. They’re Snyder Roofing, a little company from Portland, Ore., and they win. I thought that was pretty cool for a little company like that to come in because what they did was just amazing."Roberts, incoming chair for the Applied Ergonomics Conference 2014 and a veteran of many such gatherings, said first-timers usually are just getting their bearings and rarely win such accolades.

But Roberts, who will co-chair AEC 2015, noticed an energy and enthusiasm during the four days (March 24-27) spent at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla., for AEC 2014. He said part of that passion came from smaller organizations pleased with the opportunity to share with, learn from and compete against well-known entities like Johnson and Johnson, Toyota and GE.

"I think they really thought this was quite an honor to be able to attend this and compete with people from basically all over the world and from some of the major corporations," Roberts said.

As always, the Ergo Cup competition had some of the conference’s highlights. Roberts said many first-time attendees told him that viewing the entries helped them truly understand what the Ergo Cup and the overall conversation was all about.

"When they start walking around and actually listening to what these people have done and some of the projects they have done and changes they’ve made, they’re pretty impressed," Roberts said. "Because it’s hard to describe that on paper until you see what these people have done and see the pictures of what they’ve done and see the changes they’ve made from an engineering perspective or a program perspective."Manchester Tank’s integrated paint hook removal took home an Ergo Cup in the Team-Driven Workplace Solutions category. 

For several years, GOErgo judges have awarded Ergo Cups in four categories. This year’s winners are:

  • Ergonomic Program Improvement Initiatives: Using 6Sigma to Improve Ergonomic Process Management, Cummins Inc., Jamestown, N.Y.
  • Workplace Solutions I, Team-Driven Workplace Solutions: Integrated Paint Hook Removal, Manchester Tank, Elkhart, Ind.
  • Workplace Solutions I, Team-Driven Workplace Solutions with Internal Competitions: Shaft Deburr Cart, GE Aviation, Asheville, N.C.
  • Workplace Solutions II, Engineering/Ergonomist-Driven Workplace Solutions: Gas Turbine Airfoil Cutback, 7E Stage 1 Cutback, GE, Greenville, S.C.

Conference attendees select the Ergo Excellence Award. The winners, including Snyder Roofing, were:

  • Cost Savings: Rolling Drill Press/Extended Pneumatic Hammer, Snyder Roofing, Portland, Ore.
  • Ergonomic Risk Reduction: Set ‘N See Stairs Stopper, Toyota (TEMA), Blue Springs, Miss.
  • Innovation: Lower Vanity Plug-n-Play Box, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Dallas
  • Presentation Quality: The Dual Inspector, One Gadget for All, Cordis Corp., Miami Lakes, Fla.
  • Simplicity: Ergo Creeper, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, Ga. 

To view AEC 2014 highlights, including tweets, links to videos and a photo album, visit

And start making plans for the 2015 Applied Ergonomics Conference, scheduled for March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

CHAPTER CHECK-IN: Tractor pull

Kaizen event spices up university conference
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology students Andrea Marie-Babbs (from left), Matthew Walter and Jessica Shull pose with the tractor they built for a kaizen competition at the North Central Region University Conference. Walter holds the placard with the team’s preliminary time.The North Central Region University Conference spiced up its technical paper competition with a bit of tractor manufacturing.

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology student chapter hosted the conference March 6-8.

"The tractor manufacturing event was a fun kaizen event that allowed each chapter to compete against each other," said student conference Co-chair Katy Ramsbacher.

Organizers wanted an innovative way to increase attendance for the paper competition.

Chapter members first laid hands on the pedal tractors from Scale Model Toys in Iowa on March 7. They had to reverse engineer how to put the model back together the fastest, developing a shadow board to help the process along.

Right before the competitions started, organizers threw a surprise into the process by introducing an Americans with Disabilities Act challenge: One person from each team had to select a disability, such as height restriction, loss of sight out of one eye, loss of an arm, loss of a thumb, and/or loss of hearing. Adding the challenge forced chapter members to think on their toes and rebalance their assembly process, Ramsbacher said.

The University of Illinois-Urbana team won the tractor competition.

Big plans for big data

IIE Transactions seeks paper for special issue to address trend
IIE Transactions, the institute’s flagship technical journal, has issued a call for papers for a special issue titled "Big Data Analytics in Manufacturing and Services."

The special issue, tentatively scheduled to be published in May 2015, needs both theoretical and application-based research papers in the service and manufacturing domains. Topics include but are not limited to data capture and storage, mining big data, visualizing big data, and decision-making.

Manuscripts prepared according to the IIE Transactions publication guidelines should be submitted through Please select "special issue" under the manuscript category of your submission. The paper submission deadline is Aug. 1.

Help run your institute

BOT and other leadership hopefuls must be nominated by May 7
Nominations for election to the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ board of trustees and 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. IIE must receive nominations by May 7.

The election is scheduled for December. Winners take office in April 2015.

The four open BOT positions are president-elect; senior vice president-at-large, academics; senior vice president, continuing education; and senior vice president, regional operations. Other open posts include vice president, technical operations as well as regional vice presidents for the South Central and North Central regions.