Keeping pace with IIE in the August 2015 issue of Industrial Engineer 

Hitting the right notes in Music City

Kaz Takeda (not pictured) moderated a panel discussion called “What Leaders Look for in Promoting IEs to Management.” Panelists included Brad Parrish (from left) of FedEx Office, Jean Ann Larson of Jean Ann Larson & Associates, Anita Ranhotra of Hallmark Cards and Kevin Vliet of Tesla. 

Annual Conference once again delivers on education, networking opportunities
In his speech after receiving the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award, James Tompkins probably said it best: "Purdue taught me engineering. IIE taught me leadership."

The theme of developing leadership within the profession resonated throughout the IIE Annual Conference & Expo 2015, which took place May 30 - June 2 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

Professional industrial engineers working in numerous industries and students from dozens of universities around the world took part in more than 400 educational sessions, facility tours, networking events and workshops. This year, several Applied Solutions and Industrial & Systems Engineering Research Conference sessions merged, allowing attendees to gain insights simultaneously from both industry and academic perspectives.

"I think the conference was well-done this year," said Joan Wagner, IIE's senior vice president-at-large, industry. "The format evolution is providing a lot of value to attendees by grouping similar ISERC and Solutions sessions together. The location was great, and the layout of the exhibits was convenient."

IIE members also had the opportunity to meet and share ideas with others in various town hall sessions for IIE's societies and divisions. There also was a town hall dedicated to an open discussion about the name change proposal for IIE that members will get to vote on later this year.

As usual, the keynote presentations drew standing-room-only crowds and delivered intriguing topics. Linda Hudson, founder, chairman and CEO of The Cardea Group, discussed how the skills of industrial and systems engineers are uniquely suited to solve the problems facing the world today, and she highlighted some of the opportunities that await today's graduates.

Mark Daskin, chair of the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, talked about diversity and why industrial engineers should be focused on it because of its influence in creating a positive impact on improving productivity among groups.

Nancy Currie, a veteran astronaut and principal engineer with the NASA Engineering and Safety Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, explained the importance of a rigorous systems engineering integration function in the design and operation of complex systems, especially in the human space flight world.

And next year, attendees will have the opportunity to head west and trade cowboy hats for mouse ears when they attend the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2016, scheduled for May 21-24 at the Disneyland Resort Hotel in Anaheim, California.

Click here to see the conference photos.