University of Iowa Update

The University of Iowa IIE Chapter has had a very active and prosperous year. With over 20 new members this year and a record 30 members attending the regional conference, our chapter has expanded and flourished. We finished the year out strong participating in 4 unique plant tours, sadly sent off our 8 graduating seniors, and filled weekly community volunteering positions. For 3 months our chapter found 4 individuals each week from IIE to work a day-long shift at the Iowa City Kickers youth soccer league concession stand. We filled orders for hungry parents, kids, and even dogs. Our process precision and quality maintenance were tested in a very busy and chaotic setting. Needless to say giving back to the community was a great highlight for our chapter!

University of Wisconsin Engineering Expo

This past weekend, April 16th to April 18th, the Institute of Industrial Engineers UW – Madison Chapter took part in Engineering EXPO. Engineering EXPO is a three-day event held every two years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Engineering. EXPO is run entirely by students and brings over 10,000 visitors to campus biennially. This is a great opportunity for IIE to give back to the community. Members of IIE volunteer their time during their busy schedules to teach visitors of all ages and demonstrate what industrial engineers do.


The IIE exhibit consisted of two demonstrations. One was a Mario Kart race, where all participants had to play with some sort of handicap. The handicaps they were using were oven mitts, one hand, looking through a mirror, and an upside down controller. These different handicaps are supposed to resemble disabilities and show how engineers need to design for everyone.  After an exciting and often frustrating race, IIE engages in a discussion with the participants regarding the difficulties they experienced and possible design recommendations to the gaming system or controller that could have made their experience more enjoyable.  This introduction to human factors is a good exposure to the way industrial engineers need to think.wisconsin_expo


The second demonstration at the IIE exhibit was the aluminum foil boat float. The goal of this demonstration was to have visitors make a boat out of a piece of tin foil, then see how many pennies the boat can hold while floating on water. This demonstration shows how to design using less material, while still being effective. The record was 95 pennies, just short of a dollar. Great work everyone!


Engineering Expo is a great place for IIE to showcase what they do. This year we had a great turnout from both visitors and volunteers. Thanks to everyone for all the help!


-Daniel Grunsted

Education Chair

IIE Engineering EXPO Chair

Help Support the 2016 North Central Regional Conference

The North Central IIE Regional Conference is an annual event that brings together participants in both academia and industry of industrial engineering to socialize and exchange
ideas. Hundreds of students fromUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and other universities in the region will be attending the conference. Speakers from the sponsoring companies and professors from UIUC will give speeches to the student participants. Over the course of three days, students will interact and communicate with each other through a number of well-planned activities.

Please click on flyer below for more info:

IIE Conference Sponsorship Packet

If you have any questions please contact Brittany Foster at

IIE UW-Madison Student Chapter Expo

Join the IIE UW-Madison student chapter at the 2015 Engineering Campus taking place from April 16th – 18th on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Engineering Campus!

Engineering Expo is a three day event held every two years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Engineering. Expo is run entirely by students and brings over 10,000 visitors to campus biennially. Participants at Expo include Fortune 500 industry leaders, engineering student organizations on campus, individuals displaying their engineering projects and ideas, and thousands of students and members of the community. During the first two days of Expo, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools are invited to explore what engineering involves. Each day the event is open to the public and we encourage public engagement throughout the event.

As members of Engineering Expo 2015, our goal is to unite students, industry, and the community by inspiring innovation and ingenuity in the minds of future generations. Through the exploration of today’s achievements, we hope to encourage tomorrow’s scientific endeavors.

IIE UW-Madison is very excited to be hosting two exhibits to expose people of all ages to the importance of industrial engineering tools through a combination of fun and learning.  Participants will be taught about the importance of effective resource utilization through an aluminum foil boat competition, and exposed to different aspects of human factors engineering during a simulated Mario Kart racing activity.  We invite you to join IIE UW-Madison as well as the many other fantastic student organizations, research initiatives and industry representatives at the 2015 Engineering EXPO!

The most up-to-date information can be found at


-Aaron Strawman

President, IIE UW-Madison 2014-2015

Iowa State Updates

Iowa State University’s IIE chapter continually allures members and students to engage in activities and presentations relating to industrial engineering.  From on-site visits with companies to giving undergrads the chance to listen to professors talk about their research, the opportunities to learn about industrial engineering outside of the classroom are endless.

Every fall at Iowa State University, there is a freshman faculty dinner held for newly admitted industrial engineering students. This event incorporates networking with faculty and IIE members as well as applying/learning industrial engineering concepts through a collaborative game. Past games have been assembling pizzas, paper plane competition, and a marble race. Each of these games have been played with the help of a faculty member and an IIE member. The pizza and paper plane games outline the inefficiencies of a production line and the marble race encouraged creative thinking and designing. The best part about the dinner is how in to it the faculty get. They are competitive against each other and will do anything to win. It has been a great way to show the freshmen they can relate to their professors and when the time comes go to them for help.

A large part of Iowa State University’s IIE chapter’s focus is creating relationships with professors by inviting them to present at the monthly IIE meetings.  These events allow members to see what the professors do beyond the classroom, as well as what potential areas or projects they could get involved with in academia or industry. Throughout the semester, there have been presentations on the growing need for IE’s in sustainability as well as human factors relating to virtual reality, robots, and aviation.

Another focus is exposing members to opportunities within industry. A few companies that have visited throughout the year include P&G, Pepsi, Frito Lay, and UnityPoint Health. These networking events have not only helped students understand how industrial engineers would contribute to their companies, but have given members a better understanding of what professionals look for in students.

Being a member of Iowa State University’s IIE chapter is a commitment to continuous learning that often cannot be taught in the classroom.

Gilruth Tribute Celebration

Featured Guest: Robert Cabana, Director, Kennedy Space Center

April 23, 8 – 10 a.m.

TCF Bank Stadium

Minnesota vision launched the most audacious engineering challenge in history.

Join the April 23 Gilruth Tribute Celebration featuring Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana, who will lead the tribute to U of M alumnus Robert Gilruth (1913 – 2000), the Father of America’s Human Space Flight program.  This exciting event at TCF Bank Stadium precedes Mr. Gilruth’s induction into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame on April 25.

The celebration will honor the region’s innovation legacy and the many Minnesotans who helped take America into space. Celebrate one of the most amazing stories in our State of Innovation and grow our legacy by supporting a new generation of learners.

The Minnesotan who advised President Kennedy to put a man on the moon led the Apollo program and built a great space center in a pasture to do it.

Known as the “Father of America’s Human Space Flight program,” Robert Gilruth was born in Nashwauk, Minnesota on October 8, 1913. He graduated from high school in Duluth, earned Aeronautical Engineering degrees from the University of Minnesota and oversaw 25 manned spaceflights, from the suborbital Mercury-Redstone 3 flight to Apollo 15 lunar landing mission – July 1971.

AirSpace Minnesota nominated Mr. Gilruth for induction into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame, to occur on Saturday, April 25. Mr. Cabana is coming to help pay tribute to Mr. Gilruth, the legacy of the University of Minnesota and the many Minnesotans who helped take America into space.

About Robert Cabana
Mr. Cabana, a Minneapolis Washburn High School graduate, was appointed to lead the Kennedy Space Center in 2008. The Hall of Fame astronaut previously served as director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center and deputy director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School with over 7,000 hours logged in 36 different aircraft, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy and flew four space shuttle missions:  Pilot, Discovery, (STS-41 and STS-53), Commander, Columbia (STS-65) and Commander, Endeavour (STS-88, the 1st space station assembly mission). On April 24 he will be honored with the prestigious National Space Trophy at a ceremony in Houston.



Growth and Retention – What does this mean IIE TC?

There is no shortage of professional development and networking opportunities out there to entice your participation, especially as social media continues to increase the ability to market something new. When working to retain and grow membership and participation, this is just one challenge that IIE Chapters face. You may ask, “What’s an organization to do?!”

IIE Twin Cities strives to offer a wide range of activities so as to bring a little something to everyone (or even to a little of everything to only one!).  Our strategic plan defines eight as the minimum number of “diverse value-driven events”. Some of these events are recurring favorites: Bean Bag Tournament / BBQ, November Student networking and December social. Others are a result of the networking that occurs in our daily lives as Industrial Engineers or the very events that we host.  New Board members often bring new tour options.  A board member may meet another professional whose endeavors overlap or influence us as IE’s (ergonomics research, quality program deployment or traffic engineering) and then arrange to have them speak. Participants at an IIE Twin Cities event often suggest or request a specific topic or tour or even offer to host IIE at his/her own employer.

IIE Twin Cities also strives to support and be involved with other professional organizations.  Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Society of Quality (ASQ) and Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) are some of the groups that we have collaborated with in recent years. As Industrial Engineers we often touch every part of the process and these connections can be invaluable. This may also spark an interest in IIE amongst a new audience…you don’t have to be an IE to benefit from the methodologies and experience!

The more opportunities we have to look good, the more likely we are to draw an audience. Therefore, in recent years, IIE Twin Cities Board of Directors has worked to better utilize media options (social and otherwise). For example:

  • Newsletter Director, Jenna Weiland, helped the Board of Directors to make this newsletter valuable, informative and “easy on the eyes.”
  • Social Media Director, Britta Rowen, initiated a blog on the National website to share some of our activities.
  • Members have helped to make LinkedIn a source for local discussion, job opportunities and networking in general.
  • The IIE Twin Cities website was updated in recent years and our webmaster can now more easily adapt and update appearance and content.
  • Board Members annually travelling to the Regional Student Conference and a specific roll has been established for Student Outreach. Nate Andrican will continue to grow this aspect of our Chapter in 2015.
  • Finally, every event should be something to talk about because, as they say, word of mouth is the best advertising!

Want to know more ??

– Talk to a board member at the next event

– Email us at

– Find us LinkedIn (IIE Twin Cities)

– Explore at