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


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