IE Spring Capstone Recap: 10 projects that went to work

July 18, 2017

Headshot of Dr. Suraj Alexander

Last May saw a new batch of Industrial Engineers finish off their studies with their capstone project. Each project was coordinated with Dr. Suraj Alexander, the chair of the department, to actually work with existing industry to provide a product to be employed in the field.

“We have about ten capstone projects. We have them with UPS and a lot of logistics companies. Wolverine. Some manufacturing companies. We did a project with the Jefferson County Office of the Circuit court,” says Alexander.

Graduate students worked on a wide array of projects including space optimization with American Printing House for the Blind, a major grocery chain, and the process improvement at Taco Bell, Dynacraft, Wolverine Worldwide, Radial Inc., UPS, as well as the aforementioned Jefferson County Office of the Circuit court.

“All of them did something useful. The most technical one was the UPS one, because they did a complex simulation. The other UPS capstone was assessing where they could use robots. They did find some use for robots,” says Alexander.

He adds of their group work, “They’re used to selecting their friends in teams, but I pick it for them. They don’t like that. You don’t get to choose who you work with in life. I look at their skillset and try to match them with a project. As the enrollment gets larger, it gets more difficult. If it were two semester projects, I could charge the companies.”