By Miranda Buckheit
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) is co-sponsoring the Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award competition at the annual spring Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Conference and Expo. Individuals and teams from academia and industry are invited to submit nominations by the Jan. 31, 2020, deadline.
The award evaluation committee seeks nominations that showcase the implementation of effective industrial and systems engineering principles, tools and techniques that address real process problems for service sector industries such as health care, finance, entertainment, insurance, logistics, transportation and more.
Six award finalists will receive complimentary registration to the IISE Conference and Expo in New Orleans from May 30 to June 2, 2020, up to a $500 travel stipend and a ticket to the honors and awards banquet at the event.
The Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award is closely tied to the goals of the Penn State Service Enterprise Engineering Initiative (SEE 360). Vittal Prabhu, director of SEE 360 and professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, said the goal of the initiative is to make students, as well as the larger global community, aware of the opportunities for improving service systems by applying engineering techniques.
He believes that the award is an ideal avenue for this awareness.
“IISE is the flagship professional organization for industrial engineers, so it is natural for us to partner on this award,” Prabhu said. “We are keen on showcasing a variety of innovations that have been developed in industrial applications or through academic research.”
At the 2019 IISE Conference and Expo in Orlando, software development and consultancy firm Optamo LLC won the first Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award for its presentation on optimizing inmate assignment in correctional systems. Two teams from Penn State — one from IME on modeling optimization of snow removal and another from Penn State Health on improving patient recovery after joint reconstruction or replacement — finished third and second, respectively, in the inaugural competition.
“A significant percentage of industrial and systems engineering graduates are starting careers in service systems industries,” said Scott Sink, IISE chair for honors and awards. “This award shines a spotlight on the great work and contributions that industrial and systems engineers are making in nontraditional areas.”
For more information about the award or to nominate an engineering-focused individual, team or organization in academia or industry, visit the IISE website.