Each academic year, industrial engineering seniors participate in the Industrial Engineering Senior Capstone Experience as part of teams of three to five students. Every student pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas is required to complete the two-semester course sequence. Richard Cassady, university professor of industrial engineering, coordinates the Industrial Engineering Capstone Experience courses. The teams are matched with an industry partner and led by a student project manager.
In the fall semester, teams begin by conducting background research on their industry partner and the issues of interest to that partner. Students develop a detailed understanding of the process or system of interest and obtain the data necessary to conduct preliminary analysis into the issues faced by the industry partner. Based on their preliminary analysis, they define objectives for their spring semester work, the performance measures they will use to measure their success in achieving the objectives, and the deliverables they will provide their partner at the end of the year.
In the spring semester, the teams apply their industrial engineering skills to achieve their project objectives. Through their defined performance measures, they assess their success in achieving their objectives and create their project deliverables. They also document information necessary for their industry partner to use their deliverables.
The culmination of their research is presented at the Capstone Symposium in the spring, just before graduation. The teams are recognized for their work and receive awards in several categories for the work they have completed.