U of A to Host Regional Student Conference for Institute of Industrial Engineers

 The University of Arkansas’ student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the department of industrial engineering will host the IIE 2014 South Central Regional Student Conference from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 under the theme, “I.E. for Life."

The conference is organized and led by advisers Chase Rainwater and Sandy Sehon, and student co-chairs and graduating seniors, Bentley Fitchue and Harsha Malshe.

This conference brings together industrial engineering students and professionals to exchange knowledge, share ideas, and develop the next generation of our student leaders.

 Professor Kim Needy, head of the department, said, “As president of IIE, I cannot think of a greater honor than to host the 2014 South Central Regional Conference showcasing our industrial engineering department along with our amazing faculty, staff, students, alumni and industry partners to industrial engineering programs from around the region.

The program that our students have put together is outstanding!” As host for this year’s conference the department will bring together students and faculty from ten colleges and universities from the south central region.

Attendees include students and faculty from Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Houston, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, Wichita State University, Lamar University, and the University of Arkansas.

Sponsors for the conference include, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., ABF Freight System Inc., the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers, P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc., Harrison Energy Partners, and Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.

“This conference is a great opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to showcase the best of the University of Arkansas and the region, and to promote industrial engineering which is core to logistics, supply chain, facility planning, systems engineering and manufacturing,” said conference student co-chairs Malshe and Fitchue, adding, “which are the some of the biggest contributors to the success of the economy of Northwest Arkansas.”

“I’m extremely excited to showcase the importance of industrial engineering to our university and the Northwest Arkansas community. Our student leadership has prepared a first-class event that is sure to have a lasting impact on all of the attendees," said faculty chair Rainwater.

Throughout the conference, students will be given opportunities to learn more about entrepreneurship, occupational ergonomics, decision analysis, and simulation. In addition, tours will be offered at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and historic Wal-Mart Visitor Center and Museum in Bentonville, and the cutting-edge Marshalltown manufacturing and distribution facilities in Fayetteville.

The conference will also showcase a highly competitive undergraduate technical paper competition, along with distinguished speakers including Needy, head of the industrial engineering department and president of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, and Kevin Oden, an Arkansas graduate and co-founder of cycleWood Solutions.

The conference will conclude with a banquet on Feb. 1 at the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. This event will feature an invited talk by John A. White, Distinguished Professor and chancellor emeritus. White is well known worldwide for his numerous contributions to the field of industrial engineering.

IIE is the world’s largest professional society dedicated solely to the support of the industrial engineering profession and individuals involved with improving quality and productivity. Founded in 1948, IIE is an international, nonprofit association that provides leadership for the application, education, training, research, and development of industrial engineering. Its mission is to provide knowledge, training, networking opportunities and recognition to enhance the skills and effectiveness of the industrial and systems engineering profession and those individuals involved with improving quality and productivity. To find out more about IIE, visit http://www.iienet2.org/details.aspx?id=282.

Conference Website: iie2014scc.uark.edu/

Chase Rainwater, Assistant Professor
Industrial Engineering
479-575-2687, cer@uark.edu

Bentley Fitchue and Harsha Malshe, Conference Co-Chairs
Industrial Engineering
479-575-3156, iie@uark.edu