Industrial Engineering team presents research at ULS conference

Mar 30, 2021 | Engineering and Science, Research, Students

A team of Industrial Engineering seniors represented Louisiana Tech University at the University of Louisiana System’s “For Our Future Conference 2021.”

The team, Landry Seimears, Emily Theriot, and Courtney Wessels, presented their research “Examining the use of the DMAIC process on the operational plan improvement for UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers” at the conference, which was held via teleconference on March 18 and 19.

Under the guidance of Dr. Jun-Ing Ker, program chair and associate professor of industrial engineering at Louisiana Tech, the team worked with UPS intern Cassie Johnson and Corporate Package Industrial Engineer Anne Hasslen to develop a guideline and operational plan for the new personal vehicle driver facet of the company.

“I am pleased to see that our students are applying industrial engineering skills learned in classes to make enterprises more efficient and environment cleaner,” Ker said. “Most impressively, all analyses were done remotely through close communications with UPS engineers located in Minnesota. Though the estimated cost saving will mainly result from wage savings, the reduction in mileages driven by personal vehicle drivers will also help reduce carbon emission.”

“The Industrial Engineering program at Louisiana Tech really focuses on all aspects of manufacturing that an industrial engineering graduate might encounter,” Seimears added. “Through the study of Lean and Six Sigma manufacturing, economics, ergonomics, and many other courses, the program has taught me valuable skills that I can utilize throughout my career.”

The team used industrial engineering skills and knowledge, like the Six Sigma Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control process (DMAIC) and International Organization for Standardization 13503, to develop a plan for the company to decrease cost and improve delivery time. Their research resulted in $138,000 annual savings for the company.

“Learning the DMAIC methodology in the Industrial Engineering program (which is a process and quality improvement strategy composed of steps and tools) helped the development of our solution,” Theroit said. “I would encourage both Industrial Engineering students and other engineering majors to pursue Six Sigma Green and Black Belt certifications. Not only will this help in projects you may be in, but it is something that can enhance your resume and provide you with valuable skills to use in your career, no matter what path you’re going down.”

“The Louisiana Tech Industrial Engineering program provided me with the skills and resources I needed to succeed in my internships and in this project,” Wessels added. “We were taught methods to reduce costs and wastes, improve safety in  environments, and optimize processes through working with people, materials, and information. I cannot wait to utilize these tools in my future jobs while representing our program!”

The team also presented their research at the Louisiana Tech Undergraduate Research Symposium in February, where it was selected to present their work at the ULS conference.