WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

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From the Chair
Photo of Ken Currie

Ken Currie, Department Chair

Reset Time

Everyone, at some point, needs a “do-over” or reset. In academia, that reset happens every semester. Students come full of enthusiasm, knowing that they could “potentially” make all “As.” Reality usually hits home after the first round of tests. Students then look forward to another reset four short months later.

Many of you may be having resets of your own. Recent graduates are starting their first job; others are finding new jobs and promotions. The feeling of starting over is very reminiscent of your college days where all things are new and filled with promise and potential.

The Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering is also experiencing a bit of a reset brought on by the retirements of long-time employees. Names like Iskander, Della-Guistina, Creese, Dalton and Klishis have retired within the last three years, representing approximately 200 years of combined service to West Virginia University.

We are charting a new course, with new faculty and the inaugural issue of our electronic newsletter. The Department will also be moving to the Engineering Sciences Building, where we hope to establish a state-of-the-art Student Collaboratory with three times the student space and a new virtual desktop infrastructure.

The Department is also kicking off some new initiatives:

  • hosting our first-ever Safety Management Symposium on October 8, at the Erickson Alumni Center,
  • creation of a maker/teaching laboratory stressing digital methods for manufacturing,
  • collaboration on an advanced/smart manufacturing laboratory,
  • the marketing and delivery of an entirely online safety management curriculum,
  • semi-annual electronic newsletters.

As the title of this newsletter implies, our reset will fall short without our connection to alumni and students. We need your expertise, feedback and your financial support. Please email me your comments about this electronic form of communication.

IMSE to create student collaboratory
Rendering of future Collaboratory space

With the Department’s pending move to the Engineering Sciences Building in 2015, plans are to create a collaboratory for student and faculty use.

A collaboratory is an environment where participants use computing and communication technologies to access shared resources and data, as well as interact with one another. It is an environment that encourages team-building from diverse groups of individuals for innovation and achieving better academic outcomes.

At the core of the Collaboratory is the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which will host a desktop operating system within a virtual machine running on a centralized server. This will allow students to bring their laptops into the collaboratory, and use a VM supported by the centralized server to run any of the IMSE software licenses for statistics, linear programming, etc. The VDI is also accessible remotely to facilitate off-campus collaboration as well.

Other collaboration tools include a whiteboard screen that will allow for mobile and wireless collaboration. Equipped with a virtual touch screen, users will be able to save collaboration documents created on the screen to a USB flash drive. There will also be a touch screen monitor with relevant information about upcoming events, Alumni Academy member bios, job opportunities, etc.

The most noticeable change will be in the size and comfort of the space — nearly triple the square footage — when compared to existing student computer space.

State funding and student fees cannot fully support the collaboratory project; contributions from alumni, friends and corporations are needed to ensure the completion of this cutting-edge facility. For information on how you can make a one-time gift or spread your gift over a period of five years, please contact Heather Cross, associate director of development.

News in Brief
IMSE to host first-ever Safety Management Symposium

On Thursday, October 8, the Department will host its first-ever symposium on safety management, “Path to Excellence: Past. Present. Future.” Safety management is a fundamental and critical component of business performance and is essential to financial and operational success and improved productivity. This symposium will bring together the talents, expertise and motivation from WVU alumni and friends to share best practices, benchmarking and current trends in managing safety.

The cost to attend is $125 for professional registrants and $35 for students. Continuing education credits are available. Attendance is limited to 150 attendees and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and to register, please visit the symposium website.

Welcome to IMSE

The retirement of several members of our faculty and staff have led to three newcomers joining our team.

After earning his doctorate in production engineering from the University of Bremen in Germany, Thorsten Wuest conducted research in the areas of advanced and smart manufacturing at BIBA, one of Europe’s top tier scientific research institutes dealing with today’s complex and dynamic challenges arising within production and logistics systems. He joins the Department as an assistant professor.

A West Virginia native, Shanti Hamburg earned his bachelor and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from WVU. He was involved in many hands-on design and fabrication projects including Design/Build/Fly and Challenge X. His graduate research focused on the design and prototyping of a ruggedized, stowable mobile autonomous vehicles. His involvement with these projects has provided him with a unique perspective to lead our manufacturing processes class into the digital age.

Elyce Biddle joins the Department as a teaching associate professor for the safety management program after a two-year stint in the WVU School of Public Health as a research assistant professor. Biddle earned her doctorate in occupational safety and health from the Department in 2004. She spent nearly 28 years in the area of health economics, most recently as a senior research economist with NIOSH and has conducted research on evaluating the economic impact of workplace injury and illness.

Student Profile:
Emily Phipps

Photo of Emily Phipps

Emily Phipps, an industrial engineering major for Cornelius, North Carolina, is one of three Statler College students selected to attend a major international summit organized by the National Academies of Engineering of the U.S., U.K. and China.

The second Global Grand Challenges Summit in Beijing, China, includes a diverse mix of thought leaders and students who will discuss a series of opportunities believed to be achievable and sustainable to help people and the planet survive. The summit will focus on the themes found in the NAE Grand Challenges report - sustainability, infrastructure, energy, health and joy of living - along with education and security/resilience.

For more information on Phipps and the students joining her at the summit, visit our website.

Alumni Profile:
Alexis Claassen

Photo of Alexis Claassen holding a sign that says she wants a safe workplace So I can walk down the aisle August 2015

Creating a safe work environment is vital to worker’s health and welfare, and safety management graduate Alexis Claassen thinks it all starts with why we work.

Claassen is an environmental health and safety specialist at PPG Industries’ industrial coatings plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. When the company initiated Safety 365, a company campaign to end workplace injuries, Claassen was tasked with making the program fit the plant’s team and culture.

“I wanted our team to remember the reasons they should work safe and why they want to go home at the end of the day,” said Claassen, a native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania.

To do so, Claassen asked each employee to write a sentence or phrase about the reasons for wanting to work safe on a dry erase board and take a picture with it. The pictures were then placed around the facility, and each employee was given a copy to attach to their name badge.

Read more about Claassen's safety campaign online.

Contact Information

Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

PO Box 6070
Morgantown, WV 26506-6070

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West Virginia University
Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
PO Box 6070 Morgantown, WV 26506-6070

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West Virginia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.
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