Clemson Hosts a Successful IIE Student Regional Conference
- February 2009
The Clemson chapter of IIE hosted the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on February 5-7 and the conference proved to be an overwhelming success! The event attracted 150 industrial engineering students, with over 100 students from visiting schools including North Carolina A&T, North Carolina State University, Tennessee Tech University, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Virginia Tech University, and West Virginia University. Each of the following students on the organizing committee played a key role in planning and executing a fantastic and flawless weekend: Lindsay Balint, Rachael Bedosky, Melanie Cobb, Lindsey Daniels, Greer Eubanks, Marissa Grubb, Kim Listermann, Kalyn Kelly, Michael Pruitt, Jenny Tate and James "JC" Zabel. In addition to having 50 volunteers from Clemson University participate, a special thanks goes out to Danielle Lanigan (Conference Chair) and Dr. Kevin Taaffe (IIE Faculty Advisor) for providing the necessary leadership in making the event such a great success.
IIE students from the entire region were welcomed to a professionally rewarding weekend of inspirational speakers, plant tours, team building challenges, games, and social activities. Included in the conference were visits to local facilities (TaylorMade, Thomas Creek Brewery, and Walgreens Distribution Center) and a Career Fair with representatives from American Express, Altec, Hershey, Navair, UPS, and the Clemson Graduate School.
Keynote speakers for the conference included Dr. Jane Ammons, president-elect of IIE, Jeff Christian from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Jim Humphries from Fluor. Dr. Ammons gave a knowledgeable and informative talk on behalf of IIE about the direction our profession is heading. Jeff Christian spoke about his passion for systematically designing houses that use zero energy. Jim Humphries ended the conference by boosting confidence that IE students will continue to be in high demand in industry. IEs have a unique set of skills and will find themselves in a variety of roles in the future. Individual speaker sessions during the conference gave students insight into IIE subjects like leadership (Jeff Johnson, American Express), lean manufacturing (Steve Alford, Milliken), and innovation (Kristen Gambrell, Michelin). In addition, TaylorMade's Danny Smith gave a great demonstration of lean manufacturing and Walgreens' Angela Mackey gave an inspiring presentation about incorporating people with disabilities into your workforce.
Besides obtaining a wealth of knowledge on all types of IIE subjects, students participated in IE challenges that encouraged team building. Schools competed in "The Tower of T-Error," "IE Lingo Bingo," "Lego Surprise," and "Dysfunction Function." There was also the IIE Technical Paper competition which resulted in some exceptional entries, including Clemson's own team (Marissa Grubb, Lindsay Balint, and Audrey Berger) who took third place!
Social activities for the weekend were plentiful and included an intercollegiate pool and bowling tournament, as well as trivia games.
The conference was a huge success and it would not have been possible without all the hard work of the Conference Organizing Committee. We expect that all participants headed for home with a sense of the Clemson Pride that our IIE students possess!