Interactive simulation for introducing industrial engineering


This study represents a simulation-based Industrial Engineering (IE) challenge activity in an introduction-to-engineering course. The course is developed for incoming freshman students to raise their understanding of IE and three other engineering disciplines offered at Quinnipiac University. In the IE segment of the course students are introduced to the nature of the discipline and its wide applications through four introductory topics, two of which are Operations Research (OR) and Human Factors (HF). This is followed by an "IE Challenge" which incorporates techniques in OR and HF to make the students experience an example of a real-life problem requiring optimization and human-centered design. The students work in teams to create comfortable seating and an efficient route for an airplane given a revenue maximization goal. Upon completion the students become familiar with the Travelling Salesman Problem, Knapsack Problem, and working with anthropometric data for different genders and ethnic groups. The information about the students' perception and attitude on IE is collected at the beginning and the end of the semester to investigate an increase of knowledge in IE as well as students' preference in choosing it as their major.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Journal Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings