Skip To Main Content
From left, Dr. Erick Moreno-Centeno, Cheryl Kocman and Katelyn Wilson stand at a booth table covered with a maroon tablecloth. Behind them are several banners with information about the department.
From left, Dr. Erick Moreno-Centeno, Cheryl Kocman and Katelyn Wilson ran the industrial and systems engineering booth during the four-day 2023 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Annual Conference and Expo. | Image: Courtesy of Samantha Anderson

Faculty, staff and students had another successful year of showcasing the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the 2023 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Annual Conference and Expo.

A new event on the agenda was a management simulation contest hosted by the Texas A&M University student chapter of IISE, with help from Drs. Mike Graul and Erick Moreno-Centeno, who serves as the chapter advisor. The Society for Engineering and Management Systems (SEMS), the largest society within IISE, wanted to kickstart a student-led competition to engage students, increase awareness of SEMS and provide a fun way to network and meet industry professionals. The competition was piloted at Texas A&M in the sophomore design labs.

“It has been very exciting to work with SEMS as well as national IISE,” said Elizabeth Plutto, chapter president and industrial and systems engineering senior. “I am so proud of the work my officers have put in that contributed to making our chapter of IISE so successful.”

The officers’ team included Plutto and seniors Daniel Adams, Samantha Anderson, Alyssa Ramos and Katelyn Wilson.

At the 2023 conference, 10 teams from universities across the country had two hours to compete using simulation software that mimics a car manufacturing center to build the most successful center. A two-person team from The Ohio State University took first place, winning a $500 prize, with teams from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Houston finishing second and third, respectively. 

“This simulation competition challenged students’ abilities, both technically and as managers,” Plutto said. “The skills that we learn in our classes can be directly applied to a manufacturing setting, and it’s a great opportunity for students to work in teams and showcase what they have learned.”

The 2024 IISE conference will once again offer the management simulation contest, with Texas A&M taking a leadership role. 

Faculty and students shared about their work in the department, and several were recognized with awards at the conference.

  • Mike Graul ’84, associate professor of practice and licensed professional engineer: President-elect of the Society for Engineering and Management Systems
  • Alaa Elwany, associate professor: Manufacturing and Design Division Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Guy Curry, senior professor, and G. Kemble Bennett, senior professor and licensed professional engineer, and former student Dr. Hiram Moya ’95: First place in the Operational Excellence Division Best Track Paper Competition
  • Former student Dr. Eduardo Perez ’10: Outstanding Global Faculty Advisor Award
  • Former students Dr. Maryam Khatami ’19, Dr. Michelle Alvarado ’12 and Dr. Mark Lawley, professor and licensed professional engineer: IISE Transactions 2022 Best Application Paper Award for their submission titled “Inpatient discharge planning under uncertainty”