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Upward Bound students take on Industrial Engineering concepts during SIUE’s inaugural IE Summer Institute

SIUE graduate student Ahmet Zahit Aslan gives instruction to Upward Bound students. (SIUE photo)

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Upward Bound Scholars Academy (UBSA) students briefly entered the world of product design, production planning and more during SIUE’s inaugural Industrial Engineering (IE) Summer Institute, held Monday-Friday, June 12-16 and hosted by the University’s IE department.

“This program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of various essential topics in the field of industrial engineering,” said Sinan Onal, Ph.D., IE department chair and associate professor. “Our summer institute covers production planning, lean manufacturing, 3D design and printing, and coding. By attending the IE summer institute, students gained hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge of the fundamental concepts and practices involved in each of these areas. Our experienced graduate assistants guided students through the various aspects of Industrial Engineering.”

SIUE graduate students assisting with the program included Ahmet Zahit Aslan, Mukesh Das and Onur Kaan Topcu.

More than 20 UBSA students from Collinsville High School (CHS) participated in the week-long summer camp, according to UBSA Program Director Yvonne Hart.

“Our students who were interested in engineering were fortunate enough and excited to be able to participate in this camp,” said Hart. “They learned a lot.”

Specifically, according to Onal, the takeaways for students included:

  • Production Planning: Students learned about forecasting, capacity planning, scheduling and inventory management.
  • Lean Manufacturing: Students learned how to identify and eliminate waste, optimize processes and improve overall efficiency.
  • 3D Design and Printing: Students learned the basics of computer-aided design (CAD) software and how to create their own 3D models.
  • Coding: Students learned how to write code, solve problems algorithmically and develop simple applications.

“The engineering week was a fun, educational experience,” said Gregory Wicks, a CHS junior. “I really liked how the instructors slowly eased us into learning the basics of industrial engineering through games.”

“I enjoyed learning about the different types of engineering,” said CHS sophomore Aiden Montgomery. “My favorite was the coding section because it provided a fun introduction to coding. The industrial chain game was chaotic, yet amusing, and it offered valuable insight into the workings of the supply chain.

“Visiting Boeing in St. Louis was the highlight of the week for me,” continued Montgomery. “My grandpa used to work for Boeing and seeing the process of how planes were made was a delightful experience. It’s an opportunity not many people get, making it a great privilege for Upward Bound students.”

Shown from left: L-R: CHS freshman Alana Cummings gets help from SIUE graduate student Ahmet Zahit Aslan and CHS junior Jourdan Brocksmith works on his project. (SIUE photos)

“The IE Summer Institute holds significant importance and has been successful in addressing the lack of exposure that high school students typically have regarding the field of industrial engineering,” said Onal. “Many high school students are unaware of the field of industrial engineering and the diverse range of career opportunities it offers. The Institute fills this gap by introducing students to the principles, concepts, and applications of industrial engineering. By engaging in workshops and activities led by IE students and faculty, participants gain valuable exposure to the field and develop a deeper understanding of its relevance and impact.”

“The Institute’s workshops and activities provide a hands-on learning experience for the participants,” he continued. “Engaging in practical exercises, simulations, and projects allows students to apply the knowledge they acquire and develop practical skills relevant to industrial engineering. This hands-on approach fosters a deeper understanding of the concepts, encourages critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and prepares students for the challenges they may encounter in the field.”

“If you think industrial engineering is going to be all textbooks and notes, think again!” said Darnell Jones, a CHS sophomore. “It’s interactive, extraordinary and expands your mind to concepts you couldn’t even fathom thinking about!”

Upward Bound Scholars Academy (UBSA) is a TRIO program federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education. UBSA serves Collinsville High School students, ages 14-19, from low-income families and from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.


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