The Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) has selected the Texas A&M University-Commerce Industrial Engineering Senior Design program as a “Tech Titan of the Future – University” finalist for the 14th Annual Tech Titans Awards. Each year the MTBC recognizes individuals and companies in North Texas who have contributed significantly to the technology industry.
This is A&M-Commerce’s third time as a finalist for this award which recognizes accredited educational institutions in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that creatively encourage students to choose engineering and technology careers. In 2011, the Maximizing Motivation, Targeting Technology (M2T2) Summer Camp was recognized as a finalist. The STEM Pre-service Teacher Development Workshop received the honor last year.
The Industrial Engineering Senior Design program is a two-semester experience that allows student teams to work with regional companies on professional design projects. Dr. Delbert Horton, associate professor, serves as the program advisor. During the fall semester of their senior year, students meet regularly with sponsoring companies to work through the planning and proposal phase of their projects. The students then work on implementing their design plans during the execution phase in the spring semester.
“These design projects are specified with realistic design parameters and a fixed delivery schedule,” said Horton. “Following the execution phase of the project, the students become more confident in themselves and their achieved engineering knowledge. Any time students and industry are able to interact, the benefits to everyone are valuable.”
Since the Industrial Engineering Senior Design program began with a project for the Transportation Security Administration, Dallas Love Field and Southwest Airlines in 2003, various companies have been sponsors, including Campbell Soup Company, Raytheon, L-3 Communications and Flowserve. Students have been hired by the sponsoring companies based on their performance on the projects. Recent industrial engineering graduate Jacob Stahl says that the program creates opportunities that would not be possible without the experience it provides.
“One of the greatest benefits to pursuing an industrial engineering degree at Texas A&M University-Commerce is having the opportunity to gain real-world engineering experience. For two semesters, we worked alongside Flowserve personnel to improve the efficiency of the layout in their Sulphur Springs facility,” Stahl said. “This project resulted in our team creating not just a revised layout, but entirely new assembly and testing areas and new equipment, and [we] reduced the square footage used by almost 30% without reducing productivity. Flowserve was impressed with the work we had done and asked our team to apply to engineering positions that they had open.”
“The experience gives the student confidence in being able to describe how they can immediately add value to the future employer,” said Brad Hoffman, general manager of Flowserve. “Both the students and those involved with the students see just how much of a difference they can make in a short period of time.”
Fellow finalists in the “Tech Titan of the Future – University” category of this year’s Tech Titans Awards are Collin College’s Engineering and Technology Department, the University of Texas at Dallas’ Mechanical Engineering Department in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science as well as the Startup Launch Program in the Jindal School of Management also at the University of Texas at Dallas.
The winners will be revealed at the Tech Titans Awards Gala at the Hotel InterContinental in Dallas on Friday, Aug. 22. More information about the event is available at www.techtitans.org.
To learn more about the MTBC, visit www.metroplextbc.org.
More information about A&M-Commerce’s Department of Engineering and Technology—which houses the university’s programs in industrial engineering, technology management and construction engineering—is available on the department’s website.