IBE Newsletter - Fall 2016

IBE Newsletter - Fall 2016

In this Issue:

Greetings from the IBE Program!

Diane Parente

Diane Parente

Image: Penn State Behrend

Thanks to this outstanding group of faculty who are working with IBE students! The projection for the 2017-18 academic year means there will be nineteen capstone projects. There are now two sections of the capstone course, which will continue. The final deliverable for the capstone course is a plan to bring the product to market within the existing organization. The plan includes engineering design, equipment and manufacturing, market, supply chain, and financial justification delivered to the sponsor. IBE is on the move and continues to offer students many excellent career options! 

IBE on the Move! 

The interdisciplinary Business and Engineering Studies (IBE) program is on the move. The program was approved on July 11, 2008, with the first class of seven graduating in May 2011. 

In 2018, the program is anticipated to have fifty-seven graduates. In eight years, the number of graduates will have grown more than eight times. There are thirty-five seniors in the capstone this year, and eleven senior projects. Given the extent of the projects and the growth in the program, we have extended an invitation to our colleagues (or rather a plea for help) to prepare for the high-anticipated growth for next year. Five business and three engineering faculty have selected from the eleven projects. Dr. Diane Parente, Samuel A. and Elizabeth B. Breene University Endowed Professor of Business, will work with the new business faculty while Dr. Greg Dillon, associate professor of engineering, will work with the engineering volunteers. The business and engineering co-adviser teams are: 

2016-2017 IBE Capstone Projects

The following five projects are profiled below.

 

3D Printing and the Insurance Industry 

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Image: Penn State Behrend

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to understand the implications of additive manufacturing for the insurance industry. The team will need to: a.) complete a survey of additive manufacturing methods to understand the various embodiments; b.) brainstorm ways that the technology could affect the insurance industry; and c.) develop strategies that Erie Insurance could employ to develop a profitable stance toward the industry.

 

Medical Marijuana and the Insurance Industry

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Image: Penn State Behrend

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to understand the implications of medical marijuana for the insurance industry. The team will need to: a.) gather research on various medical/legalized marijuana impacts and implications; b.) review the research to decide whether or not to pursue any products regarding medical/legalized marijuana; and c.) develop strategies that Erie Insurance could employ to develop a profitable stance toward the industry.

 

PI Lab - Edwin the Duck

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to determine:

Edwin the Duck

Edwin

Image: Penn State Behrend
  • The ideal/velocity/most profitable price point for this category of product
  • The amount of technology/interaction/battery needed at this time to maximize sales (driven by the type of interactions needed between toy/mobile device/child)
  • Channels where these products for this age group sell
  • Market size/regional acceptance/where to focus the launch
  • If a single Edwin character, or of the family of Edwin characters, should be launched, how to tie this into the huge PR we currently have with Edwin and do we transition the current Edwin out, or keep him going 

 

SlamJet Sparger Springs

Eriez

Eriez

Image: Penn State Behrend

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design a new spring system or other means of mechanical operation for Eriez’s existing SlamJet spargers with the goal of reducing production costs and/or user operating costs. The current SlamJet is operated using compressed air and a compression spring whose forces counteract each other. By changing the spring mechanism and reducing the amount of compressed air required, a plant could potentially see significant energy cost savings. Eriez Flotation Division would like students to propose alternate internal mechanical designs for the SlamJet and determine how much energy savings, in dollars, could theoretically be obtained by implementing that new solutions 

 

Pultruded Product Development
Lawerie Technology

Lawerie Technology

Image: Penn State Behrend

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify a market need and develop a product that utilizes this process and improves upon the current market in price and quality

 

 

Race to the Case Competition at the University of Pittsburgh

In October, seven total teams of students from West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University Park, and Behrend competed in Pittsburgh in an annual supply chain management case competition to solve real-world situations across the supply chain and engineering functions. Students were able to build relationships across both disciplines and to network with local corporate partners in their desired fields. Students had to complete challenge questions and physically race to a different location on campus to solve the next challenge. At the end, students had to give a presentation to the judges based on challenge questions as a mock board of directors. WVU took first place followed by Penn State University Park and Pitt. 

IBE Students at Pitt2016 Race to The Case Competition at the University of Pittsburgh

IBE Students at Pitt

From left, Mohamed Badawy, Industrial Engineering, Cameron Kelley, Project and Supply Chain Management, Sean Palmer, IBE, and Amanda Sayko, Industrial Engineering.

Image: Penn State Behrend

Alumni Spotlight 

Marley Good ’16

Marley Good, Alumni Spotlight, IBE

Marley Good, Alumni Spotlight, IBE

Image: Penn State Behrend

Sales Engineer, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Mars

Tell us a bit about your personal background. Where are you from? What did you think you would major in when you arrived at Behrend?

I am from Cranberry Township, about two hours south of Erie, near the Pittsburgh area. I grew up in an environment where I was always outside and working on things. When I first visited Behrend, I really was not sure (what I would major in), but I knew I wanted something technical that allowed me to use my hands-on experience.

How did you end up in IBE?

I attended the information session on IBE when I visited and immediately knew it was what I wanted to major in. It had both the business and technical aspects, allowing me to be very personable, but also talk about technical things. It was the perfect major for me and I immediately knew there was going to be high demand currently and in the future.

Which module(s), minors, or double majors do you have?

In addition to my IBE degree, I have two minors and a certificate. One minor is in Technical Sales, which I use on a daily basis. Also, I have an Operations and Supply Chain minor. My certificate is in SAP, an ERP system. Many of the topics learned with that carry over to other ERP systems.

What advice do you have for current students?

For current students there are many important things to remember. Do not wish your time at college away. Enjoy every minute of it, and make it count. Get involved in as much as you can, and build your network of both other students and professors. You never know when you could need help or a reference.

What was your best experience in IBE?

My best experience in IBE was just all the times with my IBE graduation class. We were a very close group that was always together. We had our weekly class meetings where we would work on our projects, and it was always an interesting time. Dr. Parente and Dr. Dillon are amazing professors and are very committed to helping their students.

Where are you working? What is your job title? Why do you think they hired you?

I am currently working at Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. where I am a sales engineer. I am in a rolling-start program where I switch divisions about every six months and beginning in December of 2017 I will live in Japan for six months. I think they hired me because of the fact that I had both business and technical knowledge. While I did not have a ton of experience with electrical, that is something they can teach me.

What is the major skill you bring from your IBE major to your job?

One major skill I believe I brought to my job was the ability to understand the technical knowledge as well as complete the business aspect. The industries we work in are very technical, so having the ability to understand and be able to work with the customers is very important.

Senior Spotlight 

Robert Gorka, May ’17

Robert Gorka, Senior Spotlight, IBE May '17

Robert Gorka, Senior Spotlight, IBE May '17

Image: Penn State

How did you begin your job search?

I began my job search first by going to the Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC) here on campus and used their services to develop and build my resume. They also introduced me to the Nittany Lion Career Network, which is an awesome site Penn State offers to help current students find positions tailored to college students. Also I’ve attended every Career Fair Behrend has offered since I was a freshman.

What job did you land?

I will be an IT apprentice at Erie Insurance. It is a two-year rotational program that will expose me to all the facets of IT at a Fortune 500 insurance company.

How do you think IBE helped you to get the job?

I think the fact that IBE encompasses so many different subjects in both business and engineering is the reason that I was offered the position. IBE has taught me many of the skills that employers look for, such as teamwork, collaboration, innovation, public speaking, and leadership. 

What is your advice for current students looking for an internship or full-time position?

Do not be afraid to look for positions that might deviate from your degree. I never thought of looking for a job in IT and if I would’ve stuck to that mindset, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Use your skills and qualifications to drive your job search.

Faculty Involvement 

Phil Jones

Phil Jones, Faculty Involvement, IBE

Phil Jones, Faculty Involvement, IBE

Image: Penn State

Lecturer in Engineering

Why did you choose to be involved with the IBE capstone projects?

Over the past couple of Fasenmyer Design Conferences, I have chosen to attend two IBE capstone project presentations each year. During those presentations I saw the need to include engineering principles within a business-focused project. From my experiences in industry, many projects require both the business and engineering functions. I hope to be able to add to the engineering function this year.

What do you think you can bring to the student experience?

The majority of focus within my industrial experience has been introducing new products to market. In this capacity, the cross-functional approach within an organization is best practice. It is very important to have a strong appreciation for each organizational function. Likewise, each team member will need to know how the functions contribute to the successful product launch. At LORD Corporation, I had the opportunity to help improve the new product introduction process for both the industrial and aerospace industries. Translating customer requirements to engineering requirements and turning it into a saleable product is fascinating. I believe I can help the teams with this process.

What project are you working on? Why did it interest you?

I am working with a team focused on Modern Industries’ Spin Select product line. The charge is to develop the necessary marketing and customer application tools to increase sales of the Spin Select product. I believe this is a good example of how the engineering principles help potential customers recognize the benefits of the product within their applications. The developed tools for Modern Industries will use this approach.

What are you trying to get out of this engagement with IBE?

I also teach MCHT 213 Strength of Materials for the IBE majors. As a capstone project adviser, I am hoping to gain a better understanding of how the typical IBE student is using the skills learned in their engineering courses. Many times decisions based upon technical principles are sound business foundations.

Melanie Ford

Melanie Ford, Faculty Involvement, IBE

Melanie Ford, Faculty Involvement, IBE

Image: Penn State

Lecturer in Computer Science and Software Engineering

Why did you choose to be involved with the IBE capstone projects?

To see the students bring all of their coursework and experiences into one larger project is very rewarding. I have been very fortunate to not only work with and mentor the computer science and software engineering students, but also the electrical and computer engineering and the mechanical engineering technology students as well. I have the IBE students in my computer programming class and enjoy teaching them how to program, so now to be able to work with them on a larger scale project is exciting. We pride ourselves at Penn State Behrend on having the students work with real-world problems and be able to apply what they have learned. The IBE program really emphasizes that on both the engineering and the business side. To me, this is what it is all about and what the students have been working so hard for!

What do you think you can bring to the student experience?

In the real world, companies create teams of folks with different disciplines, career experiences, and resources and have them work on projects. Personally, I have worked for large retailers in IT and software companies in development, quality, and management before my time at Penn State Behrend. These experiences allow me to bring that experience to the table and add different perspectives on projects to the students.

Here at Behrend, I actually hold two positions, lecturer in computer science and software engineering as well as director of Youth Education Outreach (YEO). Our YEO group works with over 10,000 kids and educators in the region every year. Our mission is to promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) careers to youth in the area from preschool all the way up to seniors in high school. We like to help them explore what career opportunities are available to them and what major will get them to that career. 

What project are you working on? Why did it interest you?

This year I am working with the Edwin the Duck team. I am super excited about this project since I have known one of the owners of the company for several years. I was introduced to Edwin a couple of years ago and have watched Edwin grow into the duck he is today. Now I get to mentor the team of students that could affect the Edwin of tomorrow. This project and team is a natural fit with my programming background, project and K-12 experiences, and resources, and let us face it, it is a toy duck. Who does not like to work with toys? And a duck on top of that!

What are you trying to get out of this engagement with IBE?

I keep hoping that I will get my very own Edwin the Duck, but in reality it is just very rewarding working with a team of students who are passionate about the project. My team seems to be ready to hit the ground running, do their research, and put in the time required. I sincerely hope that I am able to keep up with them but know that we will be challenging each other. I have found over the years that every team will surprise you and I try to not guess the outcome because you never know what path the project will take you. Maybe this year I should say … we do not know what pond we will end up in.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith, Faculty Involvement, IBE

Gary Smith, Faculty Involvement, IBE

Image: Penn State

Lecturer in Management

Why did you choose to be involved with the IBE capstone projects?

Even before I joined the faculty here at Penn State Behrend, I attended the Fasenmyer Design Conference presentation last spring and I was blown away. The substance of the projects and the quality of the presentations and output really sold me on my desire to join the Behrend faculty and someday be a part of it. As luck would have it, “someday” came pretty soon and I am excited to be a small part of the program.

What do you think you can bring to the student experience?

I have been blessed in my nearly forty years in manufacturing to be in roles ranging from finance to supply chain and process improvement and project management to lean Six Sigma. Most recently I have had the opportunity to work with teams as both a team member and mentor. I bring a unique perspective and experience set that I hope to share with the IBE capstone projects.

What project are you working on? Why did it interest you?

I am working with the Lawrie Technology Pultruded Product Development team. They have the challenge to develop a new product that capitalizes on the benefits of the pultruded process and to build the business case that takes new product to market. A successful new product development can result in business growth for Lawrie Technology and that is good for our region. No traditional classroom can provide the learning experience and the results-driven opportunity that this project provides for our student entrepreneurs. That is cool stuff and I am excited to work with Austin, Alex, and Mitch as they go through this process.

What are you trying to get out of this engagement with IBE?

IBE capstone projects provide a great learning experience, not just for the students and their sponsor companies but for their mentors as well. Besides the specifics that relate to this project (the company, the pultruded process, the potential commercial success of the new product), I want to learn more about new product development and the challenge of taking that product to market. I will then be able to take those learnings to help future IBE capstone projects succeed.

NOBE National Conference at Penn State Behrend in 2017

The Penn State Behrend Chapter of NOBE has worked with the NOBE National Board to bring the 2017 NOBE National Conference to Penn State Behrend. The conference will be held at Behrend from Friday night, March 24 to Sunday morning, March 26. We expect students to attend this National Conference at Penn State Behrend from the following schools:

  • Penn State University Park
  • Penn State Behrend
  • Tennessee Tech
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Texas
  • University of Minnesota
  • Drexel University
  • McGill University

This is a great achievement for Behrend. The chapter is relatively new and the conference was awarded based on a proposal by the team to the national organization. The conference was held last year at University Park and was sponsored by PWC. Sponsorship leaves participating students with minimal expenses to participate (transportation and lodging). We have verbal confirmation from all of the above universities.

We plan to showcase our college and programs at the conference.

If you know of any organization who might be interested in sponsorship, please have them contact Dr. Diane Parente (dhp3@psu.edu) or Dr. Paul Lynch (pcl120@psu.edu) for details. Any donation will be most appreciated.