Penn State Behrend to host regional IISE conference

ERIE, Pa. — The Penn State Behrend chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) will host the 2020 Northeast Regional IISE conference, which will feature speakers from FedEx, Boeing, IBM, Disney and Amazon.

More than 200 students and faculty members are expected to attend the conference, which will be held at Penn State Behrend from Feb. 28 through March 1.

The theme of the conference — “Industrial Engineering 4.0” — will focus on the fourth industrial revolution and the transition to “smart factory” manufacturing.

"Industry 4.0" is the shift toward technologies that blur the lines between physical and digital work. It includes robotics, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The movement also embraces the “Internet of things,” an ever-growing network of machines that communicate with each other, as when a doorbell rings to your cell phone.

“Industry 4.0 has been given much attention by both academia and industry in the last few years,” said Faisal Aqlan, assistant professor of industrial engineering and the adviser for the IISE chapter at Penn State Behrend. “Industrial engineering researchers and educators play a major role in promoting Industry 4.0 and preparing students with the required knowledge and skills for the new industrial revolution.”

The conference is being organized by Aqlan and student conference co-chairs Aaron Slavin and Safinaz El-Hadary. Fifteen other members of the IISE chapter are coordinating the submission of technical papers, a poster competition for high-school students and other tasks related to the conference.

IISE is the world’s largest professional society dedicated to the technical and managerial excellence of industrial and systems engineers. The institute, which was founded in 1948, is an international nonprofit association that provides training, networking opportunities and scholarships.

Penn State Behrend’s IISE chapter has earned the institute’s Gold Award, the highest honor in IISE’s University Chapter Recognition Program, in each of the last four years.