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SIUE Engineers Third in IISE/Rockwell Simulation Contest
Illinois Ag Connection - 07/06/2020

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering industrial engineering seniors Brittany Booten, Stephen Holdenried and Jacob Muenchau finished third in the virtual global finals of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)/Rockwell Undergraduate Student Simulation Competition.

Booten, of St. Louis, Holdenried, of Edwardsville, and Muenchau, of Freeburg, will attend the IISE Annual Conference and Expo Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. Binghamton (N.Y.) University was the winner, while the University of Florida was runner-up. Award winners will be presented at the Honors and Awards Banquet on Nov. 2.

"We felt quite fortunate to be a part of this experience and to be able to create something that Rockwell enjoyed," Booten said. "Our team collaborated so well, because we recognized each other's strengths and used that to our advantage. We each brought a unique skillset and background to the table. By letting each other lead in the parts we were excited to work on, we were able to let those skills shine."

"Our solution was a combined visual and logical approach to representing the process of a transportation company's material and barge movement," Holdenreid said. "The key to designing the simulation was a twin-resource utilization used for representing resource needs for space and materials, and non-terminating entities to represent the barges on their trips. We pushed for greater usability of the model by outside disciplines with VBA (visual basic for applications) integration for easier manipulation of simulation states and a 3D graphic interface for more natural visualization."

Hoo Sang Ko, PhD, associate professor of industrial engineering, served as the team's advisor. "This is a highly competitive international contest where students from top research universities have participated with a good track record," he said. "I was able to easily pick a team of self-motivated and confident students. Their genuine curiosity and dedication to teamwork certainly paid off. I am glad to prove that our students are never underdogs, and I believe this experience will help them excel in their careers."

"The 2020 IISE/Rockwell simulation competition is one of the biggest student competitions in the national and international IE community," said Sohyung Cho, PhD, professor and industrial engineering program director. "I appreciate Dr. Ko's time and effort to advise this team. It is a remarkable achievement."

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