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Department Newsletter


CATCH UP WITH ISE Values Set for Achieving Goals ISE has completed the strategic planning goals with a new outlined mission, vision, and values! Read more about these on Page 12!

Big Data, AI & Analytics Summit pg. 5

ISE welcomes industry partners for first look at new Smart Manufacturing Demonstration Center As the Smart Manufacturing Demonstration Center (SMDC) at Wayne State University begins to take shape, the College of Engineering hosted an open house for nearly 50 industry leaders on April 24 to demonstrate the university’s capabilities for innovative manufacturing research and workforce development. The SMDC has been in development since late 2017 through a partnership with Cisco Systems’ State Digital Acceleration (SDA) initiative. Michigan is the first state to join the program, which was developed to advance the digital agenda, bolster financial growth, attract new investment and increase innovation potential. The 25,000-square-feet high bay area of the college’s Manufacturing Engineering Building at 4815 Fourth Street is being converted into the SMDC, a hub focused on developing the next generation of digital manufacturing professionals and leaders in automation and robotics. It will house a variety of equipment and software, connected with Cisco’s secured systems infrastructure, that will enable research and education in such domains as collaborative robots, additive manufacturing, computed tomography (CT) scanning, automated laser scanning, and resistance spot welding. The lab will also allow researchers to explore aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT), including data management, storage, infrastructure and security. Representatives from Cisco (top of page) and Wenzel (above) were among



the industry leaders in attendance for the SMDC Open House at Wayne State University. “As Michigan emerges as a leader in the high-tech global marketplace, faculty and students in the Wayne State University College of Engineering are working tirelessly to deliver advanced manufacturing solutions that ensure convenience, safety and efficiency,” said Dean Farshad Fotouhi. “The SMDC presents us with an opportunity to harness the power of Industry 4.0 and enhance our understanding of how cyber-physical systems and IoT make smart manufacturing a reality.” The SMDC is outfitted with the Cisco Kinetic IoT platform, infrastructure, wireless data acquisition systems, and data servers to store data collected from various industry-supported processes, including resistance spot welding provided by Ford Motor Company and computed tomography scanning courtesy of Wenzel America. A realtime optimization framework with ESTECO’s modeFrontier will enhance data processability, and real-time location platforms supported by HERE Technologies will enhance tracking and automation. “These partnerships align perfectly with our innovative and proactive approach to challenges facing traditional manufacturers,” said Fotouhi.

Dr. Kim speaks on the now open Smart Manufacturing Demonstration Center at the 2019 Open House for Industry partners.



The industry panel discussion at the 2019 Big Data, AI and Analytics Summit.

2019 Big Data Summit

Sold out summit leads industry My Three Takeaways: By: Nick Curcuru, Vice President of Global Big Data Practice at Mastercard


Data engineering and master

data management are coming to the forefront.


Organizations must tie advanced

analytics to the business objectives.

Big Data Summit draws over 500 guests to share best practices in business analytics The sixth annual Big Data and

was built around 30 case studies

Analytics Summit, held March

of top practitioners in areas

21-22 at Wayne State University,

ranging from manufacturing,

brought together a large number

finance, retail and health care to

of top-level academic and industry

privacy and security. Attendees

leaders from across the region to

also enjoyed the various tutorials,

discuss how big data, analytics,

networking opportunities and

and artificial intelligence strategies

panel discussions, as well as a

can drive success across all

keynote address from Paul Ballew,

industries and enterprises.

vice president and global chief

“It was our third straight year of having a sold-out event. We had


data and analytics officer at Ford Motor Company.

Data scientists need to

more than 500 participants from

“The spectrum of participants

communicate in plain language.

over 130 companies,” said Ratna

ranged from organizations well

Babu Chinnam, Ph.D., professor

on their way to data-driven

and co-director of the Big Data

cultures and those who were

and Analytics Group at Wayne

just starting out on the path.

State University. “The predominant

People were talking, sharing and

feedback from industry leaders is

commiserating on data analytics

that our event is quickly becoming

— what a wonderful sight. Even

one of the best in the country,

Ford and GM were sharing with

making Wayne State truly a leader

each other,” said Nick Curcuru,

in the fields of big data, AI and

vice president of global big data


practice at MasterCard and one

The two-day conference agenda



of the summit’s speakers. “Wayne

Save the date: Big Data, AI and Analytics Summit

March 19-20, 2020 State has created a data

The Wayne State

said Jeff Sutter, global

announced new industry-

community that wants to

community was also

director, innovation and

focused collaborative

truly help the members by

highly engaged in the

continuous improvement

opportunities. Chinnam

freely and candidly sharing

conference with over a

methodologies and

gave updates and

their experiences, good

dozen faculty members,

warranty analysis at

promoted the master’s

or bad, so they can learn

30 staff members and

Nexteer Automotive. “I

program in data science

from each other.

50 students attending. A

think the mix of high-level

and business analytics, a

poster session featuring

tool projects and use

collaboration between the

14 students’ innovative

cases is perfect. I learn as

College of Engineering

research projects across

much from hearing about

and the Mike Ilitch School

multiple disciplines was

‘here’s what worked for

of Business.

well received by the

us’ examples as I do about


‘here’s what tripped us

“The atmosphere is ‘together we can innovate and succeed,’” continued Curcuru. “My three takeaways: 1) data engineering and master


The next annual Big Data, AI and Analytics

data management are

“I brought a colleague

Summit is scheduled for

coming to the forefront,

with me this year, and

Provost Keith Whitfield

March 19-20, 2020. For

2) organizations must tie

he commented that

gave opening remarks

full program details, visit

advanced analytics to the

he took away more

highlighting the work

business objectives, and

from the Wayne State

being done across

3) data scientists need

event than many much

the university in the

to communicate in plain

larger events he has

big data sphere, while


attended in the past,”

CIO Daren Hubbard

“The predominant feedback from industry leaders is that our event is quickly becoming one of the best in the country, making Wayne State truly a leader in the fields of big data, AI and analytics.” Ratna Babu Chinnam, Ph. D. Professor and co-director of the Big Data Analytics Group at WSU





Summer STEM program continues success in Southfield

Partnering on STEM growth Dr. Celestine Aguwa of Wayne State University’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department leads a premiere STEM program for students during the summer inn Southfield, MI. This program gives students a different, hands on view of STEM activities such as engineering software, drones, robotics and more. Dr. Aguwa as worked to partner with the Metro Detroit Youth ‘Field Zone Club of Southfield to help keep students learning throughout the summer months so they are more than prepared once school begins again. Students participating in this summer STEM program get to immerse themselves in STEM learning in a way that is different than the traditional classroom - keeping their minds sharp and helping them to draw connections between STEM fields. Please see the links to the right to view the 2018 and 2019 news coverage of this program. We can’t wait to see how it grows in 2020! Great Job, Dr. Aguwa!

Celestine Aguwa 313-577-4007

Contact Dr, Aguwa to learn more about this program, and learn how you can get involved in 2020!

2019 News Coverage

2018 News Coverage



IISE student chapter named COE top student organization The Michael S. Darson Award is

We are so incredibly

granted to the most outstanding

proud of the IISE chapter.

student organization for excellence

This prestigious award is

in service and commitment to the

a result of dedication to

Wayne State University College

the field of engineering.

of Engineering and outside

Surely this will be a model

community during the Fall 2018

year to set up for a great

and Winter 2019 semesters. This

2019-2020 year!

year, that organization is our own IISE chapter! The Industrial and Systems Engineering Department is honored to be home to the 2019 recipients of this award! Our students work incredibly hard on making an impact in their community, bettering themselves personally and professionally, and truly connecting with faculty and staff. They host a range of events and fundraisers throughout the year to make this happen.

Collaboration is Key: Industrial Engineering teams up to deliver top training in technology Education



WSU ISE and ET Department

robot curriculum content

are working on a joint NSF

for community colleges and

Advanced Technology

universities, the project hosts

Education project, lead by

K-12 teachers workshops

Oakland Community College,

and community college

to develop learning content

instructor/industry workshops

for training technicians,

to increase the level of

operators, engineers,

awareness of collaborative

programmers, and planners in

robots in manufacturing

collaborative robot technology

and pathways for careers in

in advanced manufacturing

industrial automation. For

systems. In addition to

more information, please

developing collaborative

contact Dr. Rickli.

Introducing, the Junior ISE Advisory Board The inaugural meeting of the WSU Industrial Engineering Advisory Board (IEABJr.) took place March 1st at The Hotel St. Regis in Detroit

JUNIOR IEAB MEMBERS Christine Cardenas-Graham - Chair Kirsten Jordan - Co- Chair

The IEABjr. is an association of recent

positions in their organization

graduates with a common goal of

with varying levels of involvement

promoting and developing the Wayne

surrounding “traditional”

State Department of Industrial and

Industrial Engineering disciplines.

Systems Engineering and its students.

While the regular IEAB continues

The current board is comprised

to serve the Department at

of alumni who graduated from the

the strategic level, we feel the

department within the last 5 – 7 years

more recent graduates can

and who are making great strides in

contribute meaningfully to the

their various industries; we expect this

success of current ISE students.

group to expand to 35 people by the

Hence the need for a junior

end of 2019 with an executive board

board comprising mainly of graduates

building scholarships, participating in

and supporting subcommittees. Each

within the last 10 years. Diversity of

focus groups and mentoring.

member has been asked to serve a 3

the board is a necessary component

year term with the hope of eventually

to ensure wide ranging success of

transitioning to the senior board as

Wayne students. While some of the

those members complete their terms.

responsibilities may overlap, the

The regular IEAB is comprised of IE

IEABjr.’s responsibilities will include,

professional who have attained senior

but not be limited to, fundraising,

Teya Tarver-Smith - Secretary David Ridgeway - Treasurer Craig Sochocki Zachary Spitzer Jovan Morgan

We are so excited to have these alumni students contributing to the overall growth of Industrial Engineering! Contact Gail Evans for more information at


Engineering Undergraduate Awardees for WSU Research Opportunities


Brittany Felder, ISE


Pierre Renaudie, ISE & Civil and Environmental Engineering


Lezlie Bueno, ISE


Aseel Faddah, ISE



ISE students


to gain post degree experience “ I very much enjoy teaching the diverse

existing challenges, complications and

student body we have in our graduate

possibilities that lies on the path of

program here at WSU. I like helping them

prosthetic development.”

giving them projects to do and seeing where they take it,” says Rapp, “It speaks nicely of our department that we have Recent grad, Nishant Pathak.

tremendous interest in our students excelling and succeeding beyond the


n article recently published in the International Journal of Science


Currently, this research is being used in conjunction with the Department of Defense Bionic Product Development. The team is very excited to contribute to the field to make lives of injured service personnel better through this

Student Project Leader, Nishant Pathak,

partnership. With the emphasis on cost

and Research is the result of hard work

says, “I was delighted to work on the

to make prosthetics available world-

put forth by Professor Stephen Rapp and

Prosthetics and Bionics project under

wide, Professor Rapp believes this

his team of students over the past year.

the guidance of Dr. Stephen Rapp. Like

article and supporting research will help

The research is a key literature review

many other undermined development

physically disabled amputees to live

in the study of prosthetics and bionics.

areas, I used to wonder why we still are

fuller lives.

Dr. Rapp started this collaboration with

lagging behind in better development

initially almost 20 MS IE graduates

of replacing lost limbs and prosthetics

that wanted to work on research while

products where we are able to have a

job searching after their graduation in

fully functional humanoid robot which

May 2018. After a year of work, the

is able to improve it’s processing over

study finished with five very dedicated

the time using machine learning. This

graduates; Nishant Pathak, Aasish

project helped our team to unfold the

Yellapragada, Saurabh Gayakwad, Mudit

Dr. Rapp continues, “For the future, we will be taking this work and creating an extended decision model for veteran, defense-related medical research. We expect to publish that updated journal article in the MORS Journal or another key Defense R&D journal in 2020”

Gupta, and Kailash Musunuru. “Although I had to guide these young scholars, they did almost all of the work themselves. The score from the reviewers speaks for itself. I could not be more proud of them!” Dr. Rapp states. Stephen Rapp, Ph.D. has been and adjunct professor for 15 years. He has been teaching at Wayne State University since 2012, and taught at the University of Colorado for eight years before becoming a warrior. Currently, Professor Rapp works as a Government Research Scientist in auto engineering and mathematics.



Professor Stephen Rapp and his team of student researchers celebrate their hard work!

The Industrial and Systems Engineering

applications.” The MSIE graduates on

of knowledge in prosthetic and

department at Wayne State prides itself

this project are now all working business

bionic research will not only improve

on the development of its students,


development of these products, but it will

building professional relationships with them, and pushing them to prepare for an easy transition to a career. “We teach classroom knowledge and conduct research together so that our students become our learning partners, stand on their two feet, and become productive in their own right.” says Rapp.

These five students had a strong desire to work with Professor Rapp and contribute

All in all, this successful research project

start. Dr. Rapp asks, “How many students

is an excellent example of student growth

aspire to be published in a refereed

and development when faculty support

journal on their own? That’s incredible.”

students and encourage working toward

Dr. Rapp describes lead student Nishant

being published authors.

Pathak as a shining example of our student body, and a natural leader. Rapp

students gain unique skills in the ISE

continues to applaud Pathak’s research

department which helps them stand apart

efforts and the hard work he put in to

from their peers. “The ISE Department

improve himself during the project. Dr.

is proud of the research that our MS

Rapp states, “he was all the things you

students have done with Dr. Steve Rapp

could hope in a graduate student.”

courses. These research projects provide students with an excellent opportunity to apply the tools and method to real-world

generations to come.”

to bionic and prosthetic research from the

Through this hands-on approach,

in the decision analysis and six sigma

also help alleviate suffering for our future

Pathak is grateful to the work and its contributions, stating, “I believe this project will help me in my future career and helping to build the body

“I’m glad to provide the guidance and mentorship, says Rapp, “That’s what we do in our department, it is what we are all about.” You can read Current Trends & Challenges in Prosthetic Product Development: Literature Review in the International Journal of Science and Research (2018 Impact Factor = 7.426 on Research Gate), or through the link found here: https://bit. ly/2NtE5RD.

Direct Download

NISHANT PATHAK Meet our Project Lead

Nishant was born in a family of four. His father worked hard as a field officer at MP Silk Federation and his mother invested her time raising two kids as the lady of house. He enjoyed reading about new technologies and exploring possibilities to device functional machines which motivated him to pursue his career in the field of engineering. Nishant was accepted to the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. His integrating project was Implementation of Meissner’s Effect in Transportation System. After Graduating with honors, Nishant was accepted into MSIE program at Wayne State University. His integration project was studying “Current Trend & Challenges in Prosthetic Product Development”. He is currently working as an Industrial Engineer at ICR Services working on integrated cell development projects.






To foster an exceptional learning environment

To set a global standard for industrial

where aspiring industrial & systems engineers can

& systems engineering programs that advance

develop practical and applied research regarding

knowledge and solve challenges, while developing

complex systems that will create impact in our

a vibrant and diverse student body.

metropolitan and global community.


Foster Experiential Learning

Cultivate Engagement

Demonstrate Proactivity and Agility

Develop Global Mindsets

Seek Continuous Improvement

Advance Sustainability

Support Entrepreneurial Projects

Contact Us 4815 Fourth, St. Detroit, MI 48185 313 -577 - 3821

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2019: Catch up on ISE  

2019: Catch up on ISE  

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