In early March, MSOE’s student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) hosted the 2015 IIE North Central Regional Conference for 170 students from 10 universities. Graduate student Patrick Gathof ’14 and IE sophomore Collin Seubert led a committee of 20 MSOE students to plan and organize the event.

Adjunct Professor Kim Pettiford ’93, ’99, senior director of human resources at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, was the keynote speaker on the opening night and orchestrated an activity with the students to break the ice and get them excited for the days ahead.

Students had the opportunity to tour Blood Center of Wisconsin, FedEx SmartPost, GKN Sinter Metals, MillerCoors, Harley-Davidson, Master Lock, Nordco, Rexnord, Spirit Manufacturing or UPS. They also enjoyed a networking lunch with representatives from Anderson Corporation, Direct Supply, FedEx SmartPost, Harley-Davidson, IIE Milwaukee Chapter, J.W. Speaker Corporation, John Deere, Joy Global, Master Lock, Mayo Clinic, McGraw-Hill Education, Nordco, Rockwell Collins, UPS and the VA Medical Center.

Six students presented their work during the paper competition and Molly Kotrba from MSOE was the winner. This marks the third year in a row that MSOE won the competition with Gathof winning in 2014 and Eric Pearson ’13 winning in 2013. Kotrba will represent the North Central Region in the International competition at the IIE Annual Expo in Nashville in May.

The conference concluded with professional workshops, a social event and a closing banquet at the Milwaukee County Zoo with representatives from the local IIE professional chapter and company representatives. IE alumna Stefanie Zeiler ’91 was the keynote speaker. Zeiler has held a variety of process improvement positions in GE, Walt Disney World, Merrill Lynch and McGraw-Hill Education where she currently is a senior director in strategic reengineering.