Thursday, August 26, 2010

Engineering Spotlight: Jennifer S., IE

Name: Jennifer S.
Major: Industrial Engineering
Title: Quality Assurance Engineer
Company: Lockheed Martin

What is Industrial Engineering?
Historically, Industrial Engineers were employed in the manufacturing field to increase throughput, decrease costs, and ensure quality. Today, manufacturing is still a major IE focus but IE methodology is now applied in healthcare, finance, the energy sector, transportation networks and many other areas. Industrial Engineers are continually looking to improve the way things are done, maximizing efficiency and effectiveness. They use math-based techniques to optimize a complex system of people, technology, and resources.

Why did you want to become an engineer, and more specifically, your particular type of engineer?
I actually never wanted to become an engineer. I am in the engineering field today because of convenience and aptitude. Convenience due to the fact Georgia Tech, a premiere engineering school, is less than an hour away from my parent’s house; aptitude because I am intelligent and excelled in math and science during high school. I am thankful I happened to choose Industrial Engineering because it is a great fit for me. I like the math-based approach to solving problems and the basic idea that Industrial Engineers find efficiencies to make things better.

What do you do?
In my current job at Lockheed Martin I help ensure certain quality standards are being followed and implemented. As an aerospace manufacturing company, Lockheed Martin adheres to standards such as AS9100 (aerospace specific) and ISO9001 (quality management). These are usually contractual requirements but I also ensure other regulatory or legal requirements are being followed.

During college I worked in the Industrial Engineering department at Walt Disney World. This job was a more typical IE position and I used techniques like simulation, calculating throughput, and statistics. I worked on projects that included optimally deploying buses throughout the property to ensure guests are where they want to be when they want to be, making lines move faster, efficiently washing and handling the 100,000 pounds of laundry A DAY Disney guests use, and improving processes in the warehouse that maintains stock of Disney products used in the parks.

What do you do outside of engineering?
My current endeavor is decorating my new apartment. I am on the hunt for the perfect couch and am looking for simple, cost-effective ways to decorate. I love to read (recently getting into the SF genre). One of my favorite things to do is relax on a boat and have fun water skiing, jet skiing, or wakeboarding. I also like to run.

Anything else you would like us to know about you or your work?
My favorite foods are sushi and cereal.

Where can I find more information?
Georgia Institute of Technology, the number one school in the nation for Industrial Engineering, is a great reference for learning more about IE and its application.

Watch this video to learn more about IEs at Disney.

The professional IE organization, Institute of Industrial Engineers.

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