South Carolina Students Visit the ISE

Thirty-one high school students who were part of the Pre-College Program through the Urban League of the Upstate in Spartanburg, SC experienced what it was like to study health systems engineering and supply chain management at one the nation’s top industrial and systems engineering departments in the country.

The students were introduced to the ISE Department by Dr. Anita Vila-Parrish, Director of Undergraduate Programs, and Dr. Paul Cohen, Department Head. Alice Forgety from the College of Engineering’s admissions department spoke with the students and answered questions concerning the requirements for entry into the College of Engineering.

The students were given tours of the many laboratories within the ISE Department. At the regenerative medicine lab, students learned how industrial engineers are developing the structures needed to regrow human organs. In the additive manufacturing lab, they discovered how industrial engineers were using three-dimensional printers to create custom components for airplane parts to prosthetic limbs for dogs and cats. At the human factors and ergonomics laboratories, students experimented with high-tech tools that are used to enable people with disabilities to live more productive lives. In each lab, the students were able to talk with professors and graduate students about their research as well as experience the future of engineering.

The visit culminated with all students participating in a real-world health care simulation competition. Three teams of students had to “operate” a medical facility where they had to process patients through the facility in the most efficient and customer service oriented way possible while the results were measured. It didn’t take the students long to realize how quickly their entire system broke down when any one of their stations got backlogged.

In the second round, the students were allowed to optimize any part of the process before the game was played again. The results of the second round showed drastic improvements in efficiency, quality and deliverability.

The ISE Department would like to extend a special thanks to Ms. Saville Williams, Education Coordinator of the Urban League of the Upstate, for giving the students this opportunity to experience NC State University, the College of Engineering and the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The Pre-College Enrollment Program of the Urban League of the Upstate prepares middle and high school students for college enrollment as well as educates parents to participate and assist students to achieve educational goals. The service offers SAT, ACT, and college application fee waiver cards, SAT workshops, financial aid and scholarship assistance, career and post-secondary education counseling, college tours, college fairs, college admissions applications, and other related services.