The Milwaukee School of Engineering recently opened a new state-of-the-art laboratory for its industrial engineering students. Portions of the laboratory were donated by Racine-based Ruud Lighting and Forrer Business Interiors of Milwaukee.
“It’s really multipurpose for us,” said Charlene Yauch, MSOE Associate Professor and Industrial Engineering Program Director. “It’s a place for our senior design teams to just have space to work, and it allows adequate space for team projects and ergonomic experiments to be done.”
According to Yauch, the Industrial Engineering Process Innovation Laboratory is unlike any other laboratory on campus.
It’s a space designed specifically for current industrial engineering students but also as a showcase for the industrial engineering program.
“So often students associate industrial engineering with hardcore manufacturing,” Yauch said. “That is certainly part of it, but we’re hoping this laboratory will showcase some additional sides of the word ‘industrial’ that future students might not think about.”
The new laboratory features ergonomic work stations, state-of-the-art LED lighting, a media:scape workstation and a walk station in addition to a lounge area for students.
Ruud Lighting donated nearly $22,000 worth of LED lighting for the laboratory, which will help the students conduct experiments on what intensity, direction and type of lighting is best for various work tasks, Yauch said.
“Initial discussions for the construction of the laboratory began when I went to an MSOE alumni open house at Forrer Business Interiors,” Yauch said. “They were showcasing some of their ergonomic business furniture and mentioned that they were interested in partnering with educational institutions in the area.”
Those discussions led to Forrer Business Interiors donating more than $14,000 in futuristic equipment and furniture for the lab.
The lab features a Steelcase Eno Technology interactive whiteboard; Steelcase adjustable height work tables, Jack stools, and ergonomic chairs and workstations.
According to Yauch, MSOE had set aside funds to update at least three laboratories on campus, Yauch’s industrial engineering laboratories was one of those chosen, she said.
With MSOE’s additional funding, the school was able to expand the laboratory by knocking down a concrete wall and also add a Steelcase Walkstation, a work station with an adjustable height surface complete with a low-speed treadmill where traditionally sedentary workers can slowly walk while studying, doing research, or writing a paper, Yauch said.
The space will be used for several industrial engineering labs and classes including the Ergonomics Lab; Work Planning and Methods Lab; Computer-Aided Manufacturing Lab; Team Leadership/Facilitation; and Senior Design Projects.