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IE students kick off sr. project at int'l workshop

Photo of IE 431 senior design students in CA
Purdue Boilermakers Eren Bozbag, Brent Malloy, Alex Perry, Josh Moore, and Ayush Jaiswal, with Hollywood sign in the background.
Associate Professor of Engineering Practice and INCOSE Fellow Bob Kenley recently took a team of five Purdue IE seniors to an international workshop in California to begin their senior project.

The team traveled to Los Angeles Jan. 27-30 to attend the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) conference and to start their senior project. Eren Bozbag, Ayush Jaiswal, Brent Malloy, Josh Moore, and Alexander Perry made up the team.

The students met with INCOSE leaders and key stakeholders to brainstorm for project ideas. In the end, they decided to design a holistic system for INCOSE - a platform for those who need required training and experiences in systems engineering. Moore described it as "a professional development portal for INCOSE so that users can track their progress towards achieving various competencies within systems engineering."

How will INCOSE benefit from this project? "INCOSE's vision is to establish a comprehensive systems engineering professional development capability,” explained Perry. “While they have many of the necessary pieces in play, there is no integration of these systems to ensure they operate together. This problem is what our team will try to solve."

The students were grateful for the project, the professional interaction, and the trip.

"This seems to be a very exciting project for all of us and something quite different from what we are used to as students of industrial engineering," Jaiswal said. "Systems engineering seems to be coming up in a big way and through this project we hope to learn more about the different processes that go into developing a comprehensive system."

"The project is really interesting because it uses the problem-solving skills of an engineer in an entrepreneurial application by creating a business model," said Moore. "The trip was incredible and our team was so thankful for the opportunity to interact with leaders of INCOSE while enjoying the beautiful weather of Los Angeles."

Besides nailing down a senior project idea, benefits of the trip included connecting with people and companies at the workshop, and learning from INCOSE leaders. "It was a great way to kick-start our project and a good opportunity for us to get closer as a team," concluded Bozbag.

Dr. Kenley recently was appointed as the INCOSE Associate Director for Professional Development reporting to President-Elect Garry Roedler. The idea of sponsoring a senior design project with INCOSE sprang from his participation in the Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy that equips faculty members with training in entrepreneurship and small grants from the Purdue Research Foundation to support faculty-driven entrepreneurship projects.

"When I proposed this project to President-Elect Roedler, he was very supportive, especially when we discussed the fact that the professional development capability is targeted at the demographic group that our students belong to," said Kenley. "I knew it might be a stretch for our undergraduates to take on this project, but the promise of a trip to Los Angeles in January definitely had some appeal. We are delighted with the capabilities, experience, and enthusiasm of students who came forward, and we are confident that they will help INCOSE to accelerate their efforts."

Writer: DeEtte Starr, starrd@purdue.edu

More information: Prof. Bob Kenley, kenley@purdue.edu