Current Research Projects

Current research opportunities for industrial engineering undergraduate students are listed below. Underrepresented groups and women are encouraged to apply.

As soon as the application period opens, faculty can begin interviewing and selecting URA workers on a first come, first served basis.

**The current hourly wage for these URA positions is $15 per hour **

User-centered Design of Mobile Telehealth Applications

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Human Factors/Ergonomics

Project Description:

The objective of this project is to use a research-based approach in developing and evaluating an initial telehealth design for
older, health-compromised individuals. The project will develop initial designs to evaluate the usability, functionality, and
acceptability of this preliminary prototype, and will document the process and project outcomes.

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

– Interest or experience in health-related applications preferred
– Experience with data collection, or a willingness to learn
– Ability to follow a script and process consistently, over multiple repetitions
– Strong writing skills

Expected student tasks

  1. Data collection
  2. Data analysis
  3. Excel
  4. Writing
  5. Group meetings

Expected student hours/week: 10 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Data analysis, paper

Supervisors

Dr. Michael Dorneich and Dr. Gül Kremer

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

VR for Ergonomic Assessment

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Human Factors/Ergonomics

Project Description:

This VR Ergonomics study aims to investigate whether it is feasible and accurate to use virtual reality to perform offline ergonomic assessment specifically in manufacturing/assembly-based environments. Currently, it is unknown whether virtual reality (VR) could truly replace physical ergonomic assessment. This concept focuses on the idea of creating a digital twin of an assembly scenario, allowing the study to be performed offline in a remote location so as to not take time away from production. Potential design or assembly changes can be made to prototype concepts to provide an accurate ergonomic improvement prior to that of implementation. If VR proves useful for ergonomic assessment, it could save companies a significant amount of money and downtime.

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

The student should have at least 8 hours per week to work with us. Desired qualities include:
– Detail-oriented person
– Trustworthy
– Good with keeping data accurate.
The student should be someone whom their friends trust with gathering money, for example, if you’re pooling funds for a friend’s surprise party, your friends all feel comfortable giving you their money to collect for the pool.

Expected student tasks

  1. Data collection
  2. Data analyses
  3. Presenting

Expected student hours/week: 8-10 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Data collected, some summary statistics, and a report

Supervisor

Dr. Stephen Gilbert

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

Non-Destructive Evaluation Data Fusion Between Inconsistent Geometries

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Operations Research/Analytics

Project Description:

Learning how to fuse Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) data across geometric inconsistencies is very useful nowadays. Real parts are usually imperfect and inconsistent. The benefits of digital thread/digital twin for NDE are in data fusion. The benefits may arise from the fusion between modalities (better detection), fusion across multiple serial numbers, or fusion over time of the same part. The current project reconciles inconsistent geometry in simple cases by transforming it to a reference CAD geometry.
However, transforming the geometry alone is not sufficient. A usable distorted CAD model requires consistent interconnections (topology) of CAD surfaces.

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

– Know how to use the software AutoCAD or is willing to learn
– Have a strong interest in data analytics and machine learning
– Know a programming language or is willing to learn (Matlab, R, or Python)
– A team player, willing to work together on the project with graduate students
– Be responsible by replying to emails timely, attending meetings, doing the assigned work, seeking help if needed, etc.
– Willing to communicate

Expected student tasks

  1. Data collection
  2. Data analysis
  3. Excel
  4. Statistical analyses
  5. Presenting
  6. Group meetings

Expected student hours/week: 10 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Data analysis and data plan for future collection

Supervisor

Dr. Qing Li

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

Soil Surface Roughness Quantification and its Effects on Corn Yields

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Operations Research/Analytics

Project Description:

Soil roughness, i.e., the irregularities of the soil surface due to soil texture, aggregates, rock fragments, and land management, is important as it affects surface storage, infiltration, overland flow, and ultimately, the yields of crops. This project aims to compare existing soil roughness measurement methods and investigate how soil roughness affects corn yields. This project is expected to be very useful to inform the selection of appropriate soil roughness measurement methods as well as to gain an understanding of the nature and strength of the relationship between roughness and corn yields.

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

– Have a strong interest in data analytics and machine learning
– Know a programming language or is willing to learn (Matlab, R, or Python)
– A team player, willing to work together on the project with graduate students
– Be responsible by replying to emails timely, attending meetings, doing the assigned work, seeking help if needed, etc.
– Willing to communicate

Expected student tasks

  1. Data analyses
  2. Modeling
  3. Excel
  4. Statistical analyses
  5. Presenting
  6. Group meetings

Expected student hours/week: 10 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Data analysis

Supervisor

Dr. Qing Li

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

Emerging Threats in Iowa — Analyze Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Operations Research/Analytics
  • Systems Engineering/Engineering Management

Project Description:

The state of Iowa faces emerging threats such as cybersecurity, economic security, terrorism, foreign influence, supply chain integrity, unmanned aerial systems, weapons of mass destruction and other chemical, biological,
radiological, and nuclear threats. This project will analyze the threat to Iowa posed by each of these emerging threats, classify the vulnerability of Iowa to these threats, and quantify the risk of each of these threats. Since these threats have largely failed to materialize in the state of Iowa, this project will first study the literature to learn how other studies have classified, categorized, and described these threats. Understanding these studies’ application to other states will inform a careful analysis of how these
threats could manifest themselves in Iowa.

This project will analyze Iowa’s vulnerability to these threats by studying the demographic, infrastructure, geographic, and other characteristics of Iowa. Certain characteristics may make the state of Iowa or certain Iowa communities more or less vulnerable to these threats. This work will also require meeting with homeland security and emergency response officials, university experts, and private sector entities. These meetings and interviews will supplement the literature research in order to better understand the extent to which Iowa is vulnerable to these threats.

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

– Ability to quickly read through information on threats and summarize ideas
– Interest in learning about potential homeland security threats such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear threats
– Ability to think how threats could materialize in Iowa

Expected student tasks

  1. Literature review
  2. Problem definition
  3. Writing
  4. Presenting
  5. Potential interviews with subject matter experts

Expected student hours/week: 7 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Written report on different threats studied

Supervisors

Dr. Cameron MacKenzie

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

Supply Chain Contracts to Address Supply Chain Disruptions for Critical Materials and Components

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Operations Research/Analytics

Project Description:

The 2 URAs selected will:
1. Collect, compile, and summarize the contemporary incidents of supply chain disruptions for materials and components ranging from rare earth elements in aeronautics and aerospace industries to microchips and raw materials such as cobalt and lithium in electric vehicles and batteries.
2. Collect, compile, and summarize supply chain contracts that are in use or proposed for the critical materials and components.
3. Help mathematical modeling of such contracts and their ramifications under supply chain disruptions.
4. Apply empirical/simulated data to such models, and rank-order the economic performances of such contracts under disruptions.
5. Reflect on the results from 4 and make recommendations on such supply chain contracts.

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

– Mathematical Competence in at least 2 years of math and Stat 231
– Some economics background such as IE 305 or Econ 101

Expected student tasks

  1. Literature review
  2. Data collection
  3. Data analyses
  4. Simulation
  5. Modeling
  6. Cost/benefit
  7. Statistical analyses
  8. Alternative generation
  9. Writing
  10. Presenting
  11. Group Meetings

Expected student hours/week: 10 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Supply chain disruption cases and economic consequences. Recommendations on supply contracts under supply chain disruptions.

Supervisors

Dr. Jo Min and Dr. John Jackman

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

Assessing the HeroWear Exosuit for use in Operating Room Environments

Duration: Spring 2022

Research area:

  • Human Factors/Ergonomics

Project Description:

On-going collaborations between the ergonomics research group at Mayo Clinic and the Physical Ergonomics and Biomechanics Lab at Iowa State have led to the need for a structured assessment of the effects of a commercially available system to support static trunk postures maintained by surgeons. The HeroWear exosuit (https://herowearexo.com/) is a torso support system that has been chosen because it is a low-profile system that can be worn under surgical scrubs. There is still considerable work to be
done to confirm the potential positive impact of these exosuits, and the laboratory study of these systems will be the focus of this proposed URA project.

In the lab, we will be simulating the trunk postures assumed during a variety of surgical procedures and then participants will maintain these postures that we have documented in previous work. These postures will be maintained both with and without the exosuit technology. As participants perform these tasks, we will be capturing the activity of the low back musculature using electromyography. Using the EMG data, we can track how hard the muscles are working, as well as track how they are becoming fatigued. From the comparison of the “with exosuit” vs. “without exosuit” we can document the impacts of this technology. The end result of this project will be the data that will help to inform our colleagues at Mayo Clinic about utilization of these exosuits in surgery (what surgeries are likely to be positively impacted, what is the magnitude of the impact, etc.).

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Experiences

– Interested in ergonomics
– Dependable
– Inquisitive
– Creative

Expected student tasks

  1. Data collection
  2. Data analyses
  3. Modeling
  4. Writing
  5. Presenting
  6. Group meetings

Expected student hours/week: 8 hours/week

Expected output during the semester

Data analysis, poster, and first draft of paper

Supervisor

Dr. Gary Mirka

Is this project open to international students?

Yes

The Application Period Has Closed

Loading...