ISE department earns scholarship for program curriculum and experience


courtesy of Oakland University

Laurel Kraus, Managing Editor

The department of industrial and systems engineering (ISE) at Oakland University was chosen as the recipient of the 2018 $5,000 David A. Harvey Memorial Scholarship.

Selected by Automation World, a manufacturing trade magazine, the annual national award is meant to support students from engineering or technology programs.

Automation World established the scholarship in 2012 in memory of David Harvey, the founding publisher.

OU’s ISE department entered the magazine’s radar when both attended a Siemens event in early 2018 called Manufacturing in America. Siemens is a world-renowned manufacturing company.

“It [the event] was about industry 4.0, meaning everything is becoming digitalized and everything is going toward autonomous vehicles and robots, and how they are preparing to overcome that challenge and how OU is going to play a part in that,” said Rehman Ahmad, senior in the ISE department, president of the student org IISE and Siemens employee.

According to Kurt Belisle, publisher of Automation World, the editor-in-chief suggested Oakland for the award because of what he saw at the event.

The ISE department was then encouraged to apply for the scholarship, and it is the first time OU has received this award.

Robert Van Til, chair of the department, reported the scholarship will likely be broken up into multiple smaller scholarships that will be awarded next year to industrial and systems engineering students. Any student in the program will be eligible to apply for the scholarship, and it can be applied to tuition or educational expenses.

The ISE department was created 10 years ago and is one of the relatively new programs at Oakland.

To Van Til, this makes its selection as the 2018 David A. Harvey Memorial Scholarship recipient all the more impressive.

“It was great confirmation,” he said. “An outside group came through, talked to our students, had a look at our program, and they were very impressed. Getting that kind of external confirmation on your program is always positive, shows that we’re on track of doing the right things.”

Ahmad reported the department deserves this recognition due to its commitment to the students.

“The software and the tools that we use in our engineering classes are Siemens tools, and these are not cheap tools that are a couple hundred dollars, these are like 20, 30 thousand dollar tools,” Ahmad said. “The fact that our school has enabled us to get lead advancements, definitely has increased employment rates for students.”

100 percent of graduated students gain employment, many of which are within the state, according to Ahmad.

Different fields of career opportunity include automotive, financial and accounting companies or consulting.

“Everything I learned in the classroom has directly affected my work at Siemens,” Ahmad said. “A lot of the notes I’ve taken in class I’ve used, and the actual labs I did with the Siemens software is the exact same software that I am doing today.”

Through the combination of mathematical skills along with business project management skills, ISE is the broadest type of engineering possible, according to Ahmad.

“The nice part is we learn about so many different types of fields, and so many different types of people and methodologies that the department does a really nice job shaping future leaders,” he said.