Industrial and systems engineering seniors win technical paper competition

Published: March 19, 2021

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A student-team of three industrial and systems engineering seniors was recently announced as the winner of the Southeast Regional Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers’, or IISE, Technical Paper Competition. Annie Dorsey, Caroline Allen and Anne Curtis Giovanelli have been invited to present at the 2021 Virtual IISE Annual Conference and to compete at the national level competition.

The students completed the technical paper as part of a term project for their simulations course, taught by assistant professor Konstantinos Mykoniatis. The project required students to research challenges that a local business in Auburn faces and “propose an innovative, pragmatic solution that has the potential to improve the business’ operations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mykoniatis said.

The students chose to focus their project on a local drive-thru fast-food restaurant, evaluating the behavior of the system, identifying inefficiencies and problems and exploring opportunities for improvement of the drive-thru system.

"When we were first assigned this project, we knew we wanted to pick a system that impacted Auburn students. After a few brainstorming sessions, we settled upon a drive-thru location that was a popular choice for students looking for a quick bite to eat, but instead led to frustratingly long wait times,” said Allen. “Beyond that, with the ongoing pandemic, drive-thrus quickly became the new normal, and often the only option if you wanted to enjoy your favorite fast-food meal. With more customers utilizing the drive-thru, it became even more imperative to find ways to improve the speed of service and overall customer experience."

Read more about their experience here.