IOE 481: Practicum in Hospital Systems.





1. Call For Projects Clients Needed


If you have a project appropriate for a team of Industrial Engineers (think of Lean, Six Sigma, Data Analysis, Micro Economics), please send it in.


For over 30 years, the Industrial & Operations Engineering (IOE) Department of the College of Engineering has been supporting teams of 3-4 students in spending a semester working on real problems and real solutions within the University of Michigan Health System (UMHHC). IOE educates students in a variety of relevant areas (Lean; Six Sigma; Production, Distribution, & Logistics; Operations Research; Ergonomics; Financial Engineering; Quality & Statistics; etc.)

The projects selected will all have the blessing of the top operational directors of UMHS.


As a client, you will provide 33% of the input into the student grades. You will also need to meet with students on a weekly basis and provide them direction and contacts to perform the work.  Factors to be considered in grading include:

Final Project Outputs: Proposal & Presentation; Interim Report & Presentation; Final Report & Presentation

Client & Coordinator Relations: Professionalism with Client, Coord., Employees; Integrity of team & analyses

Project Conduct: Thorough literature search; Mastered engineering methods used; Analyses thorough and accurate; Appropriate data, findings, conclusions, recommendations


2.         Praise For Mentors, and a Welcome to New Ones


IOE 481 derives much excellence and practical value from the fine mentors that help to coordinate the teams and form an interface with the client. If you are a mentor, thank you. If you want to become one, let me know.


Effective coordinators tend to have skills in Lean, Six Sigma, and/or an Industrial Engineering background. They do the relatively heavy lifting of keeping the student team supported (e.g., overcoming barriers of terminology and domain knowledge, navigating politics, and being a quality enforcer and providing specialized knowledge as needed).


As needed, mentors should access the class CTOOLS website ( ) and the Mentors Website at Select IOE481_Instr_Coord, probably under -- more sites in the upper right of your window.)



3.         Course Description:


This Major Design Experience for IOE students conducts team projects in hospital systems. Projects will be offered from areas of industrial and operations engineering, including work measurement and control, systems and procedures, management, organization and information systems. Lectures will deal with the hospital setting and project methodologies. The final report should demonstrate a mastery of the established technical communication skills. The report will be reviewed and edited to achieve this outcome.


Three primary objectives:

  1. Provide real world experience conducting a professional project, which is performed in a healthcare organization, but useful in any industry.

  2. Provide knowledge of key problems in healthcare systems to advance industrial engineering careers in this field.

  3. Improve technical communication skills to facilitate professional development.




UMHS Project Coordinator Liaison:  Mary Duck

Industrial Engineer Expert

2101 Commonwealth, Suite A

Ann Arbor, MI 48105



Instructor: Mark Van Oyen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering 

IOE Bldg. Rm 2853     University of Michigan,     Ann Arbor, MI  48109-2117

    Phone: (734) 763-1454    Anti-spam Email:


IOE 481 Intro Website: