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Graduate Student Research Projects

Each semester, graduate students and visiting research scholars complete individual industrial research projects within the Industrial Technology and Management program at IIT. The majority of these students are participants in the International Alliance Program (aka, IIT Paris/IIT Europe Program), which enables students from overseas technical universities to come to IIT and complete the Master of Industrial Technology and Operations (MITO) while also satisfying graduate level requirements for their five-year degree program (UG/Master’s) at their home university.

The research projects are student-driven, with guidance from an INTM faculty adviser. The topics are varied and comprehensive. Students interested in pursuing a graduate special project should make an appointment to discuss their project ideas with Mr. Mazin Safar, INTM Program Director ( Summaries of several recent special projects are presented below. Informational resources for students undertaking a special project are included in the menu at right.

Spring 2013

This was an exploration of methods for introducing a Spanish brand of sports nutrition products to the U.S. market. Details included interviews with senior management at GfK Research and DSC Logistics (a third party logistics company), and extensive market research. The report offers insights into the marketing process for consumer products in the U.S. and identifies warehousing and distribution options on the East Coast.

Student: Rafel Mayol Reig
Faculty Advisor: Herb Shields
Specializations: Supply Chain Management

The effects of outsourcing on inventory levels are felt significantly throughout the global economy. Technological and digital advances have made outsourcing more efficient, leading to an increase in the practice worldwide. While greater use of outsourcing has helped many companies, it has also led to supply chain disruptions, product quality concerns, and new inventory management considerations including increased lead-times due to foreign suppliers. The student found that although international trade continues to play a predominant role in business, there appears to be a trend toward reshoring in the U.S. in order to re-galvanize manufacturing employment and eliminate outsourcing risks and issues.

Student: Olivia Pewzer
Faculty Advisor: Mazin Safar

The present and future possibilities for integration of internet music in vehicles require understanding the technological feasibility, operations, legal considerations, copyrights, marketing plans, cost analysis, and profit potential. This study was a strategic analysis of these factors.

Student: Javier Eguren
Faculty Advisor: Dan Tomal
Specializations: Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Technology

To understand how the emergency management chain in mass casualty crises needs integration, this project analyzed a number of factors– the preparedness of all entities (readiness), the flexibility of organizational structures (based on real-time risk assessments), the resources needed from hospitals and NGOs (response), and the most efficient operations (recovery) to lessen the human impact and create control. Research included interviews with heads of Emergency Management for major hospitals in the U.S. and Spain, examples of the emergency management chain usage in recent years, and commentary regarding the effectiveness of each incident cited.

Student: Lorenzo Espinosa Fernandez
Faculty Advisor: Irene Rozansky

Citing available public information and contacts with several wind power planning and start-up initiatives, this project identified U.S. offshore wind power opportunities in the Great Lakes Region, and specifically in Lake Michigan. The report concluded that horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) may be most suitable, given that economies of scale do not exist in the case of offshore wind farm developments.

Student: Jose Luis Hernandez Morales
Faculty Advisor: Don Tijunelis
Specializations: Industrial Sustainability

This was an entrepreneurial project that became a complete business plan for an organic food business in Chicago, featuring products similar to those from organic farms in France. The report outlines the current state of U.S. agriculture and trends, and analyzes American behavior toward food and health.  The plan includes market research, interviews with individuals in the food and restaurant business, advice from legal and financial experts, and results from a student focus group.

Student: Karl Rouze
Faculty Advisor: Blake Davis

This project showed how Spain might reduce its excessive dependence on truck transport (85% of all cargo moved) in order to meet EU sustainability directives. Analysis of the Spanish freight sector, including major developments in market share, infrastructure and investment in each of the various cargo carrying modes, reveals serious inefficiencies in the road network, an inadequate and incompatible freight rail infrastructure, and opportunities to make greater use of Spain’s low-cost coastal barge traffic.

Student: Juan Rodriguez Abril
Faculty Advisor: Rob Hoffman
Specializations: Supply Chain Management

To create a complete business plan for opening an authentic Tapas Restaurant in Chicago, this student visited existing Spanish restaurants in multiple U.S. cities and interviewed industry members and government officials concerning organizational and managerial systems. An evaluation of administrative and financial issues, product development and presentation, and all phases of marketing, helped the student to seek his own market niche, and continue to pursue implementation of this plan.

Student: Jorge Juan Muriana Soriano
Faculty Advisor: Jerry Field
Specializations: Supply Chain Management

For this study, the student researched how to design a control algorithm for the drive train system of an EV, and suggest how the design could be applied in a Formula SAE (Society of automotive Engineers) EV. The work included an in-depth examination of the EV control subsystem and its important role in relation to the drive train. The aim of the project was to show how full electric vehicles (EV) could be among the most promising new technologies to solve the world’s energy problems.

Student: Albert Vila Mila
Faculty Advisor:

Summer 2013

The subject of this project is Maverick Purchasing, a supply chain term to describe purchasing that takes place outside of standard procurement processes. To study how Maverick Purchasing impacts large and small companies, the student used research, publication reviews, and an interview with a Purchasing executive who has dealt with Maverick Purchasing in the area of indirect spend. The project cited best practices for supply chain organizations, and identified five best-in-class companies to demonstrate key points.

Student: Adria Robirosa Abello
Faculty Advisor: Herbert Shields