W. M. Keck Foundation Awards $250,000 for Industrial Engineering Project

December 2016

The W.M. Keck Foundation, located in Los Angeles, CA, has awarded a $250,000 grant to Industrial Engineering Associate Professors Isabelina Nahmens and Laura Ikuma, and Industrial Engineering Professor Craig Harvey. This funding will drive their project entitled Partnership to Prepare Industrial Engineering Undergraduates for Healthcare Careers.

The following is further information on the project:

While healthcare in the US has made great strides in improving health, the delivery system still needs major improvements, as evidenced by increasing costs (4-10% per year) and ongoing problems with patient safety. Healthcare improvement requires skills in quality, information technology, safety, human factors, and project management, which are all taught in industrial engineering (IE) programs. However, to accurately address healthcare needs, curricula needs to be enhanced with healthcare applications and reinforced with hands-on experience. This proposal creates a healthcare certificate for undergraduate IE students at LSU to develop healthcare management professionals through partnerships with local healthcare entities. In the past 3 years, the LSU-IE program has grown to 206 students (307% increase) and about 70% of students have either completed a capstone project or research in healthcare. This project will expand IE students’ knowledge and career options via a healthcare certificate composed of one new healthcare course, one seminar course, two capstone courses with a healthcare project, and an internship in a healthcare business. A Healthcare Industry Advisory Board (HIAB) will play a prominent role in guiding the initiative.

For more information on this project, contact the authors listed above.