From Podcasts to Bike Safety, ISyE Students Focus on Bringing Together the UMN Community

In preparation for their Senior Design project course, Industrial and Systems Engineering students are given the opportunity to tackle real-world problems in Project Management (IE 4541W).

IE 4541W teaches the basics of practical project management and ISyE students—typically seniors—are tasked with proposing, selecting, planning, executing, and closing team projects over the course of the semester. During the Fall 2021 term, 17 groups of students completed work that raised bike safety awareness on campus, reduced the environmental impact of clothing, raised the spirits of children in hospitals, and much more.

The following are highlights from the Fall 2021 Project Management course.

Spreading the ISyE Word

Three teams independently selected projects focused on providing information on career and academics related to the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) major.

Group 1: Explore ISyE!

This group created a series of videos interviewing current ISyE students and alumni. Each video focused on a different topic ranging from Sustainability to Medical Devices. All eight videos can be viewed here.


Group 2: ISyE Informational Platform

Members of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)—UMN Chapter filmed their peers talking about life as an ISyE student and why they should get involved with IISE. Videos were posted on the IISE—UMN Chapter website.

IISE leadership stories


Group 3: An Eye Into ISyE

This group launched a podcast titled "An Eye Into ISyE" and published four episodes on Spotify. Each episode features an interview with a single subject, including episodes focused on an ISyE professor, teaching assistant and a student.


Bike Safety on Campus

Two teams independently attempted to reduce bike-related injuries on the University of Minnesota campus. Their work caught the attention of a Minnesota Daily report, resulting in a newspaper report highlighting the ISyE major and Project Management course.

Group 4: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Initiative

With the sponsorship of Parking and Transportation Services on the University of Minnesota campus, students developed "signacades"—barricades with informational material—placed in high-traffic areas used by bicyclists and pedestrians. The group also designed and delivered educational pamphlets to residence halls.



Group 5: Bike Safety Awareness

This group held bike safety events and advertised the outings by distributing posters and pamphlets around campus.

Bike safety event


Social and Environmental Responsibility

Several teams conducted outreach events and looked to create a positive impact in their community.

Group 6: Gopher Exchange

This group launched a website for University of Minnesota students and alumni to buy, sell, and exchange Golden Gopher apparel in place of buying new clothes. The group's motivation was to help limit water usage based on the fact it can take up to 700 gallons of water to make a single cotton shirt.

Gopher Exchange


Group 7: Toy Drive for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

In an effort to spread holiday cheer, this group teamed with the Phi Mu Fraternity and held a toy drive and card making event for children experiencing long-term hospital stays. The team delivered 106 toys and 254 cards to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

Gillette toy drive


Quotes from Project Management Students

After completing their projects, students shared their thoughts on the experience.

"Working on this project was a great way for the team to expose themselves to many of the ins and outs of project management and learn many things that will be helpful in the future. Throughout this project there was a lot of great growth from the whole team and a lot of excellent teamwork." —Student in Group 2: ISyE Informational Platform

"Through the course of this semester, our team has gotten to know each other on a more personal level. Though it was not always easy to grind out hours on Microsoft Project, each member learned how to stay tact when it was not easy to, which brought us closer together. It was an amazing opportunity to meet with peers at a professional level that no one had quite experienced so far in college, and it was an amazing experience for all of us to bring into the future." —Student in Group 1: Explore ISyE!

"We are glad to have created a project that has been popular among our audience and that will hopefully have a positive impact on ISyE enrollment numbers in future years. —Student in Group 3: An Eye into ISyE