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Engineering students win international simulation competition

by Mark Schwerin

Dec. 15, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Three Western Michigan University engineering students recently won an international simulation contest in such resounding fashion they were allowed to skip a final round of judging after their report was deemed as being of such high quality.

Competing in the ProModel Student Academic Competition were Kyle Naumann, Anna Kamphaus and Kimberly Harms, graduate students in the industrial and manufacturing engineering master's program. The WMU contingent took home a $2,000 cash prize.

In addition, they were among the nine finalists receiving a free, 20-user commercial license of a ProModel software product for their university lab as well as a professor version. Student finalists also came from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, California Polytechnic State University and ITESO (Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara) in Mexico.

The competition was held as part of ProModel's Predictive Analytics with Simulation Conference 2011 held this fall in Orlando, Fla. ProModel is a leading provider of predictive analytic simulation software and developer of decision-making tools and techniques for improving performance.

The competition is for currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students, who have the opportunity to demonstrate their process improvement skills using ProModel's state-of-the-art simulation technology. They were invited to take part in one of three simulation contests to design or improve a process, product or project portfolio in a company or organization.

The three contests were based on simulation products designed by the company. The WMU students took first place in the MedModel competition for health care simulation. Contestants also were offered in ProModel for manufacturing or logistics system simulation and Portfolio Simulator for product or project portfolio planning and optimization.

Following the competition, students were invited to a roundtable discussion led by ProModel Corp. Founder and Director Dr. Charles Harrell and Dr. Farhad Moeeni, professor of computer and information technology at Arkansas State University.

"Our department is extremely proud of our industrial engineering graduate student team," says Dr. Steven E. Butt, professor and assistant chair of the WMU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. "Not only did our team outperform students from other prestigious universities from around the world, but they also served as outstanding ambassadors for Western Michigan University at this international venue. We know that all three students have a very bright future ahead of them."