Research and Facilities

When you select Western for your engineering and applied sciences education, you will have access to 75+ teaching and research labs throughout the college. Many of your faculty members conduct research in these labs; there is also lab space for students and registered student organizations. 

Tycho Fredericks

  • Our team is well positioned to pursue new paths and build innovative solutions. This is what we live for in academia.

    Dr. Tycho Fredericks, professor

Research labs and facilities

The Department of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management houses the following labs:

  • Engineering Management Research Lab


    Improve the organizational performance and quality of work life through innovative research and application of engineering management technology.


    To research and apply leading edge engineering tools and techniques in managerial and organizational settings.

    The Engineering Management Research Lab performs and supports research on engineering management topics. This lab is used for research and to support teaching in project-related courses and masters or doctoral projects, thesis and dissertations. Typical research projects include the design and measurement of organizational variables such as culture, quality and resilience.

    Lab faculties have received three grants for Teaching and Learning with Technology from Western Michigan University. Recent EMRL projects have been with Bronson Healthcare Group and the Stryker Corporation. Professors Larry Mallak and David Lyth head up the EMRL.

  • Human Performance Institute

    The Human Performance Institute at Western Michigan University is an interdisciplinary center devoted to applied research, training, and outreach in the areas of occupational ergonomics, human factors, work design and safety. The institute specializes in product and safety system evaluation and design, healthcare modeling and seating.

    The Human Performance Institute occupies a two-room, 3,100-square-foot suite in Floyd Hall on WMU's Parkview Campus. Six breakout rooms accommodate proprietary research. One of the breakout rooms also features a four-by-six foot one-mirror with video and audio capabilities for behavioral analysis. The laboratory features equipment to assess cognitive and biomechanical variables, metabolic demands and environmental factors.

    The Human Performance Institute has been funded through the federal government, the state of Michigan, private foundations and industry.

    For more information, please contact

    Dr. Tycho Fredericks at (269) 276-3360 or Dr. Steven Butt at (269) 276-3356.

  • Optimization, Data, and Decision Science Lab

    The Optimization, Data, and Decision Science (ODDS) Lab, established in late 2023 under the leadership of Dr. Ilgin Acar, represents a dynamic hub for cutting-edge research at the intersection of optimization, data science and decision-making across diverse domains. 

    Research team

    • Lab and research coordinator Dr. Ilgin Acar, assistant professor of industrial and entrepreneurial engineering and engineering management
    • Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Islam Altin
    • Graduate student researchers Eren Darici (M.S.E.) and Kira Hamelink (Ph.D.)
    • Undergraduate student researchers Aylin Aytemiz (computer science) and Mila Mitovski (industrial engineering)

    Ongoing research 

    • Drone Routing Problem (Transportation) 

    • Theory and applications (ongoing application) 

    • Human Resources Analytics (AI/ML in business) 

    • Decision Support Systems-based Approach for Stroke Prediction (AI/ML in healthcare) 

    • An AI/ML   Application in Healthcare 

    Research activities

    • Mila Mitovski: Optimizing Drone Routing for Surveillance and Inspection Applications Mitovski received a WMU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award. 
    • Aylin Aytemiz: A Machine Learning-based Decision Support System for Predicting and Preventing Stroke. Aytemiz received a WMU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award.
    • Eren Darici and Kira Hamelink: Human Resources Analytics: Determining Possible Turnovers with a Feature Engineering Accepted 9th North American Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management in Washington DC, organized by the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management. Both students received the Graduate College competitive research and/or travel grant for spring 2024. 
    • Dr. Islam Altin, postdoctoral research scholar, is funded by Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (Tubitak) for his research about Drone Arc Routing Problems and Applications with Dr. Ilgin Acar supervising. 
    • Recent paper titled as “Multi-Depot General Colored Traveling Salesman Problem with Time Windows in Home Healthcare System: A Medication Delivery Example” submitted to a Science Citation Indexed journal. Authors: Ilgin Acar and Islam Altin 

Research areas

  • Ergonomic evaluation, analysis and design includes product comparison, workstation evaluation and design, and training (reduction of injuries or lost time). Analysis is available through pressure mapping, kinematics, energy, and biomechanics. Work analysis develops performance measurements, time standards and utilizations: time study analysis, work sampling and video sampling.
  • Organizational system performance improvement uses measurement of organizational variables and processes targeted toward outcomes of improved working conditions and organizational culture change.
  • Engineering economy and capital budgeting principles are used to achieve optimum allocation and deployment of resources.
  • Stochastic Discrete Event Simulation is used to look at a manufacturing, scheduling, or materials handling system and ask "what-if": What if there were changes in the number of lines, operators, types of equipment or delivery schedule? What impact do changes have on throughput or on resource utilization?
  • Reliability engineering employs estimation from design, field and test data includes: Writing and analyzing failure scoring documents used to evaluate the Reliability and Maintainability of military equipment, test planning and analysis; and participation in design reviews for R&M improvement. Industrial short courses are also available.