Student Profile

Rachel Monroe

Rachel Monroe completed both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Industrial Engineering (IE) at the University of Central Florida (UCF), taking advantage of the BS to MS program. As an undergraduate, she participated in the Lockheed Martin College Work Experience Program as an intern and was hired full time upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree. While enrolled in the Master’s program, Monroe was enrolled in the Florida Engineering Delivery System (FEEDS) program. She says, “In my experience with this program, the professors in the department had realistic expectations and did their best to work with the constraints unique to distance learners. Throughout my UCF experience, the professors in the IE department were not only genuinely interested in my education but also with helping me succeed in my own personal goals. Many of them drew from real life business experience when teaching and emphasized the importance of validating your work, understanding your processes, and exploring all possible solutions to your problem. The material covered was not only enjoyable, but insightful and directly applicable to my current job, helping prepare me for challenges/positions I may encounter in my career as an Industrial Engineer.”

Tom Hopkins

Tom Hopkins earned his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering at UCF in May 2009 then enrolled in the Master’s program in Fall 2010. Mr. Hopkins has always been a problem-solver, as well as someone who enjoys hands-on experience. The opportunity to be involved in many projects is one of the aspects he appreciated most about his time at UCF.  “The projects we perform really allow us to get a feel for what our careers will be like, and it really shows the amazing breadth and depth that industrial engineering provides to business and engineering problems alike.” Some of these projects include performing time studies at local businesses, Simulation projects to determine where bottlenecks exist in real life examples, and Ergonomic studies of office areas at UCF.

Among the memorable professors he encountered during his time at UCF, Dr. William Thompson and Dr. Ahmed Elshennawy stand out as particularly influential for Mr. Hopkins. “They were always very approachable and took a real interest in their students.”

Following his undergraduate career, Mr. Hopkins was hired as a Quality Engineer in the Constellation Program at the Kennedy Space Center. Mr. Hopkins completed his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering in Fall 2012 and continues to work at KSC in the Ground Systems Development and Operation Program as a Safety/Quality Engineer.

Maher Alshamkhani

Maher Alshamkhani came to UCF from Iraq on a scholarship from his government to obtain his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering. One of the many aspects of the program that he enjoyed was working with helpful, supportive, and highly educated people. “The graduate programs provided at IEMS were advanced and the selected faculty members were trained well to share their knowledge and experience truly with students from different countries,” he explains. “The most important thing that I have learned in this department was the teamwork and the importance of becoming a good team player.”

Alshamkhani conducted thesis research with Ahmad Elshennawy, PhD, and a practical project with other students in the quality systems engineering track for which they received the Six Sigma Green Belt from the ASQ/ UCF chapter which was created and developed by Dr. Elshennawy. Another unique feature of the department that Alshamkhani appreciates is the Quality Assurance Certificate offered for taking specific cources. “When I returned back to Iraq to my job, I found that my certificates obtained from UCF/ IEMS are the entire key for my successful life in my current and future time. Because I have the quality assurance certificate, the Dean of my college in Iraq has selected me as a manager for the academic performance and development department.”

Alshamkhani completed his master’s five months prior to his scholarship due date, an accomplishment he attributes to the skills of time management and resource selection which he learned from Dr. Elshennawy. He adds, “I will be more than happy to return back to U.S, to UCF, to my favorite teachers at IEMS in order to study for my PhD.”

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