Mizzou IMSE faculty reminisce, look to the future as department turns 60


The Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at Mizzou turns 60 this year, and IMSE will celebrate with events that look back on the department’s successes and look ahead to its future.

The Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at Mizzou turns 60 this year, and IMSE will celebrate with events that look back on the department’s successes and look ahead to its future.

Department Chair Luis Occeña and Professor Jim Noble have been around for plenty of its past and will be around for its future, putting them in a unique position to discuss IMSE’s history and its current state as the department begins another decade.

Occeña is in his 32nd year with Mizzou IMSE, and Noble recently entered his 27th. They’ve taught and mentored countless students over the years, which is why they’re looking forward to next weekend’s 60th Anniversary Celebration and the 10th Anniversary of the IMSE Hall of Fame.

“It is exciting to see the people who come back and what they’ve accomplished,” Noble explained. “You look at our alums have accomplished and it is just amazing.One of our Hall of Fame members went back through by decade and looked at what our alums have done. It’s really impressive. The high level they’ve attained professionally — at the Sr. Director and C-suite levels , I’m confident that we have the highest percentage of alums who’ve made it to that level in at MU.”

Occeña strongly encouraged them to return for both the IMSE events and Homecoming, and the department has a wide array of events planned, beginning on Thursday. Registration ends on Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. Central Time. The events are:

  • IMSE Welcome Reception (Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union) — Thursday, Oct. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. — includes cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres
  • Tours of the new facilities — Friday, Oct. 19 (various times)
  • IMSE 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame Inductee Luncheon (Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union) — Friday, Oct. 19, noon
  • IMSE 60th Anniversary Banquet (Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union) — Friday, Oct. 19, 5:30 p.m.
  • IMSE Hall of Fame Homecoming Float in Parade (Downtown Columbia) — Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.
  • IMSE Tailgate/BBQ (Lafferre Hall Courtyard) — $10 per person — Saturday, Oct. 20, noon
  • Homecoming Football Game vs. Memphis — Saturday, Oct. 20, 3 p.m.

“There’s been a lot of changes — the [renovated] building, some new faces in the faculty, a new administration and new labs. So there’s a lot of new things to see on campus.Occeña said. “I strongly encourage those within a two-hour drive to take the time to even just make it a day trip.”

One of the things Occeña said he enjoys most about these kinds of events is the chance to see multiple generations that decided that Mizzou IMSE was the place for them.

“It’s very rewarding for us now to see second generation children of alums coming in to do their industrial engineering degree and finding out that this is so-and-sos daughter or son. That’s rewarding,” he said. “That means there’s definitely value they saw when they got the degree and that they got the next generation to be interested, as well.”

And while reminiscing is fun, Noble said he’s also excited to show alumni where the department is currently and what its future will hold.

“Our faculty and student numbers have varied over the years, but we are the strongest we’ve been since I’ve been here. … We’ve got a lot of momentum going, so it is exciting to be here at this point in time!” he said.



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