Redesigning Dining

One of the best ways to optimize efficiency, improve production, and enhance positive change is to ask for help from some of the best and brightest minds at Purdue University. The annual partnership between Purdue Dining & Catering and the IE 431 class aims to do just that. IE 431 is a capstone course for senior design in the School of Industrial Engineering. The students in these groups are focused on analyzing issues, producing investigative evidence, and proposing potential short-term and long-term goals. The IE 431 class is continually challenged intellectually as PD&C tasks them with tricky situations that helps them strengthen their skill set in industrial engineering principles.

These groups work for the whole semester to develop potential solutions and some of these solutions that they proposed are eventually implemented, like patio seating at Ford and better customer flow at Lemongrass. The solutions for this year include:

  • Implementing the purple diamond concept by having an email form for people with food allergies to order food before they get to the Dining Court, so they aren’t stuck waiting for such a long time
  • Maximizing catering efficiency by setting standards for set-up in the Purdue Memorial Union
  • Improving storage utilization by storing materials in optimal locations in the Purdue Memorial Union
  • Reducing customer wait time at Cosi by restructuring the way orders are taken and installing new ways to track orders
  • How to better serve customers at Harrison Grill by reducing customer wait time by improving the kitchen line efficiency
  • Optimizing the Wiley Dish Room by installing sky panels, painting a mural, lowering the height of shelves, providing music in the dish room, purchasing more storage, and much more.

We are glad that we can receive insight from these amazing students. The continued collaboration helps promote innovative ideas for PD&C while also providing great experiential learning for these students. We wish them the best and we thank them for helping us nourish and inspire more of the Purdue community!


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