Blog Archives

Great Industrial Engineer Passes Away

Professor James Barany passed away earlier this week.  A lot of people probably won’t know Prof. Barany, but if you passed through the Industrial Engineering School at Purdue University you did.

Professor Barany has been at Purdue since 1956 when he entered the graduate program.  Once he graduated he stayed on as part of the faculty and has been there ever since.  He influenced me as an undergraduate student as well as many others, including some of my mentors. He wasn’t just recognized by Purdue.  Prof. Barany was internationally know.

As a researcher, Dr. Barany gained international recognition for his studies of hemiplegic gait using a force platform of his original design, fabrication, and validation.

Everyone knew him at Purdue and he told great stories.  He never was shy about how he felt and was never politically correct.  he just told you straight.  I can remember as a senior thinking I was going to take a couple of easy engineering electives to make my last semester easy.  I wanted to take Computers 100 which was an intro to computers.  This is a mouse.  This is the internet.  Click here.  Easy stuff.  Prof. Barany looked me straight in the eye and said, “Think again, son.  You are too smart and if you want to be successful you need to challenge yourself.  No skating.”

That was that.  I ended up taking an advanced human factors course instead.  I will never forget the conversation.

Professor Barany was a great man that influenced all Industrial Engineers at Purdue since the 1950s.

It was a sad day at Purdue.  Thanks for everything Professor Barany.

Local Production a Necessity to Keep Costs Down

I am a Purdue University graduate and a Big Ten die hard stuck in the middle of Big 12 country.  My saving grace is the Big Ten Network.  Last week I was watching the Purdue University 30 minute show called “University Showcase”.  This is where I saw the clip below about the students creating a low cost transportation solution for underdeveloped countries.

The part that I found the most interesting was listening to college students talk about creating the vehicle from local materials in order to keep the cost down.  They mentioned producing the vehicle locally with local materials keeps the cost under $1,500.

The team makes the case for local production versus off-shoring.  I hope they remember this as they graduate and head out into the corporate world.