University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering

Welcome to SIE!

The University of Arizona department of systems and industrial engineering was established in 1961 as the nation's first academic department of systems engineering. In the more than 50 years since, we have achieved international prestige for contributions to the interdisciplinary design of large-scale complex systems involving people, technology and information.

We offer three undergraduate degrees, two graduate certificates, four master's degrees and a doctoral degree, and our alumni find work in leading corporations, research institutes and universities.

Researchers' Greenhouse Helping Mars' Gardens Grow for NASA

Inside the Prototype Lunar Greenhouse at the University of ArizonaFar above Tucson, among the stars, astronauts have successfully learned to grow plants and vegetables aboard the International Space Station.

Closer to home, engineers and scientists – including SIE professor Roberto Furfaro – are working with researchers at NASA to develop long-term methods to sustain workers in deep space, like the moon or Mars.

Furfaro is the principal technical investigator on the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project, alongside agricultural and biosystems engineering professor Gene Giacomelli, the project's co-principal investigator and director of the University of Arizona's Controlled Environment Agricultural Center.

Working with some 20 researchers from different disciplines across the U.S., Furfaro and Giacomelli spent nearly a decade building a fully functional prototype of a lunar and Martian greenhouse. They've since determined the plants, seeds and other materials needed to make the system viable on Mars, having successfully grown vegetables such as sweet potatoes and lettuce. The next step is specialized testing to ensure the system will support a crew on Mars or the moon for an extended period of time.

Furfaro, who is also director of the Space Systems Engineering Lab at the UA, is helping develop computer models to simulate the researchers' ability to monitor and control the greenhouse's environment and ability to provide adequate oxygen.

CEAC has grown food in desolate environments before; its greenhouse in Antarctica provides vegetables to workers at the National Science Foundation's base. 

Photo: The inside of a hydroponic plant growth chamber designed by the Prototype Lunar Greenhouse at the UA. It employs plants and crop production designed to provide not only food, but air revitalization, water recycling and waste recycling.

SIE Professor Leads Connected-Vehicles Tests Near Phoenix

Professor Larry Head during a demo of his connected-vehicle technology in Maricopa CountyMaricopa County is leading the country in testing new technology to help cars navigate traffic – even without a human operator – by transmitting real-time road information from vehicle to vehicle.

Aiding in their efforts is Larry Head, SIE professor and director of the Arizona Transportation Research Institute, who developed the connected-car technology being used in the tests.

"The idea is the cars are talking to each other; they can also talk to the infrastructure," he said in a recent interview with 91.5 KJZZ. "They can talk to the traffic signals and say, 'Here I am!' And the traffic signals can say 'Oh I see you're there. Let me give you a green light and let you go through.'"

Head's development of the connected-car technology in Maricopa earned him recognition as the 2016 College of Engineering da Vinci Fellow, as well as membership on the Arizona Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee

Photo of Larry Head during a demonstration in Maricopa County courtesy of Casey Kuhn/KJZZ

Design Day 2017: The Next Big Thing, 100 Times Over

Student at Design DayEngineering affects virtually every aspect of our lives, and at the University of Arizona's Engineering Design Day on May 1, more than 500 students – including 88 seniors from the UA Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering – inte​nd to prove it.

The public is invited to see the displays in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom and on the UA Mall from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and to attend the awards ceremony in the ballroom from 4 to 5:30 p.m., when industry sponsors will present more than $25,000 in cash prizes to project teams.

Download the UA Engineering Design app, available for iOS and Android! Find your favorite project and presenter, and then – new this year! – post to social media directly from the app.

Valerdi Explores the Complex Science of Sports

The University of Arizona Wildcats basketball team aren't the only ones having a busy spring. Ricardo Valerdi makes a free throw shot while promoting his new course, Sports Analytics

Associate professor Ricardo Valerdi has been making the media rounds, talking about the economic impact of March Madness on Arizona and why a systems engineer is so interested in sports anyway.

And he's not slowing down this summer, either.

Valerdi will debut a new course during the first summer session. Catch a video preview of MGMT 359: Sports Analytics, which covers fundamental analytical skills necessary to be successful in the sports business. It's part of the Eller Sports Management Program, which Valerdi directs.

Senior Wins Big Helping Build Cable for NASA

Team 16022 from left to right: Andrew Rocha, Kyel Powell, Laura Haferkamp, Giuseppe Lo Voi and David Greif.

Systems engineering senior Kyel Powell can now add "award-winning author" to his resume.

He co-authored a paper, "Space-Rated Fiber Optic Cable Design for NASA's Orion Spacecraft Heat Shield Spectrometer," with his interdisciplinary capstone design team, and their work just took second place in the Technical Paper division at the 2017 AIAA Region VI Student Conference.

The team's NASA-sponsored project is a custom fiber optic cable assembly for the upcoming Exploration Mission 1, which will test the Orion spacecraft's reentry capabilities.

From left to right: Team members Andrew Rocha, Kyel Powell, Laura Haferkamp, Giuseppe Lo Voi and David Greif.

Khosravi Slated for Grad Slam Finals

Doctoral student Sara Khosravi is heading to the 2017 UA Grad Slam finals on Tuesday, April 4.2017 Grad Slam Finalists, from left, Sara Khosravi, Joan Bajorek and Lora Key.

Her presentation, "SmartWalk Assistance for Disabled Pedestrians," wowed judges at the semifinals on March 29, and she'll give her greatest performance yet on April 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Gallagher Theatre.

Khosravi works with professor Larry Head, who is renowned for his research in connected vehicles and intelligent traffic signal control.

This is the second year in a row that SIE is represented in the final round of the campus-wide competition, which recognizes the best three-minute graduate student presentation of a research or creative project. Last year, SIE student Shayan Koshmagham took first place.

Photo: Khosravi, at left, with fellow finalists Joan Bajorek and Lora Key.

University of Arizona College of Engineering