Design Teams, Waterloo

IW Club Interview Series: Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is one of the most unconventional design teams in Waterloo Engineering. For the past three years, they have designed a remotely-held competition for high schoolers, themed around management engineering concepts. This year they had over 150 participants stretched across 3 different provinces. To learn some more about the organization, we joined Fahmida, Jillian and Emma to discuss.

Q: What do you do at Industry 4.0?

Fahmida Tanveer: Our design team mission is to educate youth and students across Canada, maybe North America, in the fields of engineering and promote concepts of supply chain optimization, data analytics, internet of things. All of those that can be found in any engineering or tech related field. Things end up encompassing management engineering but also the other disciplines.

To do that we create case competitions based off of case days that we’ve done in MSCI 100 where students across Canada can participate in and learn the different processes within a manufacturing plant or supply chain optimization.

We work with four some teams; marketing and outreach, PR-sponsorships, R&D as well as tech.

Q: What’s your favorite part about Industry 4.0?

Jillian Exconde: My favorite part is running the competition. We just held the competition this past Wednesday and it was really fun. I like seeing the end result and how all the work we’ve put in over the years really came together.

Emma Lin: My favorite part would be that there’s always something we can improve on. We’re always springing different ideas on how we can make things better, how we can try to find more money, or how we can scale our competition bigger or whatever the case is. The end result is never disappointing.

Fahmida: And I think my favourite part would be our sense of community. We’ve been working together since first year, so we’ve become like a small family and it helps drive our creativity and innovation.

Q: What would you describe the sense of community at Industry 4.0?

Emma: Our sense of community is very mentor-mentee. For example, me, Jill, Fahmida: we’re on the 2023 graduating cohorts that runs the team for now. We really work to make sure that any problems we run into, we convey those messages down to the next team that is going to be running the competition and vice versa. If they have something they want to share with us or they’re seeking advice, we are always able to be help them out.

Q: What is something you’ve learned from being a part of Industry 4.0?

Emma: The one thing that I learned from being an industry is that every time that we explore a new competition, it’s interesting to see our core focus of the competition. So using data analytics to provide a more efficient solution. This type of idea is applicable to any setting, so whether we’re talking about a parking garage, a hospital, the airport, whatever it is, it’s applicable to every situation.

Jillian: I like how our design team focuses on management engineering concepts, so I can see the connection between what we learn in class applying it to creating these case competitions. I like being able to apply what we’ve learned like in this type of scenario: something that’s like fun doesn’t seem like a bore just because it’s class.

Fahmida: I feel like when we joined there wasn’t really a design team for management engineering where we could apply our course concepts in design teams. In our 1A was when we sort of got introduced to this. This is the only design team pertained to management engineering versus the other ones were more so like Mechanical, Tron with their cars and their canoes, so this was really cool to join.

I think we’ve learned a lot about team collaboration and working with each other over the two years so

Q: How have you adapted to remote?

Jillian: As we were kind of already a really small, tightly knit group, it wasn’t difficult to move things online because as we’ve already had contact with each other anyways, like we’ve all basically became friends. So it wasn’t difficult to be like, “Oh, hey guys, let’s like have a meeting now. That sense of family really helped us transition online. But to even further help us out, we’ve created a Discord server so that each of the sub teams could have their own private channels to talk. I think we’ve transitioned really well and it wasn’t too hard for us. The competitions that we run every year our virtual anyway, so in that sense that hasn’t changed.

Q: For all those new members and people who’ve been interested by this, how can they join you?

Jillian: We’re currently mostly management engineering students, but we are looking to leverage the skills of those students and other programs. Our design team kind of has something for everybody. We have different sub-teams; marketing, tech, R&D and PR. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something here for you. Whether it’s software, or you like art and being creative there’s definitely something that everybody can find that they like about us.

We’re looking for new general members to join every year at anytime they want to. For anyone who does want to join, they can either reach out to us via email or they can message us on Instagram @i4competition.

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