Recently, Endress+Hauser in Greenwood, Indiana invited human-computer interaction (HCI) students from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI Professor of Practice Lou Lenzi’s H-567 Internet-of-Things Interface Design and Business Innovation class to engage with several of their customers to review their current water monitoring/sensoring processes and propose design changes to improve their operations. Endress+Hauser produces and sells their Netilion solution for global water treatment monitoring/sensoring, which has applications across a number of regional Indiana industries.
“By partnering with a global leader in process automation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), this 10-week project allowed our students to apply their knowledge of human-centered design methods to a real-world design challenge. This Digital Transformation (DX) project also serves as a centerpiece of their portfolio of projects as an HCI graduate student,” Lenzi said.
Each team was assigned mentors from their client company and support personnel from Endress+Hauser and spent time learning the product, business model, business environment, customers, and processes, and finding solutions using design thinking concepts and analysis. The student teams then presented their solutions to the client, including identification of pain points and recommendations to improve things such as monitoring/sensoring, employee communication, and product marketing.
Nicole Otte, Director of Workforce Development at Endress+Hauser said, “We have been anxiously awaiting the final presentations from IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI IOT and Business Innovation Course. These students have been working the past 10 weeks with our Endress+Hauser team to design and develop innovative end-user experiences around NWNI for some of our customers. These students knocked it out of the park and provided viable solutions. Special thanks to all involved for making this a fruitful learning experience for these students.”
Team 1: Effluent Monitoring. Manohar Antalkali, Vishal Phalke and Vanya Srivastava, team members; Ryan Williams mentor Endress+Hauser
Phalke said, “As this was our first industrial project, there were several challenges in the way. Professor Lou Lenzi, on the other hand, led us through every obstacle. Ryan Williams and the Endress+Hauser crew were always willing to answer any questions we had. The 10-week project not only honed our design skills, but also provided in-depth knowledge of different business tools and their application in the industry.”
Team 2: Sustainability Monitoring. Nahush Farkande, Vandana Munjal and Manali Bhetaria, team members; Matt Walsh mentor, Endress+Hauser
Farkande said, “We worked on this project over a course of 10 weeks where we were forced to employ our entire design acumen and experienced what it was like to work on a real-world industry project. After countless Red Bull-fueled brainstorming and research sessions, we managed to deliver a solution that catered to the sustainability tracking needs of wastewater treatment companies. What really enabled us to deliver on this project, however, was the constant guidance of our mentor Professor Lou Lenzi, Matt Walsh from Endress+Hauser, and our client.”
Team 3: WaterSkid Monitoring. Aditi Shukla, Mayank Saxena, Shariwa Malankar, team members; Jerry Spindler, mentor, Endress+Hauser
Saxena said, “The project helped us gain industry experience by working with client like Endress+Hauser which required problems to be solved. Through various brainstorming sessions and constant feedback from professor Lou, we learned to create a desirable, viable, and feasible solution not only with the right design and technology but business too. The challenge was more exciting to us as we learned and conducted the business viability without which a solution cannot be executed successfully. While working on this project was certainly challenging, we realized the learning impact it had on us and therefore recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn about design, technology, and business.”
Team 4: Asset Performance. Apoorva Nagesh and Pranali Shinde, team members; Adam Booth mentor, Endress+Hauser
Shinde said, “As part of our IoT coursework, we worked with the amazing team of Endress+Hauser Group here in Greenwood. In the span of 10 weeks, we learned a lot about user research, customer experience, and the business aspect of design. We had a great time working and building a product for the client. Special thanks to Professor Lou Lenzi for his constant support and guidance and to Adam Booth for helping us at every step of the project.”
Team 5: Application Optimization. Eshwar Veesam, Radhika Bezawada, Yukta Karkera, team members; Matt Walsh mentor, Endress+Hauser
“Professor Lou’s class gave us the unique opportunity to work with a global company and understand how they work with their clients and how we, as designers, could help them cater solutions to those clients. The guidance and mentorship we received from Professor Lou over this 10-week project gave us the platform to grow not only as designers but also as business developers and problem solvers,” said Karkera.
About the Human-Computer Interaction graduate program
Opportunities in human-computer interaction are increasing daily, in fields including voice recognition, information technology, and the Internet of Things. Students in our professional, research-focused program collaborate with industry leaders on real-world projects, gain valuable insight from faculty immersed in human-centered design and social computing research, and develop the skills essential for a professional career in the field. Our graduates have turned their expertise into jobs as user experience researchers and designers at top companies. Others have pursued further academic progress, well prepared for admission to Ph.D.-level programs. The 36-hour Master of Science in HCI program can be completed in two years.