The World's Forum for Aerospace Leadership

  • Donate
  • Press Room
  • Renew
  • View Cart
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

    • AIAA Governance
    • ARC
    • AIAA Foundation
    • Industry Guide
    Mission Scenario-PUNCH2


    It’s early September and the President of a major university has just met with the manager of the university bookstore. It has not been a pleasant meeting. The President has told the manager that the bookstore operation is the only negative aspect of Move-In Week. The university administration worries that the bookstore presents a negative image to the parents and students, and it quickly erases all the positive experiences created by the housing department, academic departments, registrar’s office, and food services. This year, the lines of parents, students, and professors waiting to enter the bookstore were so long that some people had to wait in the hot sun for 30 minutes or more.

    The bookstore manager understands. After all, he was working in the store every day and dealt with the hot and unhappy customers. His staff heard many complaints. Every year, just before the start of the fall semester, the bookstore sells thousands of books, t-shirts, stationery supplies, and other items. Even though the bookstore hires temporary workers, it still cannot stay ahead of the demand.

    Before the start of the next fall semester, the bookstore manager wants to implement a new delivery approach and turn his operations from a negative experience to a positive experience. To do this, the manager has contacted the College of Engineering and requested immediate assistance.

    The manager has asked the Dean of the College of Engineering to help him solve his problem. Initially, the Dean was reluctant but then he saw an opportunity for many of his students in a variety of majors to work together. The Dean also feels that the current senior students can design, develop, test, train the staff, and implement a solution before they graduate in May.

    The university bookstore already has an on-line ordering system. The students quickly decide that every student and professor will order books, stationery supplies, t-shirts, sweat shirts, toiletries, bumper stickers, license plate holders, etc. on-line. During the rush period just before the Fall Semester, the bookstore will essentially be turned into a warehouse. The bookstore will provide each staffer with a laptop. The staff person will:

    • Download an order
    • Fulfill the order by placing the items in a container
    • Print a receipt and include the receipt in the container
    • Seal the container
    • Apply a label with the recipient’s name and address
    • Move the container to a separate area designated for filled orders

    The College of Engineering students must design a system that will deliver the filled orders to students and professors. Most of the students and professors live near the university. Students live in:

    • Residence Halls located on campus
    • Town house developments, most within 1.5 miles of campus
    • Apartment complexes scattered around town
    • Single-family homes located around town

    Most of the professors live in the more established neighborhoods where the single-family homes have mature trees, lots of landscaping, and a few have a swimming pool.