What sets the Institute apart from other research groups is that before any project is initiated, WISE works with the sponsoring organization to find out what they need. Teams immerse themselves in the sponsor's industry to learn what its critical pathways are and where its technical roadmaps are headed. Then, members review any challenges or obstacles that might hinder the sponsor's success and show how WISE research can help.
Once a project has been awarded, individual students are assigned to the project or, if warranted, a team of graduate students is pulled together. However, whether the research project has one WISE student or many, the project team always includes faculty, who serve as mentors, and personnel from the sponsoring organizations, who help guide the project. Most research projects the Institute undertakes are long-term, and multiple projects are usually performed concurrently for any given sponsor.
The WISE team has an unusually broad skill set, including experts in facility layout, systems simulation, process optimization and improvement, workflow modeling, supply chain management and information systems. This enables the Institute to tackle projects in areas ranging from electronics manufacturing and productivity enhancement to healthcare management and food distribution. And, when needed, WISE collaborates with other Binghamton University departments, widening the skill set even further.