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Jacob Seals

Jacob Seals

  • Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Company: Denso Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc., FedEx
  • Graduation Year: 2024
  • E-mail:


Hello! My name is Jacob Seals, and I'm an Industrial and Systems Engineering major from Surgoinsville, TN. My main interests are in engineering management, optimization, and applying ISE concepts to small and medium-sized businesses. I am a proud first-generation college student, and I love to hike and hangout with the friends I've made at UTK! I have done co-ops with 2 companies, totaling 4 rotations.
My first co-op was 1 rotation with DENSO manufacturing in Maryville, TN. At DENSO, I worked in the painting department of my plant, where we painted plastic instrument cluster shells. My primary responsibility was to help run the lines and work on annual goals set by management. Soon after I started, I began doing time studies to renew outdated information. During these observations, I found room for improvement in ergonomics and productivity, especially in an area where operators were stacking boxes. I noticed that the box movement process created motions that caused aches and pains and lengthened the cycle time due to motion waste. With the help of the ergonomics department, I learned the process points that were causing the most issues and came up with a semi-automated solution. The automation my team designed is a machine that combines a lift and a stacker/de-stacker, automating the stacking of boxes while allowing it to move freely on the z-axis. The machine automates the strenuous motions and allows the operators to interact with boxes at waist height and without heavy lifting, reducing ergonomic risk and cycle time. My path forward became conveying machine specifications to vendors, sharing the idea with the department, and making a purchase order. I had the honor of presenting the concept to DENSO executives and receiving spending approval of $200,000 for piloting the project before my co-op ended.
I have also worked 3 co-op rotations with FedEx Supply Chain in their Project Engineering team. During my first rotation with FedEx, I was able to travel and visit multiple distribution centers in Memphis and Indiana, observing how they operate, conducting time studies, and creating a list of recommendations. I learned how the 3rd party logistics (3PL) field functions and how 3PL companies form their deliverables. In my second and third rotation, I focused on internal process improvement and engineering management. I started by creating a peer review process where engineers review and critique each deliverable that is sent out, ensuring quality. This was done through Power Automate, where I assembled flows that automated the collection and placement of data into FedEx's database. Another project I worked on was the creation of a labor database inside a website called LaborPro. In this project, labor-related deliverables were standardized and then uploaded into LaborPro, allowing FedEx employees to easily access standardized information. I also did various other projects, like creating automated Excel tools using Excel Macros and writing SOPs for any project I was on.
Co-ops and internships are an incredible learning experience and a great resume booster. They allow you to find out what you love to do (and more importantly, don't love to do). There are so many options, it's easy to change positions and companies, and you get to earn some money. I understand feeling nervous or inadequate when thinking about starting a work experience, so please reach out to the Engineering Professional Practice office for guidance and help! If you have any questions, email me anytime at
Jacob Seals

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