Chakor Doshi receives 2012 IOE Alumni Merit Award

On Friday, October 12th, 2012, Chakor Doshi received The IOE Alumni Society Merit Award and presented his IOE Alumni Awardee and Rackham Centennial Lecture titled “Indian Industry: An Emerging Force to Reckon With.” IOE faculty, students, and alumni were able to learn a great deal from Chakor’s experience and insights. You can view his award presentation and his talk below.

About Chakor Doshi
After pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, Chakor Doshi earned his master’s degree in operations research and industrial engineering from the University of Michigan in 1972. Upon graduation from U-M, he returned home to India to join the family business, which encompassed several companies across a range of industries, including: sugar mills, infrastructural civil engineering, heavy engineering, diesel engines, machine tools, ferrous foundry, automobiles, aircraft manufacture and shipbuilding. Mr. Doshi focused on correcting underperforming units and companies. During the last four decades, his leadership has been instrumental in turning around five companies–ranging from a holding/investment company to a sugar mill to a ferrous foundry. In addition, since becoming chairman of Walchandnagar Industries Ltd., the flagship unit of the business, Mr. Doshi has built the small engineering company into a $200 million engineering, manufacturing and design enterprise. Walchandnagar is engaged in several industries, among them: nuclear power, aerospace, defense, cement, sugar, bio-mass power, mineral processing and industrial gear boxes.

Mr. Doshi has been an extremely active leader in industry. He serves as chairman emeritus of Bombay Cycle & Motor Agency Ltd. and as a Director of Bharat Hotels Ltd. He was invited to join the Board of Trustees of the Indian Nuclear Society. He was a founding member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in India and served as its country chair. He is a past president of the Western India Automobiles Association of India and an active member of industrial organizations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC), Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, and World Presidents Organization (WPO). This year, Mr. Doshi has been named the recipient of the U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering department Alumni Merit Award.

A resident of Mumbai, Mr. Doshi is a sports enthusiast, in particular, an avid golfer and squash player. He is the husband of Champa and father to his adult children, son Chirag and daughter Kanika. Chirag and Kanika are 1996 and 1998 graduates, respectively, of the University’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Mr. Doshi’s late elder brother Vinod Doshi and Saryu, his wife, graduated from the University in the mid-1950s.

IOE Faculty Working to Introduce Young Women to the Field of Industrial and Operations Engineering

In the above video, Assistant Professor Mariel Lavieri talks about the work she, Associate Professor Amy Cohn, and their students do with Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science (FEMMES) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) to introduce young women from elementary to high school age to the field of Industrial and Operations Engineering. This video highlights a game devised to help participants simulate the emergency room process. The game helps participants learn about concepts such as queuing and optimal use of resources. Participating in this program encourages young women to think of Industrial and Operations Engineering as a potential career path.

Department Chair’s Message

Mark Daskin

Mark Daskin

Welcome to IOE News, our newsletter for alumni and friends of the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering. We have many exciting things happening in IOE that I’m eager to share with you.

Our department has always been known for its stellar faculty. We’re continuing that tradition with the addition of Assistant Professor Cong Shi and Associate Professor Brian Denton. Our faculty members have also received numerous prestigious awards as well as funding for some very innovative research projects.

In an effort to showcase our faculty and students and share some of the most exciting happenings in IOE with you, we’ll be featuring a series of videos in our newsletter and on our website. The first video debuts in this issue and features Assistant Professor Mariel Lavieri talking about the work she, Associate Professor Amy Cohn, and their students are doing to engage young women in the field of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

In alumni news, you’ll meet our 2012 alumni awardee, Chakor Doshi, and share some memories of our recent IOE PhD Alumni Reunion which brought many past graduates back to campus for a fantastic weekend.

I’m proud of each and every achievement in our IOE community and I know those listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. We hope to highlight more alumni news in upcoming newsletters and on our website and to feature more IOE alumni in our Alumni Spotlight. If you have news of achievements and awards that we can share with the IOE community or would like to be featured in the Alumni Spotlight, please contact us at

I have enjoyed meeting many of you in the past years. Whenever you are on campus, our doors are always open to you. Please drop by to introduce yourself or catch up.

Go Blue!
Mark S. Daskin

IOE PhD Alumni Reunion

From September 14th to September 16th, 2012, over forty IOE PhD graduates and their guests along with with faculty, current and former, gathered in Ann Arbor for a PhD alumni reunion. On Friday afternoon alumni attended a roundtable event in which each attendee shared memories of their time at the University of Michigan and caught their fellow alumni up on what they are doing now. That evening they enjoyed a sit down dinner with fellow alumni and current and former IOE faculty.

PhD Reunion Dinner

alumni, current and former faculty, and guests enjoying the Friday evening dinner

On Saturday alumni gathered to listen to research presentations by current IOE faculty and PhD students. They then enjoyed lunch and a North Campus Tour before heading off to the stadium to watch U of M football win against Massachusetts. After the football game, many alumni enjoyed dinners with their graduating decade.

On Sunday morning attendees gathered for breakfast while getting a preview of some new videos highlighting the work of IOE faculty and students. The first of these videos is featured in this newsletter.

It was a pleasure for us in the department to have so many IOE graduates back on campus and to catch up and hear about their many accomplishments! Below are some memories of the weekend from alumni who attended.

Yvonne Abdoo

Yvonne Abdoo

The IOE PhD reunion was a very enjoyable and worthwhile event. It was the first time for some in my cohort to attend one of these events, so it was wonderful to reconnect, and also meet spouses and families. There was a lot of laughter Saturday night during dinner with 4 couples from my cohort (Amy Hancock Boyd, Majid Jaridi, and Mohammad Partovi). It provided an opportunity to not only meet with our own cohort during the time we were working on the PhD, but also reconnect with the faculty, and meet alums from earlier and later classes. As I heard the grads talk about their various experiences during the program, and the wide range of paths that all of us have taken in our careers, the program has truly prepared us to be “The Leaders and the Best.” Go Blue!!
-Yvonne Abdoo, PhD 1987


Don Chaffin

Don Chaffin

The PhD reunion was most rewarding for me in that many of the alumni that received their PhD degrees in the 60’s were in attendance. Listening to them tell stories about their lives while here was great fun, especially when they talked about their many different interactions with the faculty, some of whom also were in attendance. It was clear to me that all of the alumni were very indebted to those faculty members, not just for their lectures, but also for the personal mentoring and in some cases, financial assistance they received. Obviously, the fact that all of the attendees were very satisfied with their chosen careers and seemed to have benefited greatly from their IOE experiences was very nice to hear firsthand. I hope we can do this more often.
-Don Chaffin, PhD 1967


Robert G. Sargent

Robert G. Sargent

It was great to see fellow graduates including some that I had not seen since our student days and others that I have occasionally seen. The highlights of the reunion activities were hearing each of the attendees speak about themselves on Friday afternoon, watching Michigan win the football game on Saturday afternoon, and visiting with the people on Saturday evening at the party held at Jack’s house. Three of the faculty members of the 1960s attended part or all of the reunion: Walt Hancock, Dean Wilson, and Dick Wilson. I especially enjoyed seeing Dean Wilson since I had not seen him since my student days. I was the first student Dean hired into the Industrial Systems Research Laboratory that he established in the Department in 1963. He was a great mentor.
– Robert G. Sargent, PhD 1966


Fred Schanne

Fred Schanne

The roundtable discussions where the PhD alums summarized their careers since graduation were particularly enlightening. The contributions made to the areas of research, education, business, industry, and community were exemplary. The fact that impressed me the most, however, was that although there was no single “typical” career path for an IOE PhD recipient, it was clear that each individual was able to identify and take advantage of the opportunities that became available and to apply the skills learned at the U of M to identify problems, develop and implement workable solutions, and become recognized as leaders in their respective fields of endeavor. It was truly humbling to be in the presence of so many highly successful individuals and it reconfirmed how fortunate we are to have been educated at the world-class university that is The University of Michigan.
– Fred Schanne, PhD 1972

Research Funding Updates

Associate Professors Marina Epelman and Amy Cohn have received funding from Ford Research & Advanced Engineering for their project, “Automated Scheduling for Prototype Test Vehicles.” Epelman, Cohn, and IOE graduate student Yuhui Shen work with Drs. Daniel Reich and Erica Klampfl at Ford Research & Advanced Engineering to develop models and algorithms for automating schedule generation of prototype vehicles. Each phase of a new vehicle program requires extensive testing by attribute groups such as Powertrain, Engine, and Safety. Their goal is to generate schedules from test requests that maximize prototype vehicle utilization, helping Ford reduce their product development costs, while ensuring each group’s requirements are met.

Judy Jin

Judy Jin

Professor Judy Jin has received research funding from The National Science Foundation (NSF) for her project, “Modeling and Inferring of Multichannel Sensing Data in Complex Manufacturing Processes.” The objective of this project is to develop general methodologies for modeling and making inferences from multichannel nonlinear sensing signals, to support quality improvement in complex manufacturing processes. Specifically, a new variable selection method using hierarchical regularization will be developed to extract informative sensing signals and signal features in modeling of the relationship between product quality and massive process sensing signals. If successful, the results of this research will provide an effective means to enhance an online monitoring and diagnosis system with the advanced capability of variation reduction and cost reduction. Moreover, broad industrial collaborations will lead to wide application of the developed methodologies to many other sensor data fusion applications that are of vital importance to the nation’s economic growth.

Professor Romesh Saigal has received funding from The National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project titled “Collaborative Research: An Allocation Model with Dynamic Updates for Balanced Workload Distribution on Patient Centered Medical Homes.”

Associate Professor Mark Van Oyen and Ph.D. student, Jivan Deglise-Favre-Hawkinson, along with Dr. Blake Roessler, received funding from The National Science Foundation (NSF) for their proposal, “Stochastic Modeling and Optimization of Longitudinal Health Care Coordination.”

Faculty & Staff Updates

Tina Picano Blay, IOE Department Assistant, celebrated ten years at the University of Michigan.

Rod Capps, IOE Web Developer, celebrated twenty years at the University of Michigan.

Eyvind Claxton, IOE Engineering Technician, celebrated fifteen years at the University of Michigan.

Wanda Dobberstein, IOE Undergraduate Student Advisor, celebrated fifteen years at the University of Michigan.

Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green, Research Professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, has been elected as a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Election to Fellow status is an honor conferred by distinguished colleagues to recognize outstanding achievement, consistently superior professional performance, exceptional contributions, personal service to the Society, and other meritorious accomplishments by Society Members.

Paul Green was also quoted in a recent Chicago Tribune article on smart technology in new cars.

Professor Jack Hu has been selected to receive the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award for 2012 by the ASME (founded as the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers). The William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award is presented to an individual or team of individuals for developing or contributing significantly to an innovative manufacturing technology, the implementation of which has resulted in substantial economic and/or societal benefits.

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes

Associate Professor Richard Hughes has been elected President of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB) for a one year term beginning in 2013. The American Society of Biomechanics is the primary professional association of biomechanics researchers in the United States and was founded in 1977. He will serve as President-Elect in 2012-2013, President in 2013-2014, and Past-President in 2014-2015. He will be the second IOE faculty member to serve as ASB President (the first was Don Chaffin, 1987-1988).

Professor Judy Jin has been selected as an ASME Fellow. ASME is a not-for-profit membership organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, career enrichment, and skills development across all engineering disciplines, toward a goal of helping the global engineering community develop solutions to benefit lives and livelihoods. Fellow Grade is the highest elected grade of membership within ASME, the attainment of which recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession.

Professor Jeff Liker was inducted into the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Hall of Fame at an award’s ceremony on October 16th, 2012 in Chicago. The AME is the largest professional organization focused on lean manufacturing and the Hall of Fame award is the highest honor in lean manufacturing.

Professor Vijay Nair recently delivered the 2012 Henry and Bryna David Lecture at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The talk was titled “Improving Defense Acquisition with State-of-the-Art Statistics and Systems Engineering.”

IOE Associate Research Professor, Matt Reed, is interviewed in an U-M Record article, “Senior Citizens Behind the Wheel.”

Mary Winter, IOE Research Administrator, celebrated forty-five years at University of Michigan.

Student & Alumni Updates

IOE PhD candidates Jivan Deglise-Hawkinson and Elliot Lee were selected as 2012 Bonder Fellows. The one year Seth Bonder Fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis to a superior IOE graduate student who wishes to study and do research in the field of applied operations research.

Jonathan Helm

Jonathan Helm

Jonathan Helm (IOE 2012 PhD graduate now at Indiana University) was a member of the winning team in the Harvard Business School Business Plan Contest, Social Venture Track. Their business plan, eTransitions, was a web-based solution that streamlined the transition of patients from the hospital to post-acute care facilities. They proposed technologies that combined real-time IT with a forecasting and matching algorithm to match patients with a bed in a post-acute care facility upon admission, rather than waiting until a patient was ready to be discharged and then trying to find a facility for their next segment of care. Current methods for managing this transition cause patients to stay in the hospital unnecessarily an average four extra days beyond their required hospital care. There were over 100 entries. The prize for first place was $25,000 in startup cash and $25,000 in in-kind service plus office space in the Harvard Innovation Lab for the proposed company.

At the 2012 INFORMS meeting in mid-October, first prize in the 2012 Doing Good with Good OR Prize, was awarded to Jonathan Helm (IOE 2012 PhD graduate now at Indiana University) and Greggory Schell (IOE PhD Candidate) for the paper “Dynamic Monitoring of Chronic Disease” and related research performed jointly with Mariel Lavieri, Mark Van Oyen, and two members from the Kellogg Eye Institute, Joshua Stein, M.D. and David Musch.

Marcial Lapp (IOE 2012 PhD graduate now at US Airways) won the 2012 INFORMS Aviation Applications Section Dissertation Prize. The Aviation Applications Section of INFORMS awards a prize for the best dissertation in any area related to aviation OR (air traffic management OR and airline OR).

At the recent INFORMS meeting, first prize for the 2012 INFORMS Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM) Best Student Paper Award was awarded to Soroush Saghafian (IOE 2012 PhD graduate now at Arizona State University) for the paper “Complexity-Based Triage: A Tool for Improving Patient Safety and Operational Efficiency,” co-authored by Wallace Hopp, Mark Van Oyen and from the UM Department of Emergency Medicine, Drs. Jeffrey Desmond and Steven Kronick.

Zohar Strinka

Zohar Strinka

Na Jin Seo (IOE 2007 PhD graduate now Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) was recently honored with a Graduate School/UWM Foundation Research Award. She has produced biomechanical models that explain the need and potential for new hand-strength and function assessment tools in medical clinics. A nominator describes her as “one of the most productive investigators in the field of hand biomechanics and rehabilitation.”

Zohar Strinka (IOE PhD Candidate) won a three-year National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. These fellowships are awarded to applicants who will pursue a doctoral degree in a science and engineering discipline, in an area of interest to the Department of Defense.

IOE Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

The Industrial and Operations Engineering Department is pleased to welcome two new faculty members, Associate Professor Brian Denton and Assistant Professor Cong Shi. Both started at IOE in September, 2012 and are helping to move the department forward on a number of important fronts.

Brian Denton

Brian Denton

Brian Denton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is an adjunct professor in Industrial & Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University and he holds a fellowship appointment at the Cecil Sheps Health Services Research Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously he has been a Senior Associate Consultant at Mayo Clinic in the College of Medicine, and a Senior Engineer at IBM. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2009, and he has won the INFORMS Service Section Prize (2010), the INFORMS Daniel H. Wagner Prize (2005), the Institute of Industrial Engineers Outstanding Publication Award (2005), and the Canadian Operations Research Society Best Paper Award (2000). He has co-authored more than forty journal articles and conference proceedings, and has twenty five patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Cong Shi

Cong Shi

Cong Shi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research is focused on the design of efficient algorithms with analyzed performance for fundamental multi-stage stochastic optimization models, arising in the context of inventory and supply chain management, revenue management, as well as healthcare management. These fundamental multi-stage stochastic models are typically hard to solve to optimality, both theoretically and in practice. He constructs efficient heuristics that provide provably near-optimal policies for these hard models. In doing so he develops novel techniques that are applicable in a broad class of models. He won the first prize of the 2009 George Nicholson Student Paper Competition.