Student & Alumni Updates

Danielle Adamo was awarded the Fall 2015 Andrew S. Crawford Award for Entrepreneurship Excellence for her work in IOE 422. Her project was called Swapster. Swapster is a direct trade e-commerce site that is aimed to become the hub for buying and selling used phones. The targeted audience for Swapster is individuals who break their phone, and have less than six months until their next cell phone upgrade with their network carriers, and want a cheap, temporary phone replacement in the meantime. Current options for phone replacements are too expensive, which leads many people to continue to use their broken phones when alternatively, they could simply go on, filter by price they’re willing to pay or device they’re looking for, and purchase a temporary used phone.

Scott Agnew was awarded the Winter 2016 Andrew S. Crawford Award for Entrepreneurship Excellence for his work in IOE 422. Scott’s project was called ChiroPress. ChiroPress is a simple piece of equipment any individual can use to relieve his or her back pain at home. It is a compact device the user operates while laying on a bed or floor, and makes use of rolling and massage actions to align the user’s spine, thus relieving their back pain.

Maya Bam

Maya Bam

IOE PhD student Maya Bam won the SAS and INFORMS Analytics Section Student Analytical Scholar competition for 2016. The purpose of the competition is to practice the process of structuring and presenting a compelling proposal for analytical work. Applicants will be asked to produce a document, known as a “Statement of Work” (SOW), for a case study based on a real-life project. Such documents are usually created early in a project, after some exploratory work, but may or may not fully define the problem. This competitive program recognizes one outstanding student who would like to learn more about the practice of analytics at this annual conference by covering the costs of attending the event and additional networking opportunities.

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Youngjun Choe

IOE PhD student Youngjun Choe and PhD alum Weihong (Grace) Guo (now at Rutgers University as an Assistant Professor) along with IOE professors Eunshin Byon and Judy Jin have been awarded the 2016 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE, formerly IIE) Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC) Best Paper Award in the Energy Systems Track.  Their winning paper is titled “Change-point Detection in Solar Panel Degradation Analysis.” The performance degradation or the energy output loss over time, of solar panel array is a major concern to solar energy stakeholders. In the paper, a nonparametric detection method is proposed to retrospectively identify the time points of abrupt power changes. The superiority of the proposed method over other detection methods is demonstrated using both the simulated and real world data. The proposed method will help solar energy stakeholders in several aspects including warranty underwriting, preventive maintenance planning, and financial analysis.

Gian-Gabriel Garcia

Gian-Gabriel Garcia

IOE PhD student Gian-Gabriel Garcia received honorable mention for his Ford Foundation Fellowship application. Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Awards are made for study in research-based PhD or ScD programs; practice oriented degree programs are not eligible for support. In addition to the fellowship award, Ford Fellows are eligible to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows, a unique national conference of a select group of high-achieving scholars committed to diversifying the professoriate and using diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

IOE alum Jane Gietzen (BSE IOE 1983) was named one of The 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Jane is Director of Information Services at Spectrum Health and says she’s most proud of overseeing an internship program of more than 40 paid interns from colleges throughout the state.

IOE PhD candidate Kayse Maass is featured in INFORMS Connect’s “What’s Your StORy?” In the column, Kara Tucker, Production Editor/Marketing Content Specialist for INFORMS, asks Kayse a variety of questions about her education, her interest in OR, and her experience with INFORMS. Of her time as president of the University of Michigan INFORMS chapter, Kayse says, “This year we have been intentional about providing students with opportunities to network with industry professionals and academic researchers, increasing undergraduate and master’s student involvement in the chapter, and developing a cohesive student community. I am particularly excited about the new PhD Mentoring program we started, in which all first year PhD students meet one-on-one with a senior PhD student on a regular basis to help with the transition to life as a PhD student. We have received very positive feedback thus far from everyone involved and we hope to make it even better next year!”

Selin Merdan is the 2016 recipient of The Seth Bonder Fellowship. 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.

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Paige Mollison

Paige Mollison, an undergraduate IOE student working with the Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety (CHEPS), was the Undergraduate Student Award Winner at the Society of Health Systems’ (SHS) 2016 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference. The award recognized her poster titled “Scheduling Healthcare Providers Using Optimization.” The research presented on the poster was in collaboration with William Pozehl, Amy Cohn, Stephen Gorga, and Janice Davis. Awards for posters are judged on the level of impact of the project, the presentation of the content on the poster itself, and the ability to convey the story represented on the poster while speaking with the judges and other attendees.

The Molloy Family has established the Molloy Family Scholarship Fund to provide need-based support for full-time CoE undergraduates, with a preference for IOE students. This endowment gift qualifies for the University’s Michigan Matching Initiative for Student Support. Mr. James Molloy is an alum of the IOE Department (BSE IOE ’90) and is an incoming member of the Industrial and Operations Engineering Advisory Board.

IOE graduate student Rama Mwenesi was has been recognized with the Michigan Student Life Graduate Student of the Year which is awarded to graduate students who have excelled in the areas of academic achievement, student leadership and service. He was also named Michigan Student Life World Leader, an honor given to a student or student led initiatives that demonstrated leadership in achieving the international mission of the University of Michigan through promotion of international involvement and understanding that is demonstrated by having an impact on communities abroad by advancing institutional goals abroad. You can read more about Rama in the Michigan Daily article “Student of the Year: Rama Mwenesi.”

IOE PhD student Brandon Pitts is featured in a Rackham Graduate School Student Spotlight.

IOE PhD student Yuhui Shi was awarded the 2016 Wilson Prize for his paper titled “Scheduling Crash Tests at Ford Motor Company.” The paper considers the problem of scheduling crash tests for new vehicle programs at Ford. It describes the development of a comprehensive web-based system that automates time-consuming scheduling analyses through mathematical optimization, while also institutionalizing expert knowledge about the engineering complexities of crash testing. The authors present a novel integer programming model and a corresponding solution algorithm that quickly generates efficient schedules. The system’s user interface enables engineers to specify key program data and consider multiple scheduling scenarios, while using the underlying optimization model and solution algorithms as a black box.

Katta Murty and Emily Speakman

Katta Murty and Emily Speakman

PhD student Emily Speakman was named the Joel and Lorrainne Brown 2016 GSI of the Year by the  Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society.

Emily Speakman was also awarded the 2016 Murty Prize for her paper titled “Quantifying Double McCormick.” When using the standard McCormick inequalities twice to convexify trilinear monomials, as is often the practice in modeling and software, there is a choice of which variables to group first. For the important case in which the domain is a nonnegative box, the authors calculate the volume of the resulting relaxation, as a function of the bounds defining the box. In this manner, the authors precisely quantify the strength of the di fferent possible relaxations defined by all three groupings, in addition to the trilinear hull itself. As a by product, they characterize the best double McCormick relaxation. A committee reviews papers nominated for the annual award, formally known as the Katta Murty Prize for Best Research Paper on Optimization by an IOE Student. Emily is advised by Jon Lee.

Several IOE students received Engineering Leaders and Honors awards from the College of Engineering. The awardees from IOE were:

  • Elizabeth Ettleson: Distinguished Leadership Award – Undergraduate Students
  • Jonathon McCormick: Distinguished Leadership Award – Undergraduate Students
  • Jai Sura:  Distinguished Leadership Award – Undergraduate Students
  • Michael Bruk: Arlen R. Hellwarth Award
  • Jai Sura: Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Kayse Maass: Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize For Distinguished Academic Achievement
  • Kayse Maass: Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize For Outstanding PhD Research