IOE Students Recognized by National Science Foundation

Three IOE students were recognized by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship program. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education.

Lauren Steimle

Lauren Steimle

Lauren Steimle

IOE PhD student Lauren Steimle has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Lauren is advised by Professor Brian Denton. She was one of four awardees for the fellowship in the field of Industrial Engineering.

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” Lauren said. “I am so thankful for the support I have received here at Michigan and from my undergraduate institution, Washington University in St. Louis, which allowed me to put together a strong application. With the support from the NSF Fellowship, I plan to investigate optimization methods for improving medical decision making for patients with multiple chronic conditions.”

The title of Lauren’s proposed project is “Stochastic Optimization Methods for Care Coordination of Chronic Conditions.” It is estimated that more than 25% of American adults have multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) and about two-thirds of national healthcare expenditures are spent on these patients. Despite this large and growing problem facing U.S. healthcare, chronic conditions are treated independently when they could be better treated in conjunction with each other. The goal of this proposal is to create an engineering framework for holistic treatment planning and to design incentive structures for the management of MCCs to improve health and reduce costs.

The fellowship provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education.

Wesley Marrero Colon and Emily Tucker

Wesley Marrero Colon

Wesley Marrero Colon

IOE PhD students Wesley Marrero Colon and Emily Tucker have received an honorable mention from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program. Wesley is advised by Professor Mariel Lavieri. Emily is advised by Professor Mark Daskin. They are two of eleven applicants for the fellowship who received an honorable mention in the field of Industrial Engineering.

Wesley’s proposed project was titled “Optimal Ranges for Personalized Treatment Planning.” Chronic conditions are among the leading causes of the death in the U.S. Despite the many models developed to obtain optimal treatment protocols for patients suffering from such conditions, translating these protocols into practice is difficult. It is therefore important to consider practical implications in the design of such protocols. One way practical implications can be considered is by providing clinicians flexibility in the implementation of the protocols created, while continuing to improve patient outcomes. Moreover, to benefit from the clinician’s judgement, a proposed strategy is to design treatment target ranges that are personalized to each patient’s disease progression.

Emily Tucker

Emily Tucker

Emily’s proposed project is “Reducing the Offshoring of Clinical Trials by Optimizing Trial Site Selection.” Clinical trials are increasingly being offshored to lower cost sites overseas which limits the applicability of the results to the US population. This research will focus on developing a set of resource allocation models to determine the optimal number of domestic and international trial sites under uncertainty in patient enrollment to control the offshoring of trials while managing limited resources. This work will be conducted in collaboration with a physician from UMHS, and other research questions will include when to close poorly performing sites in favor of activating others and where to locate sites within the US to maximize a measure of diversity.