Archive for April, 2014

The IMSE Department celebrated graduates from the Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters as well as award winners with a banquet Thursday evening. The event began with a reception as Advisory Board members, faculty, staff, and honorees and their friends arrived at the banquet inside the Hospitality Suite at UT Arlington’s College Park Center. A catered meal was served after the reception as guests took their seats for dinner.

After the meal, Dr. Chen introduced IMSE alumna and co-founder of TransSolutions, LLC Gloria Bender, as the keynote speaker. She spoke about the importance of getting your degree and giving back to the community and how IEs could use their degrees to serve.

After the keynote address, Dr. Brian Huff recognized the members of the Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society. The attendees gave the members in attendance a round of applause.
The first award given in the evening was the G. T. Stevens, Jr. Endowed Alumni Scholarship which was established in 1998 to honor the IMSE Department’s former Chair. This year’s recipients were April Shortt (Junior), Ting Xiao (Senior), and Ezeh Perpetua Ebere (Graduate).

Next, Dr. Bill Corley presented the Elinor Pape Endowed Scholarship Award, which was established in 2006 to honor the Professor Emeritus’s service and dedication at UT Arlington. The award winners were Cynthia Rodriguez (Junior), Gustavo Robles (Senior), and Vikas Hinge (Graduate).

The next two scholarships were established by IMSE alumnus Keith Weiss. Keith and Carolyn Weiss were on hand to award Dylan Slick with the Keith and Carolyn Weiss Industrial Engineering Scholarship, which is given to deserving Industrial Engineering undergraduate students who are working to support their education. Slick works as a Resident Assistant at UT Arlington Apartment and Residence Life. The Weiss Family Endowed Scholarship is an award distributed by the UT Arlington Alumni Association to award a junior or senior undergraduate who have been working to support their education. This year’s recipient was Greta Leza who works at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. (formerly known as American Eurocopter).

The next award given, the John and Pat Priest Family Endowed Scholarship, is the IMSE Department’s newest endowed scholarship. It was established by current IMSE professor John Priest and his wife in 2013. This year’s winner was Colin Brisco.

The next two scholarships were awarded by the RFID and Auto ID (RAID) Labs. Dr. Erick Jones presented the awards to the winners. This year’s recipient of the RFID and Auto ID Labs Research Excellence Scholarship, which recognizes students for his/her excellence in RAID research and published work, was Harrison Armstrong. His research paper, “A Framework for Detecting Hazardous Events Occurring in Transit with AutoID Technologies” was accepted by IIE Sensors in March 2014. The RFID and Auto ID Labs Outstanding Research Scholarship recognize students conducting outstanding research in RAID Labs. This year’s recipients were Mewan Wijemanne (Undergraduate) and Ryan Dietrich (Graduate).

The Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) Outstanding Student awards recognizes outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service to the IE profession. This year’s recipients were Cynthia Rodriguez (Junior) and Rachel Machbitz (Senior). After receiving their award, they were joined by previous Outstanding IIE Award winners.

The final award presented in the evening was the Texas Industrial Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award, which was created in an alliance between the Industrial Engineering departments at Texas public universities including UT El Paso, Texas A&M, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, and Lamar University. Awardees are alumni selected by these universities based on the impact of their career on society. Gloria Bender presented the honor to this year’s awardee, Gloria Maceiko. Maceiko founded DirectNu Energy in 2009 with a vision to develop Energy Independence for commercial entities, nationally and globally, by focusing on solar and wind project development. She serves as its CEO and manages multimillion dollar projects from concept to contracts and worked over 25 years with high tech companies in Silicon Valley. She was also at the forefront of trend setting startups.

The wonderful evening concluded with a few brief comments from our graduating seniors and a final congratulation to award winners and graduates of the past year.
Pictures of the event will be posted on our Facebook page soon!

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The Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, & Systems Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington seeks applications for Graduate Assistance for Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowships. The Department GAANN Fellowship Program is funded by the United States Department of Education (P200A130164). The GAANN Fellows are selected based on multiple criteria including qualification, merit, applicant’s financial need, and availability of funds. Only doctoral students who are U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible for this fellowship. New Ph.D. applicants must be unconditionally admitted to the Industrial Engineering Ph.D. Program. If selected, GAANN Fellows must participate in specific training for teaching and for professional development (e.g., scientific presentation skills development, paper writing classes, teaching workshops/courses, etc.).  These activities may occur outside the regular long semesters.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a doctoral, research-extensive university and part of the University of Texas System with approximately 34,500 students. The Department consists of a collegial faculty of 13 members and over 400 students including about 50 doctoral students ( Current faculty research involves manufacturing, operations research, systems engineering, human factors, and numerous application areas. The Department houses the Center on Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, & Statistics (, the Systems Engineering Research Center (, the RFID and Auto Identification Lab (, and the Micro Fabrication Lab (

The University is located in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metroplex, a major industrial center with opportunity for interaction in the aerospace, manufacturing, telecommunications, electronics, logistics, transportation, energy, and health care industries, plus numerous other areas. Arlington is a thriving community with convenient access to the entertainment, recreational, and cultural activities offered by a major metropolitan area.

Application materials are available at Review of applications for Fall 2014 will begin April 15 and will continue until the fellowships have been granted.

A criminal background check will be conducted on finalists.

The use of tobacco products is prohibited on UT Arlington properties.

UT Arlington is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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I came to UT Arlington to pursue my master’s in August 2007 in Industrial Engineering. I was a life-long student having never worked in the industry, so it was not a very big jump to go from B.Tech to a master’s and then on to a Ph.D. which I completed in December 2013. The operations research courses attracted me the most in my master’s, especially the ones taught by Dr. Corley, Dr. Rosenberger, and Dr. Chen. Even though I made some B’s, I had a lot of fun learning some amazing mathematics and statistics.

As a part of my master’s, I undertook research projects under Dr. Jay Rosenberger which gave me my first exposure to Ph.D. level research. The projects were done by previous students in the Center On Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, & Statistics (COSMOS) . My first impression of joining the COSMOS lab was when I peeked through the door and found that Spock from Star Trek was looking straight at me, disapprovingly. I started smiling when I realized it was only a life-sized replica. I was relieved to see that even though I was jumping into some serious research, there was still an element of humor to lighten the somber mood of the lab. Even though, quite frustratingly, when my own lack of knowledge and ignorance was brought into sharp focus, I looked at those times as a great learning opportunity. I worked on a nurse optimization project which was entering the testing stage at HEB hospital. After my master’s, I joined the Ph.D. program as a natural extension to my research work. Around that time, Dr. Anjomani came to Dr. Rosenberger for optimization of urban planning. The problem was to choose which would be the best land use to assign any given land piece. Each land piece would be given a certain rating regarding various land uses, e.g., high residential, low industrial, open areas, etc. It was a simple assignment optimization problem. We tried to use the methodology that was used for nurse optimization for urban planning optimization, but we hit a block which did not allow us to make any progress due to symmetry issues.

Given that we recognized we would not be able to make progress in the research in the direction we were headed, we decided to switch directions. I extended the simple land use optimization problems with more constraints by taking into account urban sprawl. After literature review, I recognized that urban sprawl had a lot of research towards solving it but there were not many comprehensive optimization models. So, the next step was to construct a mathematical model which would address all the various factors contributing towards urban sprawl. After the model was constructed, it was so large that CPLEX, an optimization software, would not even accept the model. It allowed us to experiment with Benders Decomposition method to reduce the model size and allow us to solve the model.

I also worked as a teaching assistant for the IMSE Department when I joined the master’s program. I sincerely enjoyed my time at UT Arlington since it gave me an opportunity to try a variety of things, e.g., salsa, yoga, aikido, etc.

I am currently working as a software engineer for E2open as their optimization specialist.

Written by Piyush Kumar, Ph.D. Industrial Engineering
IMSE Alumni 2013

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Students in the MS or PhD program who applied to graduate for the Spring 2014 must take a Comprehensive Exam as part of their degree requirements.

The exam location will be in Woolf Hall 404 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. An Exit Interview Questionnaire will be from 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PhD students must consult with their dissertation supervisor for Part 2 of the PhD Exam.

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