I am a Ph.D. candidate with a focus on Systems Engineering. I had always wanted to continue my education in the United States like my parents. The intellectually stimulating environment at UTA inspired me to think about continuing my studies in the field of Industrial Engineering, after gaining an undergraduate degree in Software Engineering. I received my M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from UTA and then decided to pursue a Ph.D. in the same field.

I have worked as a graduate research assistant on multiple projects at the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). I am currently a graduate teaching assistant in the IMSE department. As a result, I have had the valuable opportunity to work with professors and aid students with their basic course work.

My dissertation research is related to addressing water sustainability in hospitals. Water is a valuable and limited resource and access to clean water is stated as one of the grand challenges in engineering according to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Hospitals are a major consumer of water. According to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), health care institutions are consistently within the top 10 water users in their communities. Therefore, considering water sustainability in hospitals is important. Hospitals are large complex systems that consist of various elements and relationships between these elements. Systems engineering guides the engineering of complex systems and can be used to help address the multi-faceted and complex sustainability challenges. An objective of my research is to help hospitals better comprehend the effects and relationships between various factors related to water sustainability in hospitals. The research includes development of a system dynamics based simulator that will help individuals assess the key water sustainability factors and their relationships in hospitals.

I have truly enjoyed my experience here as a Ph.D. student and am honored and proud to be part of an outstanding program at UTA. I am planning to defend my dissertation this year.

Written by Misagh Faezipour, PhD Student with a Focus on Systems Engineering
Email: misagh.faezipour@mavs.uta.edu
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/misa-faezipour/57/a88/881

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Hi everyone,

I am writing to share good news and request input for my upcoming NSF Workshop 3/16-3/21/2014.

Background:

The Directorate for Education and Human Resources has implemented a new program for “Improving Undergraduate STEM Education” (IUSE) through its Division of Undergraduate Education (EHR/DUE). An “Ideas Lab” is a new merit review strategy being used at the National Science Foundation to address grand challenges in STEM research and education. The Ideas Lab process is modeled on the “IDEAS Factory” program [2] http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/routes/network/ideas/Pages/experience.aspx developed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the United Kingdom.  The Ideas Lab process starts with submission of a brief application to participate in the Ideas Lab, indicating a Principal Investigator’s interest in and preliminary ideas regarding the specific Ideas Lab topic.  A diverse sub-set of participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds will be selected from the submitted applications by NSF and will be brought together in an intensive, interactive and free-thinking environment, where participants immerse themselves in a collaborative dialog in order to construct bold and innovative approaches.

I have been selected to participate in the workshop below and would like your input. Please provide your answer to 1) Why did you choose engineering? 2) How can we get more folks (as described below) to choose engineering? What new strategies could be used????

Engineering

Social inequality in engineering education and practice is a durable problem, one that has resisted perennial efforts to “broaden participation,” “increase diversity,” or “improve recruitment and retention of women, minorities, and people with disabilities.” While a great deal of previous and ongoing work has focused on fostering the ability of individuals to access and persist in the engineering education system, this Ideas Lab will focus on changing the system itself.

Ending inequality in engineering is crucial because it represents a direct and effective way to meet workforce needs; because members of marginalized groups should not be on the sidelines in shaping our infrastructure and technological future; because workforce diversity strengthens work product; and because increased participation in high paying, prestigious workforce sectors like engineering is itself a strategy for achieving greater equity.

Many prior efforts for inclusion have been hampered by a presumption that certain parameters can’t be changed (for example, eligibility criteria, narrow definitions of what counts in or as engineering, limited roles for 2-year institutions, or a four year degree model). This ends in disappointment and frustration when change is not achieved. A radical rethinking is needed to move forward.

In the Engineering Phase I Ideas Lab, engineers and social scientists will face head on the systems and structures that reproduce social inequality in engineering education and in the engineering workforce. A complete and direct discussion is not afraid to examine manifestations of racism, sexism, and ableism in engineering, and to also consider classism, heteronormativity, ageism, and obstacles faced by Veterans and other non-traditional groups. The Engineering Phase I Ideas Lab will generate new framings and new strategies to move the nation toward greater inclusion of marginalized groups in engineering.

Thanks everyone!

Go Mavs!!!

Written by
Dr. Jamie Rogers, IMSE Faculty

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IIE Outstanding Senior and Junior Awards Winners

IIE Outstanding Senior, Rachel Machbitz, and Outstanding Junior, Cynthia Rodriguez, Awards Winners

As part of the Engineers Week Activities, the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) UTA Student Chapter held a joint meeting with the DFW Professional Chapter on Tuesday, February 18. Students were able to enjoy some slices of pizza and also had the opportunity to network with IE professionals. Guest speaker, Dr. Joseph Michels, presented the benefits of getting a Professional Engineering license. Dr. Michels is himself a licensed engineer who works with the international management/engineering consulting firm of Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC. Michels has extensive experience with businesses as well as non-profit and governmental organizations and is an active member of the local community. He serves as Co-Chair of the Young Engineers Committee and is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. In 2012, he was awarded the Montana Ambassador of the Year Award.

In addition to the guest speaker, winners of the annual Outstanding IIE scholarship were announced. Rachel Machbitz won for Outstanding Senior, and Cynthia Rodriguez, earned the Outstanding Junior Award. Congratulations to the both of them.

Even though the outstanding student scholarships were awarded, there are plenty of IIE events scheduled this semester. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining IIE, the professional organization for industrial engineers, you can join here.

Special Thanks to:
Marco Torres, IIE Outreach Director
for providing information and photo for this blog post

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Dr. Jones has negotiated a discount for UT Arlington students to attend training for CIS Logistics Execution Suites including WMS, Inventory and Delivery Software.  The company has also committed to selecting an intern from those at UTA who attend and pass the certification exam.  For more information on UTA’s partnership with CIS, a global Logistics execution system provider and integration services, read CIS’s press release announcing our new partnership.

1. Certification on WMS software Inbound Process will be available on Saturday, March 1st 2014.
2. Certification on WMS outbound processes will be available on Saturday, March 8th 2014.
3. To qualify for internships and job opportunities attendance and passing of exams is mandatory

The training will be held on the UTA Campus.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Donavan Wheatfall at 972.739.6054, email at dwheatfall@CISorg.com or register online at http://www.cisorg.com/Registration/Certification.cshtml

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Some of you may remember Kaushik Gorahava from his time at UT Arlington as a student and a teaching assistant. Below is his reflection on his research and experience at UT Arlington:

I completed my Ph.D. from the Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at The University of Texas at Arlington in summer 2013. After having worked as an Industrial Engineer in India’s manufacturing industry for more than three years, I came to the USA in August 2007 to pursue further studies. I completed my M.S. in Industrial Engineering degree in 2009 and took many advanced Statistics, Optimization, and Mathematical Modeling courses in the Industrial Engineering and Mathematics department, respectively.

As a project in the Stochastic Processes course, I reviewed and analyzed a Stochastic Model for using Ring Vaccination for smallpox control. The project was well received in the class and motivated me to pursue further research at the interface of Systems Science and Epidemiology. Under the guidance of my mentors, I developed my broad research area, optimization in neglected public health issues, for my Ph.D. dissertation. In fall 2009, I started my Ph.D. in the Center On Stochastic, Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) laboratory, under the guidance of Dr. Jay Rosenberger, an expert in Optimization. I was also mentored by my dissertation co-adviser, Dr. Anuj Mubayi, an applied mathematical scientist working at the intersection of epidemiology and social networks.

Being from India, a developing country, I had observed first-hand the suffering caused by disease and poverty. I noticed an urgent need for improvement in public health policies, especially the basic ones. I chose to work on improving one of the basic control measures for a neglected infectious disease, Leishmaniasis, which mostly affects poverty stricken communities and is the second deadliest vector-borne disease in the world. Leishmaniasis spreads to humans by the bite of an infected sandfly. Bihar’s Public Health Department has limited financial resources and can spray insecticide at a limited number of sites. My research aimed to address questions on optimal insecticide allocation for conducting a spray campaign. My dissertation research involved building and analyzing optimization models. The mathematical models were built by considering factors affecting disease transmission and metrics to help the Public Health Department make better decisions. The results of my dissertation study recommended an improved and long-lasting insecticide spray campaign policy for Bihar’s Public Health Department.

I also enjoyed training and teaching individuals, a set of skills which I acquired through my experience as a Teaching Assistant at the Industrial Engineering department during my doctoral studies. During my graduate studies, I mentored some undergraduate and master’s students. I am an independent researcher now and aim to work at the interface of System Dynamics Engineering and Medical Sciences.

Written by Dr. Kaushik Gorahava
IMSE Alumni


Dr. Gorahava graduated in 2013 with a  PhD in Industrial Engineering and currently works as a Systems Analyst for Horizon Technologies Inc.

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Another year and another semester are upon us.  I made a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water.  In order to drink more water I need to drink less Diet Coke.  It’s day 9 of no Diet Coke and I haven’t died of dehydration, so I think that means I’m doing pretty well so far.   I’d like to challenge all of our UTA Industrial Engineering undergraduate students to make a New Semester’s Resolution.  Let’s call it “Get Involved in 2014!”

There are so many great opportunities for students to get involved in the department, at UTA, in the community and as industrial engineers.  Our student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers is very active.  They have monthly meetings, plant tours, social outings, a student lounge in Woolf Hall, intermural teams, a newsletter, and a Facebook page just off the top of my head.  If you haven’t been active with IIE in the past, that’s an easy, fun, rewarding way to “Get Involved in 2014”.

If you want to challenge yourself even more think about taking advantage of one of the many extra opportunities that are available to IE undergraduate students.  One example is the Values and Ventures competition being sponsored by TCU and open to undergraduate student teams from UTA.  The competition involves building a business plan for “for-profit enterprises that impact society in meaningful ways.”  I know a lot of you are interested in entrepreneurship and this would be a great way to gain some experience in that arena.  You can find more information about the competition at the following website:

http://www.neeley.tcu.edu/Centers/Neeley_Entrepreneurship_Center/Values_and_Ventures/Participant_Guide.aspx

Texas A&M University is accepting applications for its 2014 Summer Undergraduate Research Program.  As part of the program, undergraduate students work closely with faculty members on current or individual research projects, attend development and GRE workshops, make a formal poster presentation of their research experience, and submit a final written report describing the results of their research.   A $5,000 scholarship, tuition and fees, housing and travel expenses are provided.  This is opportunity would be especially valuable for any student considering graduate school.  You can find eligibility requirements and details can be found here:  http://easa.tamu.edu/usrg.

There are also several opportunities to get involved with service learning in the IMSE department this coming semester.  I have an immediate opportunity to work with Mission Arlington on improving operations in their healthcare clinic.  I also have a very exciting upcoming project involving developing a healthcare app for older adults.  These opportunities would allow you to put your IE skills to use in some service environments as well as allow you to serve your community.

These are just a few opportunities. There are many, many more announced every week.  These types of activities allow you to improve your resume, network with professionals from around the world, gain valuable experience, and give back to the community.  All while improving your IE skills.  If you have any questions about any of the specific activities I’ve mentioned or want to learn how to make yourself aware of other opportunities feel free to contact me.  UTA IE undergrads, I challenge you to “Get Involved in 2014.”  If I can give up Diet Coke you can do anything!

Written by
Dr. Bonnie Boardman
IMSE Faculty

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The Fall semester came to a cold end as ice and snow blanketed the North Texas area, forcing the University to reschedule many final exams; but the freezing weather didn’t hang around long enough to spoil the College of Engineering Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, December 14 at College Park Center. The new University president, Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, who has a degree in engineering was the guest speaker at the ceremony which was attended by hundreds of families and friends. For all their achievements, the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Department would also like to congratulate all our graduates on this special occasion. Here is a list of our newest alumni, as published in The Shorthorn:

Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering:

  • Mohammed Al-Mansouri, Dissertation Title: A Simulation Approach to Production Line Bottleneck Analysis and Cost Justification
  • Piyush Kumar, Dissertation Title: Mathematical Approach for Land Use Planning that Limits Urban Sprawl
  • Aera LeBoulluec, Dissertation Title: Outcome and State Transition Modeling for Adaptive Interdisciplinary Pain Management
  • Clement Smartt, Dissertation Title: Optimizing the Use of Systems Engineering on Proposals
  • Paul Wilson, Dissertation Title: Eutectic Diffusion Brazing Process for Joining Aluminum Laminae with Macro- and Micro-Scale Features

Degrees Conferred Summer 2013

  • Narakorn Engsuwan, Dissertation Title: Scalar Equilibrium for n-Person Games
  • Diana Martinez Cepeda, Dissertation Title: Variants of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS): Convex vs. Non-Convex, Piecewise-Linear vs. Smooth and Sequential Algorithms
  • Nadia Martinez Cepeda, Dissertation Title: Global Optimization of Nonconvex Piecewise Linear Regression Splines
  • Roochi Mishra, Dissertation Title: Improving Quality of Information from Multiple Sensor Sources on Mobile Platforms
  • Panita Suebvisai, Dissertation Title: Parametric Cost Estimation Model for Microchannel Bonding Process Based on Activity-Based Costing

M.S in Engineering Management

  • Patrick Alexander
  • Seyed Pooya Mirsalehi (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Farooq Mohiuddin
  • Noble Vikram Rajanayagam
  • Sai Vignesh Ramachandran
  • Nomita Sharma
  • Vishnu Sethuraman Swarna

M.S. Industrial Engineering

  • Sakthivel Arumugam
  • Wencess Kelelyoh Bett (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Nithin Chirayath Antony (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Fermin Feroshi Arun Joseph
  • Stanley Joseph
  • Nirmal Kumar Kanagasabapathy
  • Parkpoom Ketrunghiran
  • Ketan Chandrashekhar Kulkarni
  • Spoorthi Ananda Kumar (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Lin Lin (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Dmitri Mitchell
  • Tshiebe Mwamba (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Gaurav Nirwal
  • J. Dario Padilla
  • Alok Parashivamurthi (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Dhananjay Patil
  • Kukkala Prasad (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Sameer Mahesh Rabade
  • Ajinkya Rao (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Kapil Prakash Raole
  • Jose Sanchez Gonzalez
  • Arvind Walia

M.S. in Logistics

  • Anna Candia
  • Mahmoud Motaqed Larijani (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)

M.S. in Systems Engineering

  • David O. Asaolu
  • Arlyssa Jaquez
  • Christopher M. May
  • Stephen McLauchlin
  • Larry Joe Parker
  • Aaron Thomas Sherman

B.S. in Industrial Engineering

  • Ukesh Chawal
  • Midhun Abraham John
  • Aditya Kasukhela
  • Sarim Khan
  • Hyun Ki Kim
  • Indra Poudel
  • Nader Sayadi (Degree conferred in Summer 2013)
  • Shrijan Shrestha
  • Sumit Shrestha
  • Ashvin Thomas
  • Pravin Tripathi

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The RFID and Auto ID (RAID) Labs is the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department’s newest lab. It was established in 2011 by Dr. Erick Jones and quickly proved to be the favored lab where experiments could be run by both undergraduates and PhD students alike. The lab focuses on supply chain logistics, engineering management-productivity, and RFID in the mechanical contracting industry-asset tracking development with current projects focused on areas of healthcare, factory lines, and phone apps to help identify RFID tags. RAID Labs has been very active this semester.

Recently, three topics have been started as themes for research, “RFID and automatic inventory control in the oil and gas industry,” “RFID medical devices used in vivo (inside the body),” and “RFID uses that promote Homeland Security.”  The lab has also had three papers accepted for publication this Fall that include two undergraduate students who have made author-level contributions, Harrison Armstrong and Walter Mulflur. These papers will be made available by pdf after final publication. Finally, RAID Labs staff promotions and lab shirts were recently distributed. Those Lab students who reached the E3 status received t-shirts; those who reached M2 status received blue shirts, and top level MI3 (manager and innovator 3) received black shirts.

Also, there will be an upcoming RFID Certification training and exam in December. The certification is backed by the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA), the leading RFID certification in the country. The ISCEA RFIDSCM will be hosted by RAID Labs on December 6th – 8th, 2013. For those interested, UT Arlington IMSE students can receive a discount. Please follow-up with Harrison Armstrong, RAID Labs Center Manager.

If this type of research and experimentation interests you, you’re in luck! RAID Labs will be taking applications for the two-week training/evaluation process for working in the Labs for Spring 2014. There are only ten E1 positions available. Please ask any RAID Lab person where you can apply. RAID Labs is located at 411 Woolf Hall.

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UTA’s Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) focuses on innovative and strategic systems engineering research. This blog entry focuses on one of the students affiliated with UTA’s SERC and his research related to real-world needs.

Clement Smartt is a Ph.D. candidate with a focus on Systems Engineering. Clement received the 2012 INCOSE Foundation Stevens Doctoral Award. This award recognizes innovative doctoral-level research related to the field of systems engineering.  His research addresses the important, but relatively unexplored topic: the use of systems engineering on proposals.  Organizations whose primary business is executing contracts must be able to capture contracts to survive.  When the contracts involve engineering complex systems, systems engineering often plays a significant role in the proposal process, sometimes leading the technical effort.  This research seeks to find an optimal use of systems engineering in proposal management to maximize the probability that a supplier organization will be awarded contracts.

Smartt suggests that a number of systems engineering related factors that can potentially be used to predict contract awards and pertain to the organization, the skill levels of employees, the competitive environment, the proposal project, the contract, and the relationship with the customer.  A survey was conducted to gather information related to these factors as well as contract award status for recent proposal efforts.  Smartt’s analysis of the survey results indicates that suppliers seeking to be awarded new contracts should: (1) keep their existing customers very satisfied with the contract work already captured, (2) invest adequate resources in systems engineering labor to understand the requirements and define a solution in support of the proposal, and (3) maintain an adequate number of face-to-face contacts with the customer during the proposal process.

A modeling framework was developed and validated to help decision makers determine an optimal use of systems engineering on their proposals.  The framework allows users to maximize the probability of a contract award given constraints such as budget and employee availability by strategically allocating resources to key systems engineering activities and employee with various skill levels. Organizations that engineer complex systems can use the findings of the survey analysis and the modeling framework to improve the chances of survival for their organizations.

Clement Smartt will be defending his dissertation on Friday, November 1, 2013 in Woolf Hall Room 200. If you are interested in learning more about systems engineering or about our M.S. Systems Engineering or Ph.D Industrial Engineering with Systems Engineering focus, please feel free to contact the IMSE Department at UT Arlington at 817-272-3092 and ask to speak to an advisor or email us with your questions at IMSEinfo@.uta.edu.

Written by Dr. Susan Ferreira, Director of Systems Engineering Research Center
IMSE Faculty

and

Clement Smartt
Ph.D. Student

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As this entry goes online, I will be in Minneapolis at the annual INFORMS conference presenting a paper entitled “A Cooperative Dual for the Nash Equilibrium.” The gist of this research is that people can often fare better in competitive situations if they cooperate. However, the more profound implication of the work is that complete cooperation is guaranteed to be possible only between two competitors, not three or more. In other words, there is a mathematical limit to complete cooperation. Apparently, three’s a crowd, like we all knew already. In addition, I will be attending the conference “Learning and the Brain” at Harvard in  November. At the INFORMS conference, I will also be working on a Systems Engineering research proposal with Dr. Ferreira.

Dr. Rosenberger, a recent IMSE Ph.D. graduate,  and I submitted in August a paper entitled “Constraint Optimal Selection Techniques (COSTs) for Nonnegative Linear Programming Problems”  to Optimization Methods and Software about an approach to solve huge, currently unsolvable linear programming problems quickly, as demanded by today’s high-speed, high-tech, ever-accelerating world. Linear programming, as you may remember, is the most widely used computational model in the business and scientific worlds. The method was also the basis of a recently issued patent entitled “System, Method and Apparatus for Allocating Resources by Constraint Selection.”

Finally, I will be headed abroad over the winter break and stop thinking about all this heady stuff. Enjoy your semester.

Written by Dr. Bill Corley
IMSE Faculty

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