East Africa to West Point—Lt. Col. Matt Dabkowski, shown here during his deployment to U.S. military base Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa – while he was earning his PhD at the UA – is heading to West Point to serve as a systems engineering professor.
SIE Grad Wins Officer Research Fellowship Matthew F. Dabkowski, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who recently completed his PhD in systems and industrial engineering at the University of Arizona, received a 2016 Omar N. Bradley Officer Research Fellowship in Mathematics. Dabkowski will serve as an academy professor in the U.S. Military Academy’s department of systems engineering, where he will direct the Operations Research Center of Excellence. For Dabkowski, who earned his bachelor’s degree in operations research from West Point in 1997, relocating there with his wife and five children will be a homecoming. “I loved the academic discipline of operations research and systems engineering at West Point, and I knew I would someday like to go back there,” he said. Dabkowski received the award to conduct research in applying optimization to network science, or social network analysis, which is not to be confused with online social networking. He began studying network science for his minor in sociology and has integrated it into his doctoral research on the cost estimation and growth of major defense acquisition programs. As an operations research and systems analyst for the Army, Dabkowski uses the tools of mathematics – statistics, optimization, simulation, mathematical modeling – to streamline military procedures, increase efficiency and minimize risk. He has applied these tools to help the military address practical issues, such as how to reduce the number of soldiers on duty while maintaining a certain level of capability. Dabkowski’s other awards have included the Military Operations Research Society’s Wayne P. Hughes Junior Analyst Award in 2013 and David Rist Prize in 2012 and the Best Student Paper Award at the 2013 Conference on Systems Engineering Research.
SHPE Shape—From left, UA SHPE members Maria Lissette Flores, Fermin Prieto and Jaime Goytia celebrate winning the Academic Olympiad.
Multiple Prizes for SHPE Chapter The University of Arizona student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE, continued its winning streak at the organization’s 2015 national conference in Baltimore. The UA chapter won the Outstanding Leadership Development Award in a field of more than 300 student chapters nationwide. “This award demonstrates that all the effort we put into SHPE pays off,” said Fermin Prieto, chapter executive vice president. “SHPE helps us grow as professional engineers and develop our leadership skills. In our chapter, we accomplish this by having a very active membership and organizing and hosting events that benefit the Tucson and University of Arizona communities.” The Wildcats also won first prize regionally, and fourth place nationally, at the Academic Olympiad, a written and oral competition of technical know-how in engineering, science and math subjects. UA beat out the 36 other chapters in Region 2, which includes Arizona, Southern California, southern Nevada and Hawaii. One of the 25 UA students at the conference, Erasmo Quijada Jr., also won the Nissan Design Competition and shared $10,000 in prize money with two team members from other engineering schools. “Winning the contest was an incredible experience, particularly since I want to work in the automotive industry,” said Quijada, a UA sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. The annual conference includes one of the nation’s largest career fairs for engineering students. Quijada, attending his first national SHPE conference, said he received two co-op job offers and interest from other employers seeking interns. 39:1 spring 2016 ARIZONAENGINEER 3