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Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

Annual Report 2016

Contents Chair’s Message


About UAH Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Programs


Alabama DOT and UAH Mentor-Protégé Program


Bastion Technical Fellows Program Established


ISEEM Hosts 2016 Conference on Systems Engineering Research


The Additive Advantage


ISEEM Manufacturing & Robotics Laboratory


Army Research Lab Expands Research


ISEEM's Eminent Scholar Establishes Center for Systems Integration Lab


New Imagining Engineering Systems Lab Studies Gamification


ISEEM Student Profiles




Managing Editor: Christine Lewis Contributors: Jim Steele, Diana LaChance Photography: Michael Mercier

Dr. Paul D. Collopy ISE Professor and Department Chair Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

Dr. Paul Collopy studies complex system design, technology evaluation, and research management. He has conducted research for the National Science Foundation and DARPA, and has consulted for the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering; the Federal Aviation Administration; and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Collopy earned his doctorate in Engineering Economic Systems and bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a former core member of the Joint Strike Fighter Advanced Systems Technology Affordability Integrated Product Team under the Joint Program Office.

Industrial & Systems Engineering About Our Programs Organizations look to industrial and systems engineers to resolve problems or improve processes where outcomes are influenced by complicated and uncertain interactions between people, machines, information, materials, and energy. In short, industrial and systems engineers endeavor to find ways to do things better. Their concepts may dramatically influence how efficiently, safely, sustainably, and profitably a company achieves its objectives. The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (ISEEM) program is ABET-accredited. Our graduates leave UAH prepared to devise efficient integrated organizational or production systems honed through in-depth instruction incorporating analytical, computational, and experimental practices.

Research Areas Additive Manufacturing Model Based Systems Engineering Cyber-Physical Systems Integration Simulation Modeling and Analysis Complex Engineered Systems Systems Science Engineering Material System Design

Supply Chain Management Lean Manufacturing Quality Systems Design and Engineering Manufacturing Systems Large-Scale Complex Systems Design Gamification and Game Theory Technology Management

Industry Partnerships & Affiliations NASA U.S. Army Northrup Grumman Steelcase Lockheed Martin BOEING Vitech 4

Jacobs Sanmina/SCI Adtran Dynetics Aerojet Rocketdyne Davidson Technologies MITRE

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

and Engineering Management BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Our undergraduate program begins by exposing students to the fundamentals of engineering, as well as the humanities that characterize a university education. The curriculum then shifts to the specialized knowledge of industrial and systems engineering needed for a successful career in industry, the government, or academia. In addition to lab-intensive coursework and team-based projects, students have ample opportunity to see innovations firsthand through local facility tours and internship opportunities.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING Industrial Engineering Broadens engineering problem-solving skills – This application-oriented program expands students’ understanding of traditional and contemporary problem-solving skills in the areas of operations research, quality control, computer-integrated manufacturing, and simulation. Systems Engineering Expands on systems-oriented aspects of engineering – With a curriculum focused on needs identification, cost-benefit analysis, the system life-cycle concept, quality control, logistics planning and control, and forecasting, this program provides students with the analysis and design tools to supplement those learned in their undergraduate engineering program.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH Broadens comprehension of the operations research aspects of engineering – Courses in the curriculum for this program include methods of problem identification, linear programming, optimization, queueing, Markov processes, and systems modeling.

Engineering Management For engineers who find themselves performing engineering management functions without the benefit of a formal management education – This program is designed to build upon the mathematical and analytical expertise gained from both a formal engineering education and professional experience. Its curriculum emphasizes the application of the management function in a technological setting while recognizing the basic and applied sciences in engineering systems. Annual Report 2016 -

PH.D. IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING With specializations in industrial engineering, systems engineering, and engineering management. Graduates are well equipped for roles in academia, government, and industry.


Mentor-Protege Program Guides Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

Bastion Technical Fellows Program Beginning Fall 2016

Since 2010, UAH has managed a Mentor Protégé Program for Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) so they can develop their technical and business skills, and thus compete successfully in the transportation projects marketplace. Dr. Sampson Gholston, associate professor in the ISEEM Department, has been the project director for the program for the past five years, capitalizing on earlier project experience with ALDOT and other large-scale transportation agencies. "At the end of the yearlong program, our objective is that the participating DBEs will be more competitive when bidding on transportation contracts.” Because most mentors and protégés in the program are project-driven organizations, the focus is on nurturing project management maturity, namely, improving processes related to bid preparation, technology support, teaming and collaboration, relationship development, and subcontractor monitoring. To date, the UAH Mentor Protégé Program has worked with 35 businesses, helping them increase their business capabilities and overall performance. ALDOT recently approved a $255,300 grant to further develop the program. In June, Dr. Gholston presented “Best practices to establish effective mentor/protégé programs” at the 2016 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials National Civil Rights Training Symposium. “It was an honor to speak in Washington, D.C. We presented our program and our approach, and highlighted some successful companies that have been through the program.” ISEEM associate professor Dr. Dawn Utley serves as an assistant project director for the program, focusing on business plan development and management. Undergraduate research assistant Megan Ballinger is helping assess the needs of enrolled businesses.


With an eye toward better preparing graduates to meet the needs of the city's aerospace and defense employers, UAH and Huntsville-based Bastion Technologies Inc. have established the Bastion Technical Fellows (BTF) program, to begin this fall. Fellows will be expected to complete a thesis on a topic compatible with Bastion Technologies' work as the prime contractor for safety and mission assurance at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. As the organization has a long history as a Small Disadvantaged Business with NASA and the aerospace industry, topics are likely to include engineering design and analysis, safety and reliability assurance services, IT solutions, and the Space Launch System and other NASA projects. Dr. L. Dale Thomas, an ISEEM Department professor and eminent scholar, is enthusiastic about the program's potential to benefit everyone involved. "Since arriving at UAH, I've been focused on making UAH's systems engineering program more relevant to the aerospace, defense, and biotechnology industries here in Huntsville, in keeping with our strategic plan priority to become a recognized leader in those fields," he says. "This program is a big step toward that goal." Dr. Thomas' long-term hope is that the program will serve as a pipeline of intellectual talent for the city's federal and industrial employers. "The demand is there for skilled, highly trained system engineers, but until now, most organizations have had to grow them in-house with on-the-job training," he says. "Now, between this program and the new courses we're offering – such as a two-semester sequence on model-based engineering methods – our graduates will enter the local workforce with a distinct advantage over their peers from other universities." An MSE graduate student, Elizabeth Patterson, has been selected as the the inaugural fellow. "I think it will be a great way for me to learn new things that I can apply to my future career," says Patterson.

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

2016 Conference on Systems Engineering Research Over 250 national and international systems engineering researchers attended the 14th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER) hosted by UAH's ISEEM Department last March. Researchers from around the world presented papers that push the boundaries of systems engineering research and respond to new challenges for systems architecting and engineering. Six UAH ISEEM students presented research on topics related to cognitive systems engineering, systems science, human capital, NASA, and systems engineering theory. CSER has become the primary conference for disseminating systems engineering research and germinating new research ideas. CSER is poised to become the leading conference for theoretical work in systems engineering, while retaining its emphasis on practical application. One of many distinguished speakers, Kristen Baldwin, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for systems engineering at the Department of Defense, delivered the conference’s keynote address. Closing remarks were made by the conference co-chairs, UAH eminent scholar and professor of systems engineering Dr. L. Dale Thomas and Dinesh

Verma, the executive director of the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), the first university-affiliated research center established by the Department of Defense for systems engineering research. Dr. Paul Collopy, ISEEM Department chair, points out that CSER marks an important moment for UAH and the ISEEM Department. "Over the last seven years, UAH has invested in systems engineering and earned a reputation as a national center of theoretical research in systems engineering, and it is primarily this focus that brought CSER here." "Systems engineering is one of the strategic focus areas for the university, so we need an active research program for the faculty and students," says Dr. Thomas. "Bright people go to where the hard problems are being addressed; we want researchers and students who attend the conference to see that UAH is tackling the hard problems in systems engineering."

Top Left: Dr. Paul Collopy welcomes speakers and guests to the 2016 Conference on Systems Engineering Research. Top Right: Dr. L. Dale Thomas introduces plenary panel, "Systems Engineering Considerations in Biotechnology."

UAH students and topics included:

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Giulia Palma - Cognitive Systems Engineering Katherine Burris- Systems Science Jennifer Stevens - Human Capital Andrew Gilbert - NASA Anyama Tettey, Robert Braunger, and Jennifer Stevens - Systems Engineering Theory (various)

ISEEM Ph.D. candidate, Anyama Tettey presents research findings on a theory of systems engineering based on control theory.


The Additive Advantage UAH surfing the swell of a powerful future R&D wave

UAH additive manufacturing researchers, from left: Front- Judith Schneider, mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE); Phil Farrington, industrial & systems engineering and engineering management (ISEEM); Sherri Messimer, ISEEM. Back- Tom Stockan, MAE; Ken Zou, MAE; Ben Beeker, MAE; Mike Banish, chemical and materials engineering; Justin Sweitzer, MAE.

The many advantages of additive manufacturing, including cost control and precision, are pushing the adoption of the technique in plastics and metals in the automotive and manufacturing industry, as well as at NASA and in the U.S. military. It's one thing to be able to print parts that were formerly cast and machined, but it's another to say that you have confidence in the reliability of those printed parts. To do that, you must have a high degree of confidence in the raw materials being used, in the formulas involved in their combination if more than one material is used, and in your understanding of the microstructures being formed in the finished product, as well as in the processes and systems used during manufacturing. Scientists and engineers at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are exploring all these areas in the rapidly evolving field.

"Now it's all about using these processes to create new structures with unique properties in a greatly compressed timeframe, but the quality control people are saying, 'Wait a minute, will it last?'" according to Dr. Judith Schneider, a professor of mechanical engineering who works with manufacturers and the government to research the effect of temperature and strain on the microstructures of metals used in additive manufacturing printing. That's something she says is crucial to ensuring that printed parts can be made with a high degree of predictability about their underlying microstructure and longevity. "Additive manufacturing is being fueled by the advances in computers and computational abilities and the advent of new alloys that can be combined in new ways," she says. "The promise of additive manufacturing is that you're no longer confined to a monolithic material with monolithic properties, so now you can design structures with varying properties." Currently, additive manufacturing is following a two-track course similar to one Dr. Schneider says she experienced when NASA implemented the relatively new friction stir welding process in 1995. Because that process was superior, it began being used almost immediately while at the same time the fundamentals of what was occurring in the process were being studied. As that knowledge increased, so did confidence in the products of the process. "With additive manufacturing, we are now in the process of establishing the guidelines and the practices to increase our confidence," she says. "We don't understand yet the cause and effect of the variables of the materials and the manufacturing processes. We're just in the infancy of knowing what the flaws are, and as we get new and different materials, there are going to be additional problems to study." New applications ranging from printing spare parts for spacecraft in space to printing battlefield replacement parts for soldiers seem to be on the horizon, yet the promise of additive manufacturing is tempered by the field's infancy. Cast and machined parts have the benefit of hundreds or even thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, providing a high degree of confidence in their performance. The additive manufacturing of metals is a completely different technology that results from metal being instantaneously cooled in a process that


Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Dr. Schneider says is similar to "splat cooling." That rapid cooling creates much different microstructures in metal parts than in conventional cast or machined parts. The structures formed and strains placed in the microstructures of printed metals are not yet well understood. "If we can understand fundamentally how these materials behave in an additive manufacturing environment, then we won't have to test those materials anymore," she says. "I look at how materials behave in extreme conditions." Her past research has examined material responses to cryogenic temperatures and also high strain rate conditions. Bimetallic printing–the ability to co-print disparate metals in a single part–is seen as one of the great potentials for additive manufacturing, and Dr. Schneider is exploring the nature of the microstructural bonds between various metals to unlock fundamental understanding of the interaction of these materials and how they can best be combined in the printing process to form a strong bond. "We're not there yet, but that's the promise," she says of bimetallic printing. "That's the holy grail of additive manufacturing." COLLABORATIVE BONDS Dr. Phillip Farrington, ISEEM professor, reaches out to defense, industry, private foundations and professors in other disciplines on the UAH campus in a quest to understand and perfect bimetallic additive manufacturing, a process that could save myriad machining steps if perfected. "The primary question we are trying to address is, can we bond dissimilar materials together using

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additive manufacturing technologies," says Dr. Farrington. "There has been some limited success bonding copper and Inconel, so we hope to build on that earlier work to advance our research." Some additive manufacturing technologies such as Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) or welding-based additive manufacturing processes present the possibility of creating bi-metallic parts in one or possibly two steps, an achievement Dr. Farrington says could substantially reduce production time and costs. "Both NASA and the U.S. Army are interested in this type of application because they have systems that would benefit from the ability to create bi-metallic joints," he says. A multidisciplinary UAH Additive Manufacturing Research Team has received a grant from the Presto Foundation to study the use of additive manufacturing technologies in the development of Department of Defense systems. "When the opportunity to submit this proposal to the Presto Foundation came about, Dr. Sherri Messimer and I discussed other faculty who had the background to support the research, and as a result Dr. R. Michael Banish, an associate professor from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, and Dr. Qiuhai 'Ken' Zuo, an associate professor from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, joined the team," says Dr. Farrington. "Dr. Messimer developed and teaches a course on additive manufacturing for the ISEEM Department," he says. "Dr. Schneider was invited to join the team as soon as we got word she was coming to UAH because of her extensive work on additive manufacturing, and she joined in fall 2015 when she came to UAH." The team knew that the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) were both using

additive manufacturing technologies. "We invited them to help us refine the question we were addressing, and they both indicated interest in using additive manufacturing technologies to produce bi-metallic joints," Dr. Farrington says. "Also, MSFC has provided material to an additive manufacturing equipment manufacturer that has agreed to produce test articles for our study, at no cost to UAH." That alliance has allowed the UAH team to expand and augment its base study. "Beyond advancing the use of additive manufacturing for creating bi-metallic joints, my personal goal for this project is to enhance further collaboration on additive manufacturing research between UAH, MSFC and AMRDEC," says Dr. Farrington. There could be wide-ranging impacts. Additive manufacturing processes are a key research focus of the Southern Alliance for Advanced Vehicle (SAAV) Manufacturing Center, which promotes greater research and development ties between vehicle manufacturers and its academic partners. SAAV began in 2014 a partnership between UAH, Auburn University and Tennessee Technological University and was funded by a National Science Foundation grant. "We have potential member organizations interested in joining the center who are interested in this research," Dr. Farrington says. SYSTEMS APPROACH Dr. Paul Collopy, ISEEM's chair, looks at the field with a systems engineering approach. "What I'm looking at is how the additive manufacturing process fits the bigger picture, as far as making rockets and


jet engines and more complicated systems like that," says Dr. Collopy, who formerly worked for the National Science Foundation as director for the Engineering Systems Design and Systems Science programs. "The fastest growing modern firms, like Google, Cisco, and Twitter, all have a core competence of developing systems out of software," he says. "In software development, you can try daring things, and if they don't work, you say, 'Well, I lost a day.' The neat thing about additive manufacturing is, you can experiment on a similar cycle: think up a daring design, push a button and you get your part out so you can test it." Additive manufacturing has the ability to take months and even years off the time between design and physical part testing, and Dr. Collopy says that is liberating for engineers working with complex cutting-edge technologies. Build and break testing is immediately rewarding, he says. "We love the idea of testing in software simulation, but every real engineer who is working with a complex system or a complicated problem, they want to get hardware and break it," says Dr. Collopy. "Then you really know the design's abilities, its durability and its capabilities." "When you are engineering technically challenging hardware, you really want to get to hardware fast," Dr. Collopy says, and that's where the materials, structural and process knowledge all come together in a systems engineering approach. "However, building things fast really doesn't work if what you build is not quality, and that is the current research frontier in additive manufacturing."


Rapid production capability for numerous variations on a design removes limits to engineering that are present because of subtractive manufacturing processes previously used. In subtractive manufacturing, raw materials are shaped and removed rather than added and formed to achieve a product. "What you design is shaped by your manufacturing processes," says Dr. Collopy. "Additive manufacturing is a completely different process that allows you to do things you couldn't do before." He points to work by Jonathan E. Jones with NASA's NanoLaunch effort at MSFC, which is using additive manufacturing to create scaled test vehicles that have the potential to propel programs across the "valley of death" between laboratory demonstrations and actual in-flight environments. "He's trying to explore a completely different way of making rockets," Dr. Collopy says. "He doesn't have to wait around on a lengthy procurement process. He can go right down to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center 3-D printing shop and print what he needs in an afternoon. If you go over to NASA to look at what they've got, they've got a room full of 3-D printing machines on a large scale." Speaking of scale, Dr. Collopy notes that ISEEM's Dr. Messimer has studied larger-scale additive manufacturing at Penn State, the home of a facility full of additive manufacturing machinery "that is very nearly on a large manufacturing level." And in a new twist at UAH's Manned/Unmanned Collaborative Systems Integration Laboratory in Olin B. King Technology Hall - a collaboration with the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory - students working with autonomous systems in a gaming environment now have access to a 3-D printer, as well.

"This takes it out of the software-only design and testing setting into a new area," Dr. Collopy says. "Our vision is that a student designs an autonomous tracked vehicle in simulation using the software and then can 3-D print the structure for it right there. We then add the electronics, motors and other hardware to that to get a working model. It adds a new dimension to what they are doing." Additive manufacturing is experiencing exponential growth that is in its own way additive, Dr. Collopy says, though he notes that the human mind favors identifying linear growth but has difficulty perceiving the exponential kind. Exponential growth builds on prior pillars of knowledge and experience, so that initially the curve may look flat but then it takes a sudden upward turn that is very similar to the shape of an ocean wave. UAH is riding that swell. "For example, for additive manufacturing to grow, you have to have people experienced in additive manufacturing," Dr. Collopy says. "But you can't get those and you can't get that experience until you have scaled up to the kinds of larger manufacturing environments that can provide them. Once those are in place, things can move quickly. That's just one example of how things must grow exponentially, building on what we have and what we learn." Some projections show that a matured additive manufacturing field may still only account for 2 percent of all parts made, Dr. Collopy says, but if most of those parts are made to telescope development times, that will free engineers to cheaply test a myriad of approaches to any one problem rather than singling out only a few possible solutions due to time and cost constraints. "For testing purposes, it's going to change how we make complex systems."

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Manufacturing & Robotics Lab Conducts Large Material Characterization Study Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is one of the most common and widely used additive manufacturing processes and is renowned for its simplicity, relatively predictable behavior, low cost, and wide variety of usable materials. The basic process works by extruding a molten filament from a nozzle and selectively depositing the material to build a solid part in layers. ISEEM professor Dr. Sherri Messimer, along with clinical instructor Albert Patterson, is augmenting grant funding with existing ISEEM lab equipment and facilities to conduct one of the largest material characterization studies of two of the materials used in FFF: ABS and PLA plastics. They'll conduct dynamic destructive testing on over 100 thin-wall cylinders. Typically used for rapid prototyping, FFF technology has many application potentials in healthcare, aerospace, defense, and more. "The big thing in additive manufacturing right

ISEEM professor Dr. Sherri Messimer and clinical instructor Albert Patterson are investigating new additive manufacturing processes. Annual Report 2016 -

now is qualification and characterization of the materials. No one wants to talk about putting these parts in an automobile, airplane, a missile, or a person until we understand the material characteristics," says Dr. Messimer. Since the cylinder construction is layered, the parts are more susceptible to fatigue because of the heat shock during the process. "The parts go through a lot of heat cycling," says Patterson. "Unlike injection molding where you pull it out, it cools, and then you use it, 3-D printed parts are repeatedly heated and cooled, which can be really good or really bad for the properties. So we’re adding a factor in our experiment to fill them up with expandable foam in order to provide a cheap but good quality internal structure. It also adds some spring inside to absorb vibrations and make the part more durable.”

Under Patterson's guidance, students in the AM-associated CAD/CAM class are designing the testing device. "We’re actually additively manufacturing some of the parts right here instead of ordering them. Albert has managed to integrate these classes," says Dr. Messimer. The ISEEM Manufacturing & Robotics Lab equipment includes Cube Pro, CTC Creator, and DaVinci Pro 3-D printers; material testing equipment; an environmental control chamber for testing environmental influence on material properties and for doing chemical treatments to parts; bath/soak facilities for chemical processing of HIPS and PVA materials; and a full set of post-processing tools.

Hands-on lab activities are key learning components in ISEEM

Students taking CAD/CAM Design and Additive Manufacturing (ISE 439) courses observe the 3D printing process in the ISEEM Manufacturing & Robotics Lab.

Electronics Manufacturing Process (ISE 437) students visit the Electronics Manufacturing Systems Lab. Director Chuck Dunn introduces how to manufacture electronic circuit boards.


Expanding research at ISEEM's Immersive Integration Systems Center The Immersive Integration Systems Center in Olin B. King Technology Hall was assembled in 2013 as a research partnership with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and is part of their Open Campus initiative that encourages advances in research areas of relevance to the Army. The Center is comprised of the Manned/Unmanned Collaborative Systems Integration (M/UCSI) Laboratory and the Human Interface Innovation (H2I) Laboratory. “We’ve designed the center so any of our students, including internationals students, can work there and answer research questions,” says ISEEM Department Chair, Dr. Paul Collopy. “Additionally, we have several separately-funded ISEEM-specific projects that keep the labs busy and useful.” Among the basic equipment found in the center is a set of powerful game-capable computers that run a military simulation training program called Virtual Battlespace 3. “In the lab, we can simulate operator experiences such as a pilot operating a predator drone,” says Dr. Collopy. According to Dr. Thomas Davis, chief of ARL’s Air and C2 Systems Branch at Redstone Arsenal, researchers are seeking to identify aspects that benefit the soldier and


those that could potentially hinder their mission. Overall, much of the lab research is centered on studying the collaboration between people and autonomous systems. “The ARL scientists in our lab are leading some very interesting research projects,” says Dr. Collopy. Dr. Jeff Hansberger from ARL is beginning a new research effort in the area of human-computer interaction and interface design. He is working with others from the H2I Lab to design and prototype new ways to both visualize and interact with information for intelligence analysts. “The amount of visual information like photographs and video data available for inspection is growing at ever increasing rates,” says Dr. Hansberger. “The one thing that information consumes is the user’s attention, which we are all in short supply of. It’s our job to design and craft the information to maximize the user’s time, attention, and enhance their performance.” Hansberger and his team of students and researchers from psychology and multiple engineering disciplines are focusing on more direct and natural means of interacting with information. They are making use of the same

motion capture technology that movie makers use, but instead of creating characters on the big screen, they are tracking the user’s hand and arm movements for gesture-based input to the interface (Think “Tony Stark” from the Iron Man movies). Instead of limiting the user’s actions by sliding a mouse around in two dimensions, the interface allows users the full range of their hands to manipulate information in the same way they manipulate everyday objects. In addition to news ways to visualize and interact with information, the H2I Lab is investigating ways to augment the user’s performance. Computer vision algorithms provide computer aided search and filtering for objects embedded within photographs. Research is also focused on augmenting the user’s cognitive capabilities, such as their ability to identify visual targets in a large collection of images and improve their vigilance and attention. “Ultimately, we’re trying to put more effort into the science and design of the information so the user can put less effort into consuming the information and more into making sense of the information,” says Dr. Hansberger.

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

The image collection interface developed by Dr. Hansberger provides a visual landscape of all the images within a collection so the user can view the number and size of the clusters identified by the system. A dashboard summarizes the attributes of the collection. Instead of dealing with a hierarchy of menus to navigate, the user simply zooms in to view more details and pans and zooms around to examine the rest of the collection, applying filters and collecting relevant images for later analysis as needed.

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The Complex Systems Integration Laboratory (CSIL) is a stateof-the-art facility for advanced systems engineering with a focus on Model Based Systems Engineering research. Founded in 2016 by Dr. L. Dale Thomas, ISEEM professor and eminent scholar, the lab has already begun assisting the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) with the Iodine Satellite (iSat) spacecraft planned for launch in fall 2017. (The iSat will be the first CubeSat to use Hall thruster technology and iodine as a propellant.) MSFC has tasked CSIL with simulating the mission profile from deployment to activation, integrating several key models for future launch to better understand constraints on starting points.

Photo by NASA

Complex Systems Integration Laboratory

“Engineers are good at modeling pieces of a system—electrical power, propulsion, altitude control—but they don’t have them working together and talking to one another," says Dr. Thomas. "This simulation will let us look at the event sequence in the activation and tie it into an operational scenario. That’s the real power of system modeling language.” CSIL has software tools for SysML and Architecture Analysis & Design Language (AADL), languages well suited for modeling tasks. System models can incorporate parametric models developed using Satellite Toolkit and MatLab/SimuLink hosted on the CSIL servers. 14

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Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville


Imagining Engineering Systems Laboratory The ImagEnS (Imagining Engineering Systems) Laboratory is one-half of a collaborative lab space shared with Dr. Brian Landrum in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. The lab houses research on the theory underlying stakeholder-focused engineering. ISEEM Assistant Professor Dr. Bryan Mesmer's research focuses particularly on examining preferences in systems engineering. His research team includes the following graduate and undergraduate researchers: Giulia Palma (MSE candidate) is studying the link between storytelling and systems engineering, examining the communication of preferences. Joseph Clerkin (PhD student) is examining the use of games for incentives and mechanism design in systems engineering, observing and executing preferences. Ian Patterson and Michael Threatt (undergraduate assistants) are working on neural networks with Cobham, one of the largest defense firms in the world. Andrew Gilbert (Ph.D. student) and Alex Clem (MSE candidate) are working with the NASA Systems Engineering Consortium on exergy efficiency of rocket and space life-support systems, executing preferences. All of this work, which is funded by NASA, industry, and internal sources, is designed to foster a re-imagining of systems engineering from a preference perspective.

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Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Student Profiles

Jennifer Stenger Stevens | Ph.D. Candidate Jennifer Stenger Stevens is working toward her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Paul Collopy. Her research focus is on improving the process of systems engineering validation. “My solution originated with the idea that we need to be able to reason about the nature and necessity of validating evidence for justifying an affirmative decision to act,” says Stevens. “This requires a logical theory of systems engineering as a self-contained cognitive process of regulation of the evolving conceptualization of the system under creation or operation.“ Her research investigates the proposition that the fundamental human cognitive processes for judging the legitimacy of validating evidence is rooted in human creation and manipulation of entities and their models. Stevens serves as the Chief Knowledge Integrator for Marshall Space Flight Center, supporting Center and Agency Chief Knowledge Officers and interfacing with the NASA knowledge community.

Robert Braunger | Ph.D. Candidate Robert Braunger is working toward his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Paul Collopy. He is researching the engineering design review process of complex defense and space government programs. During the design life cycle of a large-scale aerospace or defense project, design reviews are part of the systems engineering process during which multidisciplinary engineering experts and managers conduct an in-depth assessment to ensure that a design or concept is practical and achievable. "I’m interested in what they do at these meetings, why, and what happens as a result," says Braunger. "I'm looking at the socio-technical side of things, the decision and sense-making theories, and their potential implications on the conduct and underlying purposes of design reviews." Braunger supports systems engineering design work in space and defense systems at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. 16

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Student Profiles

Giulia Palma | MSE Candidate After earning her BS in Mechanical Engineering from UAH in Dec. 2016, Giulia E. Palma joined the ISEEM Department to pursue her master’s degree in systems engineering. Dr. Bryan L. Mesmer is her advisor. Her research explores the benefits of using storytelling in systems engineering by understanding the characteristics that make it an effective tool in the communication process.  “Current methods of communicating are limited by the means in which information is expressed and distributed,” says Palma. “Document-centric communication methods, with an emphasis on requirements and constraints, dramatically limit the stakeholders' and engineers' ability to express their desires. The current practice of engineering has been plagued by cost overruns and schedule delays, in addition to project delays and misunderstandings between stakeholders and engineers. This can result in the development of a system that doesn’t reflect the stakeholders’ desires and needs.” Palma’s goal is to prove that preference communication is key for systems and design engineers, as benefits can be seen by adopting storytelling methods such as the dramatic curve and drama triangle.

Hannah Smith | ISE Undergraduate Hannah Smith, a sophomore in the ISEEM's undergraduate program, is performing undergraduate research with Dr. Jeff Hansberger in the ISEEM Army Research Lab. Specifically, she is exploring aspects of cognition and decision-making. “Decisions are based in part on cognitive reflection. In 'System 1' we respond instinctively and quickly, and in 'System 2' we make decisions thoughtfully and slowly," says Smith. "I'm focusing on the differences between the responses of each of these systems as people answer heuristically based questions—questions that employ innate cognitive biases that point to incorrect solutions and invalid reasoning." Goals of this research include tailoring the presentation of information to accommodate a person's preferred system of cognitive reflection (thereby enhancing performance) and encouraging the use of one system over the other as a situation may require (thereby training desired behavior). Annual Report 2016 -


Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Faculty

Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Program Enhancements Professor Dale Thomas developed and will teach a course in Model Based Systems Engineering for the Fall 2016 semester. The 400/500-level course distinguishes UAH as one of only a few universities in the nation offering academic coursework in this emerging systems engineering approach, which has been identified as a major skill sought by area industry and government organizations.


L. Dale Thomas, Ph.D.

Phillip A. Farrington, Ph.D.

Sampson E. Gholston, Ph.D.

For Dr. Thomas, the system is the solution and systems engineering is how you get it to work. His research focuses on systems engineering theory, systems complexity, systems integration, technical performance measurement and systems engineering planning and management. “It’s about how you get all the pieces of a complete system to work together so you can get them to do what you want them to do,” he says.

IDr. Farrington has been on UAH's College of Engineering faculty since 1991; the 2016/17 marks his final year as an ISEEM professor. Over the course of his career, Dr. Farrington has secured over $5 million in external research funding. Last autumn he was honored with a Certificate of Appreciation by the office of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for his service on the Alabama Robotic Technology Park (RTP) Executive Board.

Dr. Gholston has served as Project Director of the UAH/ALDOT Mentor Protege Program since 2011, helping Disadvantaged Business Enterprises develop more efficient business processes and higher success rates for winning bids on transportation contracts. Dr. Gholston is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and frequently delivers training on developing plans for successful implementation and sustainment of Lean Six Sigma.

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Faculty

Bryan Mesmer, Ph.D. Dr. Mesmer recently presented research findings—made possible by a partnership with Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure—on how gaming interfaces can help better prepare public safety dispatchers for real-world situations. “My research team and I strive to put a theoretical basis under stakeholder-focused engineering,” says Dr. Mesmer. Much of his research has focused on preferences in systems engineering.

Sherri L. Messimer, Ph.D.

James J. Swain, Ph.D.

Our UAH Additive Manufacturing team continues research on bi-metallic material characteristics produced by a variety of 3D printing processes. Research also continues on the polymer side of 3D printing with testing of a variety of commonly used materials with the goal of building a foundation in our Design for Automated Assembly project. In correlation, we will begin offering Introduction to Additive Manufacturing in Spring 2017.

Professor James Swain may talk nostalgically about his days with the slide rule, but currently enthusiastically teaches computer based methods of simulation for understanding complex systems and the statistical methods for the analysis of both simulated and real data. He also teaches methods of obtaining the best solutions through optimization.

Annual Report 2016 -

Dawn R. Utley, Ph.D. Dr. Utley has been a member of the ISEEM faculty since 1989. She will be retiring at the end of the 2016/17 academic year. She serves alongside Dr. Gholston on the Alabama Department of Transportation Mentor-Protege Program, assisting contractors in the process of elevating their business operations to win more and larger contracts for state transportation projects. 19

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Olin B King Technology Hall, Room N143 301 Sparkman Drive Huntsville, AL 35899

An Equal Opportunity University

Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Department Advisory Board We thank our board members for their continued dedication and service in support of the ISEEM program.

Amy Lawrence, AMRDEC Thomas Davis, Army Research Laboratory Richard Amos, Colsa Daniel Schumacher, Torch Technologies Julie Moquin, Lockheed Martin 4

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