Fall 2020 UF Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Newsletter

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# DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL & SYSTEMS ENGINEERING NEWSLETTER

IN THE FALL 2020 ISSUE:

6

UF IS NUMBER 6 AMONG PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

2021

UF ISE FACULTY COMBAT COVID-19


CHAIR’S MESSAGE DAVID KABER, PH.D. Dear Friends: As we come to you this fall with news of our progress, I think it is most important to address the resilience of our staff, students and faculty. There is no question that COVID-19 and the world health crisis has placed tremendous demands and sacrifices on many of our friends and colleagues. These circumstances have been incredibly stressful and we acknowledge that it has had an effect on everyone in our department. As we pivoted from our standard processes to a new normal, I’m proud of how everyone worked together. The faculty met the challenge of delivering 100% online courses in the spring and summer and have prepared hybrid course models that we have defined for the fall term. At the same time this has been occurring, the faulty submitted 76 proposals for the fiscal year with 18 being funded. Our research grant funding has more than tripled since 2018. In addition, three faculty were recently appointed to endowed positions, including Yongpei Guan as the Willis Professor, Panos Pardalos as the Brown Professor, and Xiang Zhong as the Lauderdale Faculty Fellow. We are fortunate to have these outstanding researchers and teachers as colleagues. This fall term we will once again increase our ranks, we have hired five new faculty bringing us to a total of 24 tenured or tenure-track faculty members, including over 40% female faculty. We believe our programs and decisions are made better as result of the broad range of backgrounds and identities of our faculty and students and that our diversity and inclusion will ultimately lead to greater contributions to engineering and society. Our students have risen to the challenge and are leading the ISE Career Fair into a resume database and will hold a virtual event in the spring. They have remained committed to continuing to advance their education and careers, even during these difficult times. As we continue into the fall term, we will remain adaptive and resilient. We greatly appreciate your continuing communications and engagement with the department. We wish you and your family health and safety. Best regards and Go Gators!

David Kaber

Dave Kaber Department Chair PAGE 2


INSIDE

FALL 2020 PAGE 4..................RESEARCH PAGE 6...................NEW HIRE

BY THE NUMBERS

458

PAGE 8.....................FEATURE

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

PAGE 10..ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

140

PAGE 12..........ALUMNI NEWS

GRADUATE STUDENTS

PAGE 14........STUDENT NEWS

DAVID KABER, PH.D. Dean’s Leadership Professor & Department Chair YONGPEI GUAN, PH.D. Associate Chair of Graduate Studies & George E. & Rolande G. Willis Professor SERDAR KIRLI, PH.D. Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies & Master Lecturer TORI BRYAN Marketing & Communications Specialist Newsletter Editor

The photos in this magazine were taken prior to the global pandemic and are not reflective of the University’s current safety measures.

#12 BEST PUBLIC INDUSTRIAL & SYSTEMS ENGINEERING GRADUATE PROGRAM 2020 U.S. News & World Report

44% FEMALE STUDENTS

35%

UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS

FACULT Y

23 FACULTY

$3.67M IN CURRENT RESEARCH AWARD FUNDING

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17

TENURE/TENURE TRACK FACULTY

5

FACULTY HIRED IN 2019-2020

UF ISE faculty are currently collaborating with 32 other departments and institutes across campus including the College of Design, Construction and Planning, College of Human & Health Performance, College of Education and UF Health.


FACULTY RESEARCH

ELIF AKCALI, PH.D., FACILITATES EFFECTIVE TEAM TRAINING IN TRAUMA RESUSCITATIONS

BOYI HU, PH.D., EXPLORES IMPACTS OF THE USE OF DRONES ON CONSTRUCTION SITES

Elif Akcali, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UF Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, and her multidisciplinary team have received support from NSF for their research efforts in developing clinically informed intelligent technological interventions that will assist in effective planning for trauma care units.

Boyi Hu, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, along with Idris Jeelani, Ph.D., and Masoud Gheisari, Ph.D., from the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning have received funding from NSF in support of their research exploring the potential health implications of having construction crews work collaboratively with co-drones on construction job sites.

The project will draw from a broad range of expertise and perspectives in emergency medicine, sociology, communication studies, interior design, computer and information science and engineering and industrial and systems engineering to investigate the clinical practice of trauma care. This framework will facilitate effective team training for diagnostic and treatment processes in trauma resuscitations to support and improve patient safety and prevent burnout syndrome.

The team will use simulation and virtual reality techniques to identify fatal and non-fatal physical risks associated with the use of co-drones on construction sites under different operating conditions, as well as evaluate any cognitive or psychological impacts.

The goal is help formalize comprehensive regulations for drone use in construction operations and eventually lead to a more efficient design of drones to comply with construction-specific needs. PAGE 4


HONGCHENG LIU, PH.D., SEEKS TO IMPROVE RADIATION THERAPY USED IN CANCER TREATMENT PLANS Hongcheng Liu, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, has received funding from NSF in support of his research to create an algorithm to improve methods of effective radiation therapy used in cancer treatments by optimizing the process of creating a treatment plan. Dr. Liu is working to develop improved algorithms that determine a more precise measure of the amount of radiation treatment needed for each patient. This new and improved algorithm could produce faster solutions for radiotherapy treatment planning, which could free up time for the practitioners, reduce costs and potentially allow more patients to be treated in a timely manner.

MOSTAFA REISI GAHROOEI, PH.D., DEVELOPS DATA-DRIVEN FRAMEWORK FOR TRANSPORTATION IN EXTREME EVENTS Mostafa Reisi Gahrooei, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, has received NSF funding for his research in developing a proactive, data-driven framework for monitoring road transportation networks during extreme events. These events, such as hurricanes, can create gridlocks that will ultimately cause issues when developing emergency management processes such as evacuations, rescue and recovery operations. This new framework will monitor real-time traffic data for early detection of changes in traffic before, during and after an extreme event. These predictions would be at a road segment level of granularity, which means that while it will consider the entire network, it will predict the exact road that is going to be disrupted.

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K AR EN H ICKLI N , P H . D. Stochastic Processes, Markov Decision Processes, Applied Statistics, Bayesian Inference, Simulation, Text Mining, Sentiment Analysis

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ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

NEW HIRES

A LEKSA N DR K AZACH KOV, P H . D. Discrete Optimization, Cutting Planes, Social Good Applications, Fair Resource Allocation, Fair Mechanism Design, Computational Economics, Computational Social Choice, Sports


ALEX A N DER SEM ENOV, P H . D. Machine Learning, Network Science, Social Media Analytics, Data Analytics, Big Data, Blockchain Technology, Operations Research, Recommender Systems, Cyber Security

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ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Supply Chain Risk Management, Operations Management, Engineering Education, Decisions Support Systems

ASSISTANT RESEARCH PROFESSOR

LECTURER SI MA SABAH I , P H . D.

Y U YA NG , P H . D. I nterger Prog ramming, Learni ng to Optimize , Non - convex Optimization , Transportation , Radiotherapy


COVID-19 RESEARCH

UF ISE FACULTY USE INDUSTRIAL & SYSTEMS ENGINEERING FUNDAMENTALS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19 Many industrial and systems engineering faculty at the University of Florida have been conducting research to help tackle COVID-19. From identifying weaknesses in the supply chain and manufacturing of healthcare supplies to predicting socioeconomic impacts that result from lockdown and quarantine mandates through data-driven models, ISE faculty are incorporating industrial and systems engineering fundamentals into all aspects of combating the pandemic. Professor Yongpei Guan, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Xiang Zhong, Ph.D., received an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of their study on data-driven Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered-Infected (SEIRI) modeling and risk averse sequential planning for patient beds, staffing and personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals. The proposed data-driven decision-support system will allow healthcare workers to determine how to optimally use limited resources to mitigate risk and minimize adverse outcomes throughout the entirety of the disease progression. This systematic approach will better assist hospitals with planning and operations such as ensuring reliable PPE and staff planning, while remaining costeffective. Assistant Professor Xiaochen Xian, Ph.D., has received funding from both NSF and the UF Informatics Institute in support of her many projects related to COVID-19. PAGE 8


Yongpei Guan, Ph.D.

Xiang Zhong, Ph.D.

Xiaochen Xian, Ph.D.

Mostafa Reisi Gahrooei, Ph.D.

Elif Akcali, Ph.D.

Michelle Alvarado, Ph.D.

Dr. Xian’s first project, which is funded by NSF, looks to develop a data-driven, strategic sampling method for COVID-19 community testing. In collaboration with Lifesouth Blood Bank and the Florida Department of Health, Dr. Xian and her team will collect data and combine this data with COVID-19 testing results to evaluate the contagion risk in certain communities. Based on the risk outcomes, the team will then design a sampling method that will determine how to select a small number of a large group to receive tests. This method will provide a basis for healthcare professionals to decide each day as to whether mass testing should be conducted in specific communities. With support of the UF Informatics Institute, Dr. Xian is also working to develop a model that will predict patterns in future crimes as COVID-19 cases escalate over space and time. This knowledge can then be used by law enforcement agencies to determine the best resource response and allocation strategies, as well as lead to more effective proactive crime prevention decision-making. Assistant Professor Mostafa Reisi Gahrooei, Ph.D., is also researching the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19. Dr. Reisi and his team are preparing a framework for predicting changes in employment and income based on data-driven best, average and worst scenarios using data on daily product sales. The overall goal of the project is to provide a dashboard that will be able to visualize these predictions of changes that will aid decision-makers and policy makers in creating educated mitigation plans. Associate Professor Elif Akcali, Ph.D., and her team are tackling supply chain agility and resilience in the healthcare industry, a structure that already had weaknesses before the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in December, Dr. Akcali met with hospital administrators who were fearful of having sufficient access to supplies for the upcoming flu season. However, as the virus made its way from the Far East, supply chains in manufacturing centers broke down, and other companies couldn’t step in to fill the gap. Dr. Akcali is researching how to change current sourcing strategies so that companies can adapt more quickly to the rapid changes in the environment in the future. Assistant Professor Michelle Alvarado, Ph.D., is working to develop a discrete-event and agent-based simulation model to help hospitals manage their facilities during the surge of admitted COVID-19 patients. In order to address the issues of understanding resource limitations and scheduling staff to minimize exposure while maximizing patient care, Dr. Alvarado and her team are developing a decision-support model that will use a combination of discrete-event simulation and agent-based modeling with staffing and case volume data from UF Health.

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT HEATHER SHERLOCK Head of Global Logistics & Distribution Uber Technologies For some, taking a leap of faith and going to work for a startup company can be extremely unnerving. However, Heather Sherlock believes taking risks can benefit in long-term career success. Sherlock (BSISE ‘07) is currently Head of Global Logistics and Distribution for Uber Technologies, Inc. In this role, she is a constant problem-solver, with a lot of her work centering around international trade law and moving supplies around the globe, all while remaining cost efficient. Sherlock excelled in math and science and found an interest in supply chain and manufacturing at a young age. She was fascinated with her father’s career in Silicon Valley and his work for technology companies, some of which manufactured silicon wafers for producing semiconductors. Heather watched his career progress from Compaq Computers to Hewlett-Packard, Ecolab and more. “I just fell in love with what he did. He solved all of these global problems that

no one knew existed. Everyone would be fascinated with the latest model of a computer, but none of my friends cared where it came from or how it got there. It was just so interesting to me that there is this segment of every company that no business can run without, that function no one pays any attention to,” said Sherlock. Her early exposure to engineering and her natural talent in math and science made it clear which direction her career should take, and when it came time to decide on where to attend college and expanding her technical skills, Sherlock had two major criteria. “I knew I wanted to find a school with a top tier engineering program and super competitive football,” she said. “Based on these two things, the University of Florida was the obvious choice.” Sherlock recalls her undergraduate experience at UF as some of the best years of her life. While she was working towards a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering (ISE), she also

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witnessed a monumental time in UF’s history. The community on campus was constantly buzzing as Florida was rising to the top in several sports, including bringing home one national championship title in football and two in basketball during the course of Heather’s four year’s at UF. After graduating from UF, Sherlock entered the workforce right away to gain a few years of industry experience before attending Penn State for her MBA.

“I THOUGHT EVEN IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT, IT WOULD’VE STILL BEEN AN OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME TO SAY THAT I WORKED AT A STARTUP AND I TOOK THAT RISK.”

Heather Sherlock BSISE ‘07

However, her latest career move was a little more risky than past ones. In 2016, Sherlock took a position with Uber Technologies, Inc., a ride hailing company that offers a variety of services, from ridesharing to food delivery. At the time, Uber was a relatively new startup and while accepting a position with a younger company could feel scary for some -- for Sherlock, it was the most beneficial choice. “I knew I was taking a gamble, but I also understood that the opportunities for growth at a startup were exponential,” said Sherlock. “There isn’t always a set path, which worked out well for me. I thought even if it doesn’t work out, it would’ve still been an opportunity of a lifetime to say that I worked at a startup and I took that risk.” Although it may seem precarious, Sherlock encourages young graduates, who are looking to make their first career move, to take a chance while they are young. She recommends considering the

immense growth opportunities that come with going to work for young startups. “One of my very first mentors told me that the three things you are looking to gain at the start of your career are experience, exposure and opportunity,” said Sherlock. “If you chase the experience, the success will eventually follow.” Although the day-to-day priorities of Sherlock’s roles and responsibilities are ever-changing, she credits much of her ability to juggle industry problems to her undergraduate education in ISE. “The ability to boil down complex problems into solvable, bite-size pieces is infinitely valuable. To be able to look at the entire system and know how to divide it up to make it manageable for my team, so that we can still meet deadlines, is a very important skillset that I learned while I was at UF,” said Sherlock.

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ALUMNI NEWS JAYL A BR A DL EY SP E A KS AT SP R I NG 20 20 COM M ENC EM ENT Jayla Bradley, a recent graduate from UF ISE, was one of three student speakers for the online celebration of the 2020 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Graduates in early May. Bradley chose ISE as her major due to the focus on process optimization. In addition to her studies, Bradley interned with Northrop Grumman, The Walt Disney Company and Accenture. She recently joined Accenture as a consulting analyst in Atlanta, Ga., shortly after graduation.

I N D USTRIA L & ENGI N EER I NG A LUM NUS W I N S BIG I N 2 020 BIG I DE A COM P ETITION UF ISE alumnus, Sheldon Barrett, who graduated in Spring 2020, took home the first prize of $25,000 at UF’s 2020 Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition. Barrett founded and leads Cocovana, a tropical lifestyle company that promotes a healthier lifestyle and sustainability. The company’s first product, the Coconut Twist, is a tool that helps safely open coconuts in seconds. With the winnings from the Big Idea Competition, Barrett has won over $50,000 from competitions he’s competed in. Barrett plans to focus on working for Cocovana fulltime, refining his production process and building a team with the funding from the Big Idea Competition, including completing manufacturing and optimizing the supply chain for the Coconut Twist, as well as expanding the product line.

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Photo taken December 2019

UF I SE A LUM HONOR ED AS 2020 GATOR 100 AWA RDEE

I SE A LUM NA M ED TO FORBES 20 20 CL ASS OF 3 0 UN DER 3 0

Gator100 honors the 100 fastest-growing, Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world. Congratulations to Industrial & Systems Engineering alumnus Aidan Augustin who made the list for leading one of the world’s Fastest Growing Gator Companies!

UF ISE alumni Dennis Hansen (BSISE ’16) and his partner Samyr Qureshi (BA Criminology and Law ’14), leaders of Knack, were recently named to Forbes 2020 Class of 30 under 30.

Augustin is the co-founder and president of Feathr, a digital marketing platform specifically tailored to the needs of associations and large event organizers. Feathr’s marketing tools help customers reach their goals of increasing membership, growing event attendance and driving new revenue streams. Today, more than 1,500 event organizers use Feathr to market thousands of events, initiatives and member programs to over one hundred million customers around the world.

Knack is an app that connects college students on-campus for tutoring and mentoring services. Knack got its start in the UF Gator Hatchery, an on-campus student incubator that offers student entrepreneurs workspace, office support and other startup resources. The company was also the winner of the 2016 Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition. Currently, the app is used in 50 schools across the country with a total of 5,000 available tutors. The company is also running pilots with campuses, which will subsidize the tutoring service for their students.

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STUDENT NEWS

Photo taken November 2019

ENG I N EER I NG A NATION W I DE P L AN TO RED UCE C A M P US FO OD WASTE Adrian Cruz, a fourth year industrial and systems engineering student at the University of Florida was one of four members of a student team that won the 2019 Accenture Innovation Challenge, where 59 collegiate teams were asked to help nonproft organization, Feeding America, address food insecurity and reduce hunger in and around college communities. Cruz and his team, including fellow ISE student, Caroline Kim, and Ricardo Perez, a Civil Engineering student from the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and Sarah Rinehart of the UF Warrington College of Business, focused on leveraging processes already at work in restaurants. The team further developed an already existing app

that would connect food delivery truck drivers with non-profit relief agencies in the community along their existing route that could distribute the leftover food, allowing the drivers to deliver the food at a minimal cost, effort and time. The winning plan includes campus involvement and supports UF organizations such as the Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry, which is part of the Field & Fork Campus Food Program. This program is a partnership between the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Division of Student Affairs. Cruz spent this past summer working to implement the team’s plan.

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I SE A M BASSA DORS R ECO GN IZ ED I N 20 20 AWAR DS CER EMONY The UF ISE Ambassadors were recognized as the Gator Engineering Student Society Recognition Award for Excellence at the 2020 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering awards ceremony.

Photo taken February 2020

UF I SE STUDENTS WI N BIG AT I I SE SECR UF ISE undergraduate students, Chase Jones and Ewa Wiercicoch won first and second place at the 2020 IISE Southeastern Regional Conference at Auburn University. Students were tasked with helping a large healthcare organization develop a solution to issues with their electronic medical records implementation in their health system.

The ISE Ambassadors are a student group that supports the growth & improvement of the ISE department through collaboration with faculty, administration, student body, and alumni, and to represent the department’s goals and values in every necessary case.

I SE STUDENT NA M ED TO UF HA LL OF FA M E Undergraduate student Danielle Gross was among 24 other University of Florida students to make the University of Florida Hall of Fame 2020 Class. Since 1921, UF Hall of Fame has recognized students who consistently demonstrate a strong commitment to the improvement of UF through campus and community involvement.

Photo taken October 2019

STUDENTS COM P ETE I N KP MG I DE ATION CHALL ENGE COM P ETITION Three ISE students, Marianne Guitierrez, Antony Perez and Joshua Honorat, along with UF Finance student Jaden Baron and UF Business Administration student Virginia Howell participated in and won the KPMG Ideation Challenge Competition last Fall. The team was tasked with developing an artificial intelligence program to change the way a business could serve its customer base. They designed KAIT (KPMG’s Artificial Intelligence Trainer) for an in-home bike manufacturer named Flywheel. The team went on to win both the regional and national competition, and came in second place in the international competition, that was held virtually this August. Photo taken December 2019

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P.O. BOX 116595 GAINESVILLE, FL 32611 WWW.ISE.UFL.EDU

UFISE

UF_ISE

UF ISE ANNOUNCES THE NEW FULL-MOTION DRIVING SIMULATOR The new driving simulator represents a world-class research resource with no other facility of its kind in the State of Florida. The simulator integrates a Bosch motion platform that supports a Hyundai vehicle cab with actual driver controls and advanced driver assistance system interfaces. The simulator is also integrated with a host of data collection systems that includes motion tracking cameras, driver eye tracking systems, and physiological response measurement sensors. This technology allows researchers to obtain a detailed picture of driver physical and cognitive states during a broad range of simulated driving scenarios. Current funded simulator research includes: assessment of in-vehicle messaging of non-safetyrelated information on driver visual behavior and vehicle control; analysis of effects of roadway marking and signing configurations on driver situation awareness and workload in negotiating novel grade-separated interchange configurations; and evaluation of driver behavior and performance in navigating corridors with variations in interchange designs/configurations.