M.Eng. projects tie for 1st in annual competition
At the ORIE Graduate Ceremony in Schwartz Auditorium on Commencement Weekend, M.Eng. Director Kathryn Caggiano announced the winners of this year's Silent Hoist and Crane Materials Handling Prize as well as winners of the Andrew Schultz Jr. award.
The ceremony also recognized 95 graduates from January, May and August 2012. In introducing the M.Eng. class of 2012, Dr. Caggiano said "As years come and go, classes come and go, each special in its own way, but every now and then a class comes along that really stands out for the extraordinary individuals it contains.”
The Silent Hoist and Crane competition, open to the entire College of Engineering, recognizes project work that advances materials handling technology in both the traditional and the more modern sense, which includes handling of information. The Schultz awards are named for ORIE's founder as chairman of the predescessor department, Industrial Engineering and Administration. He later became the Dean of the College of Engineering.
First prize projects
Two projects tied for first place in the Silent Hoist and Crane competition (there was no second place winner).
One first prize went to a team (at left with Dr. Caggiano) consisting of, from left, Hai Huang, Zhipeng Liu,Tianxiang Xu, Karishma Sanghvi, and (not present) Charles Ko and Jae Yong Lee. ORIE M.Eng. alumnus Jeff Goldman was the lead for the Procter & Gamble client team and Professor Topaloglu was the project's advisor.
The team analyzed 30 gigabytes of data covering millions of stores, thousands of sales reps and hundreds of products to figure out which products to sell to each individual store in China so as to maximize sales potential. Early results show single store sales can be increased by more than 10%, implying an annual global opportunity on the order of $100M from using analytics on this "big data."
The other first place team was made up of (at right) Samuel Davis, Adam Schultz, Li Jiang, and Huilun Dong and was advised by Professor Muckstadt. Their work has the potential to increase the effective capacity of a 3-room cystology operating suite at New York Presbyterian Hospital by 10%, worth more than $1M per year per suite and as much as $500M in present value across all suites.
After 'scrubbing up' to observe processes, interview staff, and gather data for extensive analysis, the team built a computer simulation to test several ideas for improved scheduling. They worked to understand the objectives of stakeholders from patients and medical staff to room cleaners and administrators, with the result that their recommendations, which were based on increased sharing of information, received high acceptance; one recommendation was implemented the day after it was made.
Ornge project comes in third
Third place went to a team, advised by Professor Henderson, that upgraded a scheduling tool for Ornge, an ambulance service that flies patients in Ontario, Canada, and must deal with schedule disruptions due to emergency requests and weather. The original M.Eng.-developed tool is run every night to decide the next day's schedule. The team (at left), consisting of Yuchen Lu, Tommy Roy, Andrew Constantino and Zhihao Chen, undertook to improve and extend the tool.
As a result of their work, Ornge can now use a redesigned interface to recompute the schedule as disruptions occur during the day. The tool, which has streamlined coding, has potential to yield an additional 12% cost savings.
Four share Andrew Schultz, Jr. awards
At the ceremony (from left) Samuel Davis, Sanjeev Jagannatha Rao, Thomas Roy, and Karishma Sanghvi received Andrew Schultz Jr. awards. Like previous winners, they were selected for “high academic achievement, exceptional teamwork, willingness to encourage others, and demonstrated potential to become exemplary professional citizens.” The Chairman of the M.Eng. Student Leadership Committee, Akansha Gawade, was recognized for her work with the other committee members to organize M.Eng. events and activities outside of the classroom.