Dr. Jaime Cantu is joining the IMSE team

We’re very excited to announce that Dr. Jaime Cantu will be joining us this fall semester. Dr. Cantu earned his doctorate and Master of Systems Engineering from Texas Tech University. His research focuses on comprehensive systems modeling which he applies to cotton futures, the cyclicality of cotton pricing, and most recently to healthcare organizations. He is completing a postdoctoral research project with B&W Pantex and Texas Tech University as a result of a Department of Energy grant.


Summer Quality Improvement and Patient Care Boot Camp

This summer the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) partnered with the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center to offer a summer Quality Improvement and Patient Care Boot Camp. In included 55 UTA engineering and nursing students along with UTSW medical students. The course was a 40-hour intensive training session on Quality Improvement tools followed by e-week live projects at UTSW Medical Center and Parkland Hospital. The projects were lead by the medical faculty and researchers from multiple departments and are part of a long term effort to improve the cost-effectiveness of medical services in the DFW area.




Father’s Day Tribute to Ph.D. Student

In honor of Father’s Day, our department would like to honor Sam Okate, who is a father pursuing his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at UT Arlington.

Sam Okate with son
Sam Okate with son //Photo Provided

“I have lived in Arlington my whole life, so my choice for graduate school was not hard.  When I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, I knew I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree in Engineering at University of Texas at Arlington.

At this same time of starting my Master’s degree, my son was born into the world.  Once I completed my Master’s degree, I was apprehensive to move forward with the doctoral degree for the sake of spending time with my new bundle of joy because I knew the responsibility of juggling work, school, and my son would be great.

After consulting with the UTA IMSE faculty, they made me feel really comfortable and gave me priceless advice that enabled me to make the decision to continue on with my educational pursuits.

Sam Okate with son championship
Sam Okate with son // Photo provided

I am very thankful that I am able to follow my goals and dreams, and that UTA gave me the avenue to do so.”

–Written by Sam Okate, Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering Candidate

New Ph.D Graduate Will Return Home and Find Solutions

A few years ago, Na Wang found problems in her career as a mechanical engineer in China. Now, Dr. Na Wang finds solutions through Industrial Engineering.

Na Wang earned her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the IMSE Department in the Spring 2015.
Na Wang earned her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the IMSE Department in the Spring 2015. //Photo provided

I am from the middle part of China. I received my Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power. I received my Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Science and Technology in Beijing. After graduation, I worked as a mechanical design engineer and was responsible for designing various types of equipment for a cold rolling production line.

Gradually, I felt there were some inefficiencies in the production line. However, I didn’t realize the root cause behind the inefficient phenomena at that time.

With my preliminary research, I found that studying Industrial Engineering would improve the inefficiencies.

Thus, I started my Ph.D study at UT Arlington’s IMSE department. After over four years of studying optimization under the supervision of Dr. Jay Rosenberger, I have learned the knowledge to make improvements in different applications. I have applied the knowledge in air traffic flow and pain management problems.

I will definitely miss the lovely environment in the IMSE department, and I will keep these precious memories forever.

My research interest is in statistical analysis, building prediction models, and optimization of MILP and MINLP models. I really enjoyed studying in the COSMOS Lab in the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department. My advisor, Dr. Jay Rosenberger, taught me so much. He is so knowledgeable and creative. In the past four years, his outstanding guidance made me feel that I was on a pleasant journey. I also learned a lot from Dr. Chen, Dr. Zeng, Dr. Corley, and Dr. Wang.

Other staff members in the IMSE department, like Julie, Kim and Richard always offered their help when I needed it. After finishing my Ph.D degree, I am planning to move back to China to be with my family.

Written by Na Wang

Na Wang graduated from the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington in May 2015 with a Ph.D in Industrial Engineering.

New Chair's Message to IMSE Family

Dr. Paul Componation becomes the new Chair of the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department

It is an honor to serve as the next Chair of the Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at UTA.  The University and Department are experiencing tremendous growth so the job is even more exciting.  This growth opens up many opportunities and challenges for us, ones that I am looking forward to meeting with you.

The academic community is experiencing significant changes.  Increased attention on costs, greater competition, and decreasing federal budgets

are all putting pressure on us to rethink how we do business.  Likewise we also see new technologies, new education models, and an increased interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.  It’s critical that we prepare our faculty, staff and students for the changing educational environment of the 21st century.

I would like to thank Dr. Chen and Dr. Liles for their leadership serving the department over these past years.  IMSE has made significant gains under their tenure and this has made my job that much easier!

Written by
Dr. Paul Componation, IMSE Chair

Featured Alumni: Piyush Kumar, Ph.D.

I came to UT Arlington to pursue my master’s in August 2007 in Industrial Engineering. I was a life-long student having never worked in the industry, so it was not a very big jump to go from B.Tech to a master’s and then on to a Ph.D. which I completed in December 2013. The operations research courses attracted me the most in my master’s, especially the ones taught by Dr. Corley, Dr. Rosenberger, and Dr. Chen. Even though I made some B’s, I had a lot of fun learning some amazing mathematics and statistics.

As a part of my master’s, I undertook research projects under Dr. Jay Rosenberger which gave me my first exposure to Ph.D. level research. The projects were done by previous students in the Center On Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, & Statistics (COSMOS) . My first impression of joining the COSMOS lab was when I peeked through the door and found that Spock from Star Trek was looking straight at me, disapprovingly. I started smiling when I realized it was only a life-sized replica. I was relieved to see that even though I was jumping into some serious research, there was still an element of humor to lighten the somber mood of the lab. Even though, quite frustratingly, when my own lack of knowledge and ignorance was brought into sharp focus, I looked at those times as a great learning opportunity. I worked on a nurse optimization project which was entering the testing stage at HEB hospital. After my master’s, I joined the Ph.D. program as a natural extension to my research work. Around that time, Dr. Anjomani came to Dr. Rosenberger for optimization of urban planning. The problem was to choose which would be the best land use to assign any given land piece. Each land piece would be given a certain rating regarding various land uses, e.g., high residential, low industrial, open areas, etc. It was a simple assignment optimization problem. We tried to use the methodology that was used for nurse optimization for urban planning optimization, but we hit a block which did not allow us to make any progress due to symmetry issues.

Given that we recognized we would not be able to make progress in the research in the direction we were headed, we decided to switch directions. I extended the simple land use optimization problems with more constraints by taking into account urban sprawl. After literature review, I recognized that urban sprawl had a lot of research towards solving it but there were not many comprehensive optimization models. So, the next step was to construct a mathematical model which would address all the various factors contributing towards urban sprawl. After the model was constructed, it was so large that CPLEX, an optimization software, would not even accept the model. It allowed us to experiment with Benders Decomposition method to reduce the model size and allow us to solve the model.

I also worked as a teaching assistant for the IMSE Department when I joined the master’s program. I sincerely enjoyed my time at UT Arlington since it gave me an opportunity to try a variety of things, e.g., salsa, yoga, aikido, etc.

I am currently working as a software engineer for E2open as their optimization specialist.

Written by Piyush Kumar, Ph.D. Industrial Engineering
IMSE Alumni 2013

Featured Student: Misagh Faezipour, PhD Student

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/misafaezipour/57/a88/881