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

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Featured Student: Clement Smartt, Ph.D. Industrial Engineering Student with a Focus on Systems Engineering

UTA’s Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) focuses on innovative and strategic systems engineering research. This blog entry focuses on one of the students affiliated with UTA’s SERC and his research related to real-world needs.

Clement Smartt is a Ph.D. candidate with a focus on Systems Engineering. Clement received the 2012 INCOSE Foundation Stevens Doctoral Award. This award recognizes innovative doctoral-level research related to the field of systems engineering.  His research addresses the important, but relatively unexplored topic: the use of systems engineering on proposals.  Organizations whose primary business is executing contracts must be able to capture contracts to survive.  When the contracts involve engineering complex systems, systems engineering often plays a significant role in the proposal process, sometimes leading the technical effort.  This research seeks to find an optimal use of systems engineering in proposal management to maximize the probability that a supplier organization will be awarded contracts.

Smartt suggests that a number of systems engineering related factors that can potentially be used to predict contract awards and pertain to the organization, the skill levels of employees, the competitive environment, the proposal project, the contract, and the relationship with the customer.  A survey was conducted to gather information related to these factors as well as contract award status for recent proposal efforts.  Smartt’s analysis of the survey results indicates that suppliers seeking to be awarded new contracts should: (1) keep their existing customers very satisfied with the contract work already captured, (2) invest adequate resources in systems engineering labor to understand the requirements and define a solution in support of the proposal, and (3) maintain an adequate number of face-to-face contacts with the customer during the proposal process.

A modeling framework was developed and validated to help decision makers determine an optimal use of systems engineering on their proposals.  The framework allows users to maximize the probability of a contract award given constraints such as budget and employee availability by strategically allocating resources to key systems engineering activities and employee with various skill levels. Organizations that engineer complex systems can use the findings of the survey analysis and the modeling framework to improve the chances of survival for their organizations.

Clement Smartt will be defending his dissertation on Friday, November 1, 2013 in Woolf Hall Room 200. If you are interested in learning more about systems engineering or about our M.S. Systems Engineering or Ph.D Industrial Engineering with Systems Engineering focus, please feel free to contact the IMSE Department at UT Arlington at 817-272-3092 and ask to speak to an advisor or email us with your questions at IMSEinfo@.uta.edu.

Written by Dr. Susan Ferreira, Director of Systems Engineering Research Center
IMSE Faculty

and

Clement Smartt
Ph.D. Student

IMSE Grants and Awarded Contracts

Several IMSE faculty members were recently awarded research grants and contracts. Dr. Li Zeng made news for the grant she received recently from the National Science Foundation for her research titled, ” Quality Profile Modeling and Control with Applications in Tissue-engineered Scaffolds Fabrication.” The collaborative research will be conducted with Penn State and with the purpose of developing a “generic and systematic methodology for the modeling and control of quality profiles through the integration of advanced statistical techniques and expert knowledge of manufacturing processes.” Dr. Zeng was awarded a $142,223 grant that will run through 2016. For more information on this research, read the abstract on the NSF website.

In addition, the IMSE Department received a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, (GAANN) Grant for $534,000 that will benefit five students over the next three years.

Dr. Jay Rosenberger, Dr. Susan Ferreira, and Dr. Victoria Chen were awarded a $33,000 contract with L-3 Communications for a “Flight Test Matching Tool” to develop a method to warm start a simulator calibration process.

Additional grants that were awarded:

Richard Billo, John Priest, and Erick Jones were awarded TxMED grant “A Novel Glass Microfluidic Neuro-Sensor For High-Throughput Drug Discovery.”

Erick Jones was awarded NSF I/UCRC grant “Rf-Code Computer Rack Cooling System RFID Project.”
Erick Jones was awarded a grant from Angelica Incoroporation Evaluating RFID in Healthcare Linen” joint with SAVANT.

Industrial Engineers in Healthcare

A recent article in The Shorthorn cited a study from Georgetown University which claimed that degrees in healthcare were among the top college degrees to have due to the low unemployment rates in that field. It’s no wonder that healthcare is a growing field. With our aging society and the Affordable Care Act in place, more Americans will be seeking medical care in the near future.

So, what does a job in healthcare have to do with a blog about industrial engineering? As an industrial engineer, you can seek employment in a variety of industries, businesses, or institutions, including areas such as manufacturing, retail, banking, government, and healthcare. As the healthcare field grows, hospitals and other healthcare-related businesses will be seeking ways to optimize the efficiency of their workplaces.

Industrial Engineering in Healthcare //photo credit: http://wikid.eu
Industrial Engineering in Healthcare //photo credit: http://wikid.eu

As an industrial engineer, your skills can be utilized to design systems that will merge people, information, materials, and equipment to provide the most efficient, productive, and safest methods. Industrial engineering has been called the people-oriented engineering profession. What better way is there than to apply your skills to the healthcare industry to better the lives of the doctors, nurses, staff, and patients?

In fact, the IMSE department’s Center on Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) is currently working on several projects in the healthcare field such as nurse planning, nurse triage services, adaptive pain management, and biomaterial fabrication. The healthcare industry is just one of the many areas that utilize the versatile skills of industrial engineers.

Featured Student: Misagh Faezipour, Ph.D. Industrial Engineering Candidate With a Focus in Systems Engineering

The IMSE Department at UT Arlington offers degrees in Industrial Engineering at the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. levels plus Masters degrees in Logistics, Engineering Management, and Systems Engineering. Since we only offer a doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering, students can focus their degree in areas of expertise such as Systems Engineering. In this blog, I’ll be focusing on one of those students and how she plans to apply her research to real-world needs.

Misagh Faezipour is a Ph.D. candidate at the Industrial Engineering department with a focus in Systems Engineering. She is also affiliated with the System Engineering Research Center (SERC). She has worked as a graduate research assistant on multiple projects in the SERC and is currently a graduate teaching assistant at the IE department. Her research interests lie in the areas of engineering complex systems, healthcare, sustainability, simulation, systems thinking & systems dynamics. The focus of her current research is in Systems Engineering with an emphasis on sustainability related to Systems Engineering and applied to the healthcare domain.

Her dissertation is related to addressing water sustainability in hospitals. System dynamics is applied as a modeling approach to provide a better understanding of the water sustainability considerations & model key factors and interrelationships involved in hospitals. A simulator is being developed that simulates the interactions of the key factors from the model. The simulator will help decision makers realize the impacts of their decisions made related to some key factors and also help then make informed decisions. The hospitals are the main stakeholder in this research, and the goal is to help them with their water management process and support them to make informed decisions.

SERC News for October

UT Arlington’s Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) focuses on addressing complex and multi-faceted challenges that are rapidly evolving at the frontiers at world needs.

Clement Smartt is pursuing a PhD at UTA, with a focus in systems engineering, and is contributing to this SERC research goal. Clement is a Research Scientist with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and was previously a Principal Systems Engineer with L-3 Communications. Clement is also a Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP). Clement Smartt has recently been selected to receive the 2012 INCOSE Foundation Stevens Doctoral Award. This important international award recognizes innovative doctoral research related to the field of Systems Engineering and is only given to one student per year. Criteria to be considered for this award includes an advancement of both the state-of-the knowledge as well as state-of-the-practice in systems engineering. Clement Smartt’s research seeks to determine an optimal use of systems engineering in proposal management by assessing the impact of systems engineering factors on contract award. The ability to capture contracts is key to survival for organizations that perform contract work. Systems engineering often plays a central role in proposal management by coordinating the technical effort. A decision support system (DSS) will be developed to generate empirically-based, quantitative recommendations that will help decision makers best allocate systems engineering resources on proposals.

As a result of this research, organizations that engineer systems will be able to more effectively use systems engineering in proposal management and provide better value to their customers.

Additional information about UTA’s SERC can be found at http://www.uta.edu/serc/.

Future blog entries will present more information about the SERC including research and researchers.