ISyE Welcomes New Faculty

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Four new faculty members have joined the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) for the fall 2012 semester. Kamran Paynabar joined as an assistant professor on July 15, Sebastian Pokutta and Andy Sun joined as assistant professors on August 15, and Chuck Zhang as a tenured professor on August 15.

Read more about the newest members of the ISyE faculty:

Kamran Paynabar received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology and Azad University in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and his Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from The University of Michigan in 2012. He also holds a M.A. in Statistics from the University of Michigan.

Paynabar’s research interests include data fusion for multi-stream waveform signals and functional data, engineering-driven statistical modeling, sensor selection in distributed sensing networks, probabilistic graphical models, and statistical learning with applications in manufacturing and healthcare systems. He is the recipient of the INFORMS Data Mining Best Student Paper Award, the Best Application Paper Award from IIE Transactions, and the Wilson Prize for the Best Student Paper in Manufacturing. His papers have been published or accepted for publication in IIE Transactions on Quality and Reliability Engineering, Journal of Quality Technology, ASME Transactions-Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, and Quality and Reliability Engineering International Journal.

Sebastian Pokutta received both his master’s degree in 2003 and his Ph.D. in 2005 in Mathematics from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.  Subsequent to his graduate studies he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Operations Research Center where the topic of his research was combinatorial optimization and cutting plane procedures. Upon completion of his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, Pokutta was appointed as an optimization specialist at ILOG where he worked on production planning and supply chain optimization within the steel industry, automotive industry, and energy industry. In early 2008, he joined KDB Krall Demmel Baumgarten in order to set up a quantitative, state-of-the art risk management practice and develop risk management methodologies at top tier banks. He then returned to academia and held the position of a research scientist at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and was a visiting lecturer at MIT. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Pokutta worked as a professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. 

Pokutta's research concentrates on combinatorial optimization and polyhedral combinatorics, and in particular focuses on cutting-plane methods, extended formulations, and on applications of optimization methods in supply chain management, production planning, mechanical engineering, and especially finance.  His research is motivated by exploring these limits of computation and by applications in various disciplines requiring the solution of non-standard, highly complex optimization problems. Examples of Pokutta’s applied work include stowage optimization problems for inland vessels, oil production problems, clearing of electricity markets, portfolio optimization problems, and optimal liquidity management strategies. 

Andy Sun received his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Operations Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor's degree in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Before joining ISyE, Sun spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

Sun conducts research in optimization and stochastic modeling with applications in electric energy systems and electricity markets. He also works on theory and algorithms for robust and stochastic optimization, and large scale convex optimization.  Sun's doctoral thesis won the second prize of the George B. Dantzig dissertation award.

Chuck Zhang received his Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa. Prior to the doctoral degree, he received an M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China. Prior to joining ISyE, Zhang served as a professor and chairman of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at the Florida A&M University–Florida State University College of Engineering.

Zhang’s research interests include scalable nanomanufacturing, modeling, simulation, and optimal design of advanced composite and nanomaterials manufacturing processes, multifunctional materials development, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and metrology. Most recently, he has initiated new research and education programs in advanced materials and manufacturing engineering for orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) applications. His research projects have been sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as well as industrial companies such as ATK Launch Systems, Cummins, General Dynamics, GKN Aerospace Services, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens Power Generation.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Ashley Daniel
  • Created: 08/16/2012
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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