Best of Senior Design Spring*2008

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Students enrolled as seniors in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) culminate their undergraduate educational experience with a capstone course called Senior Design. Students work in teams of five to six individuals on a current, real-world design project. While projects vary in scope, all projects have some design component and provide a value-added change within an organization.

This semester's Senior Design course wrapped up with another round of high quality projects that had impressive results. Out of the twenty-six student teams who competed, five teams were selected as finalists to present their projects to a room full of faculty, students, and parents on April 30 in the Best of Senior Design Spring 2008 competition.

Of the five finalists, the winning team included Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, Arpit Dharia, Akshay Kotak, Jason Dumar, Shyam Mehta, and Ranjini Ragunathan with adviser John Vande Vate who worked on a project with Intel titled, Designing Cost-Effective Distribution Strategies for Intel's Proposed Ultra Low-cost PC Chip Line. The aim of this project was to provide Intel with strategic intuition of the cost-effective distribution of its proposed Ultra Low-cost PC ships. Given the strategic nature of the project the team designed a model that made minimal parametric assumptions, modeling inventory using Brownian motion. The team then developed a set of decision-mailing tools that illustrate the relationships between demand conditions and transportation rates, supply strategies, systems performance and bottom line costs.

Four teams were honored as runners-up in the competition. The runners up are (in alphabetical order by organization): Next Wave, advised by Ozlem Ergun; UPS Direct Ship, advised by Joel Sokol; UPS NAAFN, advised by Alan Erera; and World Health Organization, advised by Julie Swann.

The Next Wave team members included Juan Araya, Steven Butts, Owen Carroll, Emily Sarver, Justin Stowe, and Jan Zhang with adviser Ozlem Ergun. This group worked on a project entitled, Ocean Carrier Bid Optimization for the Next Wave Agency. The team designed an analytical tool to help ocean carriers determine the best bid prices to win contracts in a program where the United States Government sends food aid to impoverished countries through the Food for Peace program. This tool uses forecasting techniques, an optimization model to simulate the contract awarding process, and analysis tools to aid Next Wave Agency in selecting the best bid price. The tool is being implemented during the May 2008 round of bidding.

The UPS Direct Ship team members included Katie Buckler, Carlanna Cunningham, Jay Hennington, Kevin Kitchens, Patrick Odneal, and Richard Ward with adviser Joel Sokol. In their project titled, Design and Implementation of Auctions for Constrained Third-Party Carrier Networks at UPS, the team recommended constrained combinatorial auctions to determine which third-party carrier should service each land of UPS's Direct Ship network. The team's computer application awards lanes to carriers while meeting UPS's need to increase on-time performance, use fewer carriers, and balance carrier assignments. It also lets UPS compare multiple scenarios, add custom constraints, and identify bids where negotiation is most valuable. The project should save UPS approximately $1.3 million/year and improve customer and carrier satisfaction.

The UPS NAAFN team members included Jessel Dhabliwala, Megan Patrick, Tom Pelling, Nathan Petty, Vikas Venugopal, and Selin Yilmaz with adviser Alan Erera. In their project titled, Truck Scheduling for the North American Air Freight Network (NAAFN) Division of United Parcel Service (UPS), the team developed new methods for scheduling truck capacity for the NAAFN, minimizing total weekly scheduled and unscheduled trucking costs. Currently, truckload schedules are derived from average weekly demand. In this project, methodology was first developed to estimate day-of-week truckload demand distributions for all lanes. Stochastic scheduling models were then developed to determine truck schedules minimizing expected weekly costs. Results indicate that the new truck schedules may yield cost savings of 10%, or $6M annually.

The World Health Organization team members included Michele Cataldi, Christina Cho, Cesar Gutierrez, Jeff Hull, Phillip Kim, and Andrew Park with adviser Julie Swann. In their project titled, Resource Allocation for Malaria Prevention, the group developed a process for allocation and deployment of resources used for malaria prevention in Africa. Using Swaziland as a pilot, the team quantified at-risk populations and times for malaria and intervention costs for spraying or bed nets. They developed recommendations for number and placement of facilities with scheduled deployment for labor, chemicals, and trucks. The team designed an interface to test and visualize Swaziland results and to evaluate benefits of adapting the methodologies throughout Africa.

The event concluded with Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Chen Zhou recognizing outgoing Senior Design Coordinator Steve Hackman for his significant contribution to the program. Associate Professor Joel Sokol will serve as the new Senior Design Coordinator.

Companies interested in submitting a project for consideration can either contact the Senior Design Coordinator Joel Sokol at 404 894-6484, or they can post a project through the ISyE webpage at Senior design teams look for projects before the start of the fall and spring semesters.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Barbara Christopher
  • Created: 05/07/2008
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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