ISyE's Emory Winship Senior Design Team Takes First Place in the Fall 2014 Senior Design Competition

Posted December 16, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Out of twenty four teams of undergraduate students in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE), the Emory Winship Senior Design Team took home first place in the Fall 2014 Senior Design Competition. Students Sung Keun Baek, Xiaoyang Li, Allen Liu, James Micali, Ji Su Park, Mengnan Shen, Yunjie Sun, and Emilie Wurmser, guided by their faculty advisor William W. George Chair Pinar Keskinocak, were chosen for their project focusing on process improvement and patient wait time reduction for the Emory Winship Cancer Institute Ambulatory Infusion Center.

Patients at Emory Winship have been experiencing long wait times resulting in low patient satisfaction scores. The team focused on improving process flow, communication, and visibility throughout the center. Deliverables consist of a simulation with a user interface, a real-time visibility tool, and a list of recommendations and policy changes, several of which were implemented. Patient wait times were reduced significantly, increasing patient satisfaction and allowing more patients to be treated, bringing in an additional $1.2 million annual profit.

Finalists in the competition were three senior design teams who worked with the CDC, Interface, and UPS.

The CDC Senior Design team placed as a finalist in the Fall 2014 Senior Design Competition for their project titled Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Identification and Allocation of Increased-Risk Encephalitis Organs. Students Nishi Anand, Dylan Buczek, Nicholas Buczek, Timothy Lin, Tanay Rajore, and Muriel Wacker were guided by their faculty advisor William W. George Chair Pinar Keskinocak. Since 2002, 13 clusters of infectious encephalitis have been transmitted through solid-state organ transplantation. Currently, there is no standardized screening procedure to differentiate between infectious and non-infectious encephalitis. In this project, they developed two decision-support tools: 

1. An infectious encephalitis risk calculator for physicians to estimate the probability that a donor has infectious encephalitis.

2. A liver transplant decision aid for transplant doctors and patients to evaluate the trade-offs between accepting/rejecting an increased-risk encephalitis liver.

The Interface Senior Design team placed as a finalist in the Fall 2014 Senior Design Competition. Students include Andrew Bedenk, Kaitlyn Castaneira, Margaret Massey, Jonathan Porter, James Tanzy, and Andrew Taylor. Their faculty advisor is Associate Professor Marc Goetschalckx. Their project focused on redesigning Interface's warehousing systems and strategies in order to reduce the excessive pick and stage cycle times, lost inventory, and high inventory levels. They developed a four-step solution to address all of these issues, including investments in more advanced Warehouse Management System software, reevaluation and reduction of inventory levels, racking and forklift upgrades, and internal process improvements. Their solution will save Interface an estimated $1.6 million annually, with an estimated 30% ten-year internal rate of return.

The UPS Senior Design team placed as a finalist in the Fall 2014 Senior Design Competition for their project. Team members are April Ahn, Jessica Dow, Lucas Onsgard, John Rice, Philip Tylman, Song Wang and Jongkwan Woo. Their advisor is Stewart Faculty Fellow and Professor Shabbir Ahmed. United Parcel Service (UPS) is the world’s largest package delivery company. The project focused on optimizing UPS’s hub-to-hub routes for the peak holiday season. The team developed a systematic route planning approach that explicitly addresses uncertainty of load and driver availability during the peak season. The new approach is able to realize a reduction in unnecessary miles by an average of 3.4% with a potential savings of $12.1 M.

All senior students in ISyE culminate their undergraduate educational experience with the Senior Design course in order to provide firsthand experience at solving real world problems in a team environment. Students typically work in teams of six to eight individuals with 15-25 Senior Design teams running each semester. Each group is advised by an ISyE faculty member, and the faculty coordinator manages the overall course. Companies interested in submitting a project for consideration can either contact Joel Sokol, at 404 894-6484 or can post a project through the ISyE webpage at http://www.isye.gatech.edu/seniordesign/. Senior design teams look for projects before the start of the fall and spring semesters.