Fall 2015 Senior Design Winners Find Solutions to Real-world Problems

Dec 11, 2015 | Atlanta, GA

Out of 25 teams of undergraduate students in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) that participated in the Senior Design Capstone Expo, the Emory MRI team is the first-place winner of the fall 2015 Senior Design competition. The other four finalists chosen at the fall 2015 Capstone Expo were the RaceTrac team, which was the ISyE winner at the Expo (the first time the award has been given), and teams that worked with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Emory Surgical, and start-up company Monsieur.

Emory’s Department of Radiology performs over 68,000 MRI procedures annually, making it one of the busiest MRI practices in the U.S. In order to improve Emory MRI’s patient flow and patient experience, the Senior Design team designed and evaluated alternative scheduling strategies using a computer simulation model. The recommended strategy is expected to increase throughput by 1.55 patients per day, on average, thus generating an extra $470K in annual profits. Importantly, the recommended strategy is also expected to increase patient satisfaction: it decreases the average waiting time per patient by 2 minutes, primarily by reducing the longest waiting times.

“We at Emory are proud to have worked with the Georgia Tech ISyE Senior Design Emory Radiology MRI team. Their work will enhance our ability to drive forward value for patients and the health system concomitantly in the MRI radiology space,” said Dr. Gregory J. Esper, the director of New Care Models at Emory Healthcare. “The team exhibited a tenacious desire to identify the true problem in MRI flow, and they implemented a test of change that has already shown operational improvement. Experiences with teams like this fuel the desire at Emory to continue our involvement in the Georgia Tech ISyE Capstone projects.”

Team members included Martin Restrepo, Paola Lopez Mantilla, Ayda Sawaf, Emilio Jose Munoz Leone, Armida Mariana Arcaraz Vazquez, Felipe Martinez, and Alberto Nogueira Vazquez. They were advised by Professor Natashia Boland.

The RaceTrac team introduced a new inventory management policy for RaceTrac Petroleum. RaceTrac, one of America’s largest private companies, operates over 650 gas stations across the Southeast. Due to incentive misalignments with their 3PL fuel carriers, RaceTrac carries more inventory than necessary and experiences too many costly express or on-demand deliveries. The Senior Design team proposed the introduction of a new contract type that allows for better inventory management and delivery coordination. Expected benefits include an average inventory reduction of 40 percent and elimination of most on-demand deliveries, resulting in estimated savings of $500,000 per year.

Team members included Anubhav Jain, Matthew Petersen, Xiaoxin Yu, Justin Haffad, Vignesh Ramesh, Anthony Robert Graziano, and Julie Deng. Their advisor was James C. Edenfield Chair and Professor Martin Savelsbergh.

The CDC Senior Design team worked with the CDC’s National HIV Epidemic Model and its corresponding calibration process. The model’s purpose is to inform decision-making related to policy, research, and allocation of funding. Using a combination of parameter analysis, optimization formulation, and machine learning algorithms, the team delivered a comprehensive and flexible model calibration solution to the CDC. This implementation, which is packaged in a user-friendly interface, cuts calibration time from three months to as little as one day and saves the CDC at least $70,000 per year.

Team members included Alison Burton, Gregory Miller, Elise Watson, Matthew Farkas, Laura Trube, Madison Rodenstine, Mary Titus, and Daniel Brachey. They were advised by Dean's Professor and Stewart Faculty Fellow Shabbir Ahmed.

Emory University Hospital is incurring high overtime costs and losing potential revenue due to inefficient surgery length estimation and scheduling. The Emory Surgical Senior Design team utilized linear regression to increase estimation accuracy and developed bin-packing based heuristics to create an improved scheduling policy. The two tools that were delivered will help Emory increase their surgery length estimation accuracy by 27% and reduce overtime by 54%. This translates to a $340,000 savings in overtime costs and $4.8 million in potential increased profits annually.

Team members included Alivia Rumbaugh, Melissa Mondello, Michael Ehmann, Rebecca Bishop, Sarah Kiefer, Mohit Jasani, Nellie Wong, and Logan Moore. They were advised by Dean's Professor and Stewart Faculty Fellow Shabbir Ahmed.

Monsieur is a technology company that makes artificially intelligent robotic bartenders. The Monsieur Senior Design team designed a drink menu optimization that allows users to create custom menus based on drink demand and profitability, as well as an inventory control model that takes in historical demand data and adjusts that data throughout an event to produce optimal ingredient refill times. These proposed solutions together will provide an expected cost savings and increased revenue totaling $14,067,000 as well as a competitive advantage to Monsieur.

Team members included Elizabeth Lee, Caroline Lee, Clayton Cross, Anqi Wang, Katie Finnegan, and William Gunnar Knight. They were advised by Dean's Professor and Stewart Faculty Fellow Shabbir Ahmed.

Related Media

Click on image(s) to view larger version(s)

  • The Emory MRI Senior Design team, winners of the fall 2015 ISyE Senior Design competition

  • The RaceTrac Senior Design team, which was the first-ever ISyE winner at the fall 2015 Capstone Expo.

  • The CDC Senior Design team, which was one of the five ISyE finalists of the ISyE Senior Design competition.

  • The Emory Surgical Senior Design team, which was one of the five ISyE finalists of the ISyE Senior Design competition.

  • The Monsieur Senior Design team, which was one of the five ISyE finalists of the ISyE Senior Design competition.

For More Information Contact

Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering