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IE Professor Joel Haight Honored as ASSP Fellow
Honors & Awards, Industrial
Originally posted by ASSP.The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the world�s oldest professional safety organization, is bestowing the honor of Fellow on two longtime members who have made significant contributions to the occupational safety and health profession. Joel Haight and Pam Walaski are the 2022 recipients of the Society�s highest honor.�ASSP Fellows are influential leaders in safety and have played key roles in improving workplace environments as well as the profession itself,� said ASSP President Brad Giles, P.E., CSP, STS, FASSP, GIOSH. �The career accomplishments of Joel and Pam in helping to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities are a true inspiration.�Haight, Ph.D., P.E., CSP, CIH, FASSP, is professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, where he conducts research on topics such as human factors engineering, biomechanics and safety engineering. He has been an ASSP member since 1985 and served on the Society�s Board of Directors from 2018-21. Haight has published more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, book chapters and proceedings papers.�Joel has contributed significantly to the evidence-based body of knowledge for the safety profession, evident through peer-reviewed published works and conference presentations conducted around the world,� said Kathy Seabrook, CSP, CFIOSH, EurOSHM, FASSP, past Society president. �One of his greatest accomplishments is bridging the gap between the disciplines of business, management, engineering and workplace safety and health.�Haight is editor of three editions of �The Safety Professionals Handbook,� a key resource for practicing safety professionals. He mentors students and helps them enter the workforce through his professional collaborations in many industries. Haight also provides consultation and training to businesses on process safety management, root-cause analysis and human factors engineering. His work has led to thousands of people being safer on the job.Walaski, CSP, FASSP, is senior program director for Specialty Technical Consultants Inc. and an adjunct faculty member for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Safety Sciences Department. She will become ASSP�s senior vice president on the Board of Directors on July 1, serving as the Society�s president in 2024-25. Walaski is a published author and widely respected speaker and safety trainer who has been an ASSP member since 2003.�Pam is a national expert in risk management, and her contributions to the field are exceptional,� said Dr. Tracey Cekada, CSP, professor and chair of the IUP Safety Sciences Department. �Pam has made a positive impact on more than 200 students in the classroom who will become the safety professionals of tomorrow. Her class is demanding, but students rate her as excellent and say her real-life examples significantly help their learning.�Walaski is a driving force behind the expansion of the safety profession. She helped build a donation to the ASSP Foundation that exceeded $55,000 for recurring student scholarships through the Western Pennsylvania Chapter. Her trip to China in 2010 brought new colleagues into the Society while growing its diversity. And as an early adopter of social media, Walaski uses the platforms to broadly promote occupational safety and health careers.The new Fellows will be honored at ASSP�s Safety 2022 Professional Development Conference and Exposition, held June 27-29 in Chicago. The global event will bring together thousands of safety professionals to learn about best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations in the occupational safety and health field.The honor of Fellow recognizes an ASSP member�s lifetime commitment, achievement and leadership in occupational safety and health. Nominees must have a history of major contributions to the profession for at least 15 years. To see the Society�s list of Fellows dating back more than 50 years, visit ASSP Fellow recipients.
The MAC Goes Global
The University of Pittsburgh Manufacturing Assistance Center (MAC) is going global.The MAC, which is located at the Pitt campus in Titusville, Pa., will soon open locations in rural Tuver, India, and urban Lagos, Nigeria. �Our model at the MAC is to take people who are at the margins, people at the lowest tier of the socioeconomic ladder, and in six weeks, we get them jobs�not only jobs, but careers in manufacturing,� said Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor of industrial engineering and founding Director of the MAC. �This model has been so successful that now, folks in India and Nigeria want to replicate it.�The initiative recently received $60,000 from Pitt�s Momentum Funds 2022 Teaming Grant. The funding will allow Bidanda and his team to develop and conduct research to leverage the Pitt MAC platform in international locations. The team consists of faculty members from across Pitt: John Stoner in the University Center for International Studies, John Wallace in the School of Social Work, Ravi Madhavan in the Katz Graduate School of Business, and M. Najeeb Shafiq in the School of Education.�Our vision is to transform these communities with manufacturing,� said Bidanda. These centers help train people, provide jobs and create additional jobs. It helps serve as an economic multiplier to benefit communities around the world.�
Building for the Future: Lisa Maillart named Interim Chair of Industrial Engineering
As the Department of Industrial Engineering enters its second century at the University of Pittsburgh, its leadership is poised for new change and growth.Professor Lisa M. Maillart, PhD Student Recruitment Coordinator, will serve as Interim Department Chair effective July 1, according to an announcement by James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. Maillart succeeds Professor and former Senior Associate Dean Larry Shuman, who will step into the role of interim associate chair.�Last summer the School engaged in a national search for a new Chair of Industrial Engineering while appointing Larry as interim chair and Karen Bursic (undergraduate), Lisa Maillart (PhD recruitment), Jay Rajgopal (graduate), and M. Ravi Shankar (research) as department coordinators. During that period, I have witnessed a stronger, more vibrant culture of collaboration as well a new sense of forward momentum,� Dean Martin said. �These individuals set to advance undergraduate and graduate education, recruitment, and research, while also developing initiatives that supported the school�s strategic plan.�Their work over the past year has helped to refocus department expectations and aspirations and so a mutual decision was made to pause the search and continue these visible signs of advancement under Lisa�s interim leadership.��I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as interim department chair. In concert with the Swanson School�s leadership and my departmental colleagues, I will lead the department forward in a consensus-driven way toward rigorous academic goals,� Maillart said. �Our department values an inclusive, collaborative, and transparent culture, and I will prioritize nurturing that kind of environment so that our faculty, staff, and students can flourish in their academic pursuits.�A graduate of Virginia Tech (BS, MS) and University of Michigan (PhD), Maillart has been a faculty member in the department since 2006 following an appointment as assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University, and leads the Department�s Stochastic Modeling, Analysis and Control Laboratory. In 2017 she was selected as a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the Netherlands and serves as vice president of the Greater Pittsburgh Area Chapter of the Fulbright Association. She has executed multiple faculty searches; refocused PhD recruitment within the department; and served in officer positions in multiple INFORMS subdivisions.This year Maillart was accepted to Drexel University�s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES at Drexel�) program, a one-of-a-kind professional development program for women in academic STEM fields. ELATES at Drexel is a one-year, part-time program that focuses on increasing personal and professional leadership effectiveness, leading and managing change initiatives within institutions, using strategic finance and resource management to enhance organizational missions, and creating a network of exceptional women who bring organizational perspectives and deep personal capacity to the institutions and society they serve.Maillart�s research focuses on decision-making under uncertainty for medical decision making and healthcare applications, as well as maintenance operations. Her most recent funded research includes "Optimization of Milk Bank Operations� (W.K. Kellogg Foundation) and co-participant in �Clinical implications of drug shortages during COVID-19 in the U.S. and Canada� (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).
IE alumna Ayushi Gupta wins first place at IISE competition
Ayushi Gupta BSIE '21 won First Place at the IISE Student Paper Technical Competition in competition with schools from across the North Eastern US, at the IISE Student Regional Conference in Rochester, NY in February 2022. Her paper, Facility Design and Simulation Modeling of a COVID 19 vaccination clinic in the Pittsburgh area, was completed as part of a project with faculty member Dr. Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest Roth Professor of Industrial Engineering and Philip Andreoli (Pitt IE, Class of 2022). Ayushi received a First Prize of $500 and a free trip to the IISE Annual Conference in Seattle in May 2022.
Swanson School of Engineering Honors David Bucklew as its Industrial Engineering Distinguished Alumnus
David Bucklew (center) receives his Distinguished Alumni Award from Interim IE Chair Larry Shuman (left) and Dean Martin. Postponed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering's 61st Distinguished Alumni Banquet finally was celebrated Thursday, April 8, 2022 in the University Club. David K. Bucklew BSIE '80 received the Department of Industrial Engineering�s Distinguished Alumni Award. Bucklew formerly was Senior Vice President for North American Sales at Eaton Corporation.�From his start at the Westinghouse business unit where he began his career and through its acquisition by Eaton, Dave has helped to grow its North American footprint as the premier intelligent power management company,� said James R. Martin II, U.S. Dean of Engineering. �He was also critical in building a strong partnership between Eaton and the Swanson School, creating co-op and intern opportunities for students, career tracks for alumni, and education and research infrastructure for our programs. We are very proud to honor his contributions.�About Mr. BucklewDave Bucklew retired as Senior Vice President of North America Sales for Eaton�s Electrical Sector in 2018, based at the Electrical Sector�s US Headquarter in Pittsburgh, PA. Eaton is one of the electrical industries largest manufacturers with North America sales over $7 billion.Dave attended the University of Pittsburgh from 1976 to 1980 and graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering. He was a member of the 1976 National Champion Football team coached by Johnny Majors, and later played under Jackie Sherrill.After graduating from Pitt, Dave joined Westinghouse and later Eaton when the company acquired the Westinghouse Distribution & Control Business Unit in 1994. He held several sales, marketing, and management positions of increasing responsibility over 38 years. From 2009 to 2018, Dave led the North American Sales organization including all sales, channel, and customer support functions. Previously, he held positions of Vice President of US Sales, Director of Channel Management, Marketing Director, and Regional Sales Director within the Electrical business.Upon Eaton�s acquisition of Cooper Industries in 2012, Dave led an integration team tasked with formulating Eaton�s commercial front-end organization and strategy leveraging the collective size and strength of the two industry giants. He was then appointed to oversee the combined sales and support organization with over 2000 employees and 100 manufacturer rep firms.Dave is currently a board member of Crescent Electric Supply and Electro-Mechanical Corp LLC. Additionally, he serves on the Swanson School of Engineering Board of Visitors and on the board of The Bradley Center, a Pittsburgh area residential facility for abused children. In 2015 Dave was recognized by National Association of Electrical Distributors with the Industry Award of Merit and again in 2019 with the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award. Dave was also inducted into the Western PA Electric League Hall of Honor.
Robot �Bugs� That Can Go Just About Anywhere
Research, Industrial, Banner
These ancient creatures can squeeze through the tiniest cracks, fit snugly into tight spaces and survive in harsh environments: There aren�t many spaces that are off-limits to an insect.That�s why researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have created tiny bug-inspired robots that can carry out tasks in hard-to-reach spaces and inhospitable environments.�These robots could be used to access confined areas for imaging or environmental evaluation, take water samples, or perform structural evaluations,� said Junfeng Gao, who led the work as a PhD student in industrial engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering. �Anywhere you want to access confined places�where a bug could go but a person could not�these machines could be useful.�For many creatures under a certain size�like trap-jaw ants, mantis shrimp, and fleas�jumping across a surface is more energy-efficient than crawling. Those impulsive movements were replicated in the robots, which are made of a polymeric artificial muscle. �It�s akin to loading an arrow into a bow and shooting it�the robots latch on to build up energy and then release it in an impulsive burst to spring forward,� explained M. Ravi Shankar, professor of industrial engineering at Pitt whose lab led the research. �Usually, actuation in the artificial muscles we work with is fairly slow. We were drawn to the question, �How do we take this artificial muscle and use it to generate a jumping actuation rather than slow actuation?�� The answer lay in the interplay of molecular order and geometry.�The curved composite shape of the polymer muscle allows it to build energy when it is powered. The way the molecules are aligned in the muscle draws inspiration from the natural world, where their combined actuation builds energy into the structure,� said Mohsen Tabrizi, co-author of the study and PhD student in industrial engineering at the Swanson School. �This is accomplished using no more than a few volts of electricity.�The versatile movement and lightweight structure enables the robots�which are about the size of a cricket�to move along moving surfaces like sand as easily as hard surfaces, and even to hop across water.The paper, �Molecularly Directed, Geometrically Latched, Impulsive Actuation Powers Sub-Gram Scale Motility,� (DOI: 10.1002/admt.202100979) was published in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies and was coauthored by Junfeng Gao, Arul Clement, Mohsen Tabrizi, and M. Ravi Shankar.
Swanson School Announces Graduation Recognition Event Schedule
Banner, Features, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS, Electrical & Computer, Civil & Environmental, Industrial, Office of the Dean
The Swanson School of Engineering will host 6 departmental ceremonies the weekend of April 29-May 1. The Order of the Engineer will also be held that weekend and will not conflict with any of the departmental ceremonies or Commencement.Graduate Commencement for all PhD and MS grads from all disciplines will also be held that weekend and will not conflict with any other ceremony.Pitt will host an in-person University-wide commencement ceremony for undergraduate student candidates at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at the Petersen Events Center. Those who earned bachelor�s degrees during the academic terms of August 2021 and December 2021, and those who are candidates for bachelor�s degrees in April 2022, will receive an invitation via their Pitt email accounts in early March.
IE Senior Erin Marshall Honored with ASEE CEED Intern Student of the Year Award
Student Profiles, Industrial, Honors & Awards, Banner
The Cooperative & Experiential Education Division (CEED) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has named Erin Marshall, senior in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, as its 2022 CEED Intern Student of the Year.Marshall was nominated for her internship at West Monroe in Chicago, Ill., where she worked with a team to develop and analyze a business continuity plan for a multi-billion dollar utilities company in the event of a cyber attack.While at Pitt, Marshall has been involved in a variety of clubs and organizations: She served as the President of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the Executive Vice President of Incline Consulting Group, and the Vice President of Alpha Pi Mu Honor Society. She was also the recipient of Pitt�s Intern of the Year Award and nominated for Pitt�s Co-op of the Year Award.�I am honored to receive this award and would like to thank everyone at Pitt, especially in the Industrial Engineering Department, for helping me get where I am today,� said Marshall. �I am looking forward to what is to come.� After graduation, Marshall will return to West Monroe Partners full-time in their Operations Excellence practice as a Consultant. The recipients will be honored at the 2022 CIEC Conference on Feb. 10, 2022, in Tempe, Ariz. Marshall will receive a cash award, a recognition plaque, and is invited to serve as a panelist for the Employer and Student Panel at the conference.
Fall Design EXPO Showcases Engineering Undergrads Imaginative Designs
Student Profiles, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS, Electrical & Computer, Civil & Environmental, Industrial, Student
Each semester, students at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering get the chance to show off their creativity and highlight their designs at the Design EXPO, held this year in the University Club on Dec. 9, 2021. Students prepared their displays showcasing their work from the School’s Capstone Design courses or highlighted concepts and prototypes from the Product Realization, Medical Product Prototyping and Art of Making courses. The students presented their projects, and judges from industry visited the booths in turn to talk with students and view their work. “Every semester, the Design EXPO is a chance for our students to recognize a problem or opportunity and apply the engineering skills they’re learning in the classroom to solve it, which is what engineering is all about,” said Mary Besterfield-Sacre, associate dean for academic affairs and Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of industrial engineering. “I’m always impressed with the amazing projects these students bring to the table, and this year was no exception.” This year’s winners are: Best Overall Project MEMS-5: Measurement Design and Optimization for Spring Cranioplasty in Craniosynostosis PatientsAcademic Sponsors: Dr. Jonathan Vande Geest and Dr. Justin BeirigerYuxuan Deng, Mazen Megahed, Henry Weinrieb, Zijie XuPeople’s Choice AwardIE-7: PNC Bank: ATM OperationsElizabeth Good, Brett Saunders, Lydia watt, Nathan WiafeDepartment AwardsBioengineering1st Place Bio-8: Improved Accessibility for Pediatric Peripheral LinesChristine Chau, Ashley DeStefano, Sara Kron, Jessica (Jess) Kunkel, Jane Lasak, Emily Lickert, Victoria (Tori) Martin, Eva Neuman, Benjamin (Ben) Raymond2nd Place Bio-1: Blink Controlled Call BellSebastian Correa, Devin Cortes, Michael Gidaro, Amaan Kazi, Katherine Leitholf, Shan Leng, Elizabeth Mountz, Tiffany Wang3rd Place Bio-4: Improved PCA ControllerAya Alkhafaji, Ishan Bhatia, Taylor Brightman, Rachyl Rackin, Esther Rhee, Sophie Shapiro, Michelle Tsizhovkin, Victoria (Tori) Turchick, Clair TushakCivil and Environmental Engineering1st Place CEE-4: Independence Excavating Replacement BridgeBrian Bowser, Anthony Gansor, Cody Green, Aaron Mitsch2nd Place CEE-3: Bamboo BridgeRachel Dancer, Amelia Nazar, Ariel Perel, Daniel Smith3rd Place CEE-5: Collier Township Landslide MitigationPaul Amicucci, Caleb Bye, Sarah Hacke, Hannah StackElectrical and Computer Engineering1st Place ECE-9: Robotic Arm for Drawing Simple Geometric FiguresAderotimi Adetunji, Prem Bharatia, Haleigh Defoor, Nayana Suvarna2nd Place ECE-4: Controller Board for Integrated Photonic ComputingGrace Henderson, Nicholas Nobile, Wyatt Porter, Shreya Wadehra3rd Place ECE-7: The Opti-Popper or P3: Perfect Popcorn PopperJames Bickerstaff, Harris Brown, Tristan Possessky, Zachary TurnerIndustrial Engineering1st Place IE-2: IDL: Lot TraceabilityJames Hennessy, Krista Spuhler, Anila Ghosh, Emma Gitterman, Emery Dana2nd Place IE-7: PNC Bank: ATM OperationsElizabeth Good, Brett Saunders, Lydia watt, Nathan Wiafe3rd Place IE-1: IDL: Calibration ControlMari Hannon, Morgan Harvey, Katelynn SmithMechanical Engineering and Materials Science1st Place MEMS-5: Measurement Design and Optimization for Spring Cranioplasty in Craniosynostosis PatientsAcademic Sponsors: Dr. Jonathan Vande Geest and Dr. Justin BeirigerYuxuan Deng, Mazen Megahed, Henry Weinrieb, Zijie Xu2nd Place MEMS-3A: Hive Home–A New Direction for Shipping Containers 3AStudent Peer Sponsor: Robert Worobey (Dr. Schmidt)Luke Blascovich, Clare Donaher, Victoria Mavrogeorgis, Joseph Salesi3rd Place MEMS-9: Design and Development of a Thermal Cycling Test ApparatusAcademic Sponsor: Dr. Brian GleesonThomas Benson, Jeffrey Hirsch, Wookyung Jin, Aarti PatelArt of Making 1st Place AOM-4: Hip Clip: A Jean-ious Solution to Pant SizingEmily Finelli, Timothy Hu, Rachyl Rackin, Katya SlozinaMedical Product Prototyping1st Place MPP-3: Cardiac KidsAllison Brown, Dylan Ensslin, Sreyas Ravi, Muyun Zhao2nd Place MPP-6: TranquiliftAnna DzurickyProduct Realization1st Place PR-5: SDD Frugal EngineeringKaitlyn Babinchak, Ryan MacElroy, Rachyl Rackin, Gabby Wassel2nd Place PR-4: Magnetic Security Lock ConceptJacob Brooks, Lauren Harrington, Markos Petkopoulos, Jackson Walti
100 Years of Industrial Engineering at Pitt
Features, Industrial, Banner
In 1920, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Engineering announced the formation of the Department of Industrial Engineering the following year “in order to meet the growing demands of modern industry for men well equipped with a knowledge of the principles of engineering and also with the fundamentals of industrial organization and management.” The Department is one of the three oldest in the world, and for its 100th anniversary we’re looking back at its beginning, its impact and its future. “...perhaps a better term would be ‘Executive Engineering’”With courses in Credits and Banking, Business Law and Public Utilities in addition to basic engineering principles, the nascent Department of Industrial Engineering sought to prepare students for leadership in industry, such as the booming Pittsburgh steel industry of the time. Students would learn to manage people as well as machinery, building skills that would create safe, efficient industrial environments. The original industrial engineering coursework applied scientific rigor and engineering principles to things like hiring and retaining workers, the advertising and sale of products, and the effective transportation of shipments.In the 1920 Chancellor’s Report, the formation of the Department is noted alongside mutually beneficial co-op programs for young engineers-in-training and local industrial partners: “A further development of the co-operative idea led at once to a development of Industrial Engineering, or perhaps a better term would be ‘Executive Engineering.’” The first chair of the Department was John Wishart Hallock, who joined the faculty in 1915 after earning his mechanical engineering degree from Pitt in 1912. He joined the school as advisor to all students in co-operative work, placing them in plants and monitoring their progress, before launching the Department of Industrial Engineering.A 1915 Pitt News article about Hallock’s appointment stated, “Owing to the large number of industrial plants of all kinds in this region, Pitt has unusual facilities for the offering of this feature of engineering work.” Industrial engineering was developed at the intersection of people and machine, to facilitate the safe, efficient and optimal relationship between the two. The original goal of the department was to prepare its students to be industry leaders. Today, that ultimate goal of optimization and organization remains the same, but a third factor—computers—has spurred the field to evolve and expand. Amin Rahimian, assistant professor of industrial engineering, studies the challenges of inference and intervention design in complex, large-scale sociotechnical systems. One current project, for example, looks at how algorithms can influence social networks online and affect their collective decision making. Applications of his work range from online social networks, e-commerce and collective decision/action platforms to modern civilian cyberinfrastructure and future battlefields.The Women of Industrial EngineeringIn 1933, Emmy Lou Haller became the first woman to graduate from Pitt with a degree in engineering, and her chosen discipline was industrial engineering. Haller told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “It takes a lot of courage to go into a school where the students are all men.”Haller’s research at Pitt included studying downtown department stores and determining the amount of light that attracts the most public attention to store window displays.“I think the average woman can accomplish more with a buttonhook or a hairpin than the average man does with the aid of a step ladder, a whole set of tools, and a wife to hand him things,” she said in the Post-Gazette article. Her enthusiasm for engineering and bold career move helped open the door for other women to enter the field.Today, first-year female recruitment in the Swanson School of Engineering is nearing 40 percent, and women represent a third of the undergraduate population and more than a quarter of graduate students. That’s an impressive feat for a discipline that is typically male-dominated – and above the 21.9 percent of women who earned engineering degrees in the U.S., according to a 2018 study by the American Society for Engineering Education.Infusing Health and Safety with Engineering PrinciplesA decade after its founding, the Department of Industrial Engineering offered the first ever safety engineering curriculum. The idea was that since engineers were responsible for modern industry and the hazards it contains, engineering schools should teach remedial measures. Industrial engineering majors at Pitt gained the option to specialize in safety engineering in 1930. From 1946 to 1957, Dean of Pitt’s School of Nursing Ruth Perkins Kuehn, Associate Professor in Health Professions Harold Smalley, and founders of a scientific management company Frank and Lillian Gilbreth collaborated to infuse industrial engineering principles in Pittsburgh Hospitals. With their work implementing industrial engineering to optimize healthcare in the School of Nursing, the discipline of Health Systems Engineering was born. Today, several IE faculty members continue to work with healthcare in their research. Associate Professor Youngjae Chun is working on building a smart coronary artery stent; Associate Professor Paul Leu and his LAMP Lab created a textile that can repel blood and viruses in a healthcare setting; and Assistant Professor Mostafa Bedewy’s work improving carbon nanotubes has important applications in wearable health devices. Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor, is working with Associate Professor Bo Zeng, Professor Jayant Rajgopal, and researchers at UPMC to optimize blood transfusion services in Kenya. The interdisciplinary team will lean on Industrial Engineering's expertise to examine the supply chain and implement techniques to ensure that donated blood gets to wherever it's needed.The Future of Industrial EngineeringStarting as one of the first Industrial Engineering departments in the nation, it’s continued to have a significant impact on the profession. Five of the Department's leaders have served in leadership positions in the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE), including former department chair Bopaya Bidanda, who currently serves as president.Students graduating with degrees in Industrial Engineering today have a broad range of options—even broader than just a few decades ago.“When I first joined in 1987, most students were going into manufacturing companies. Now, maybe 10 percent choose that route. Ten years ago, students were going into consulting. Now, many are going into artificial intelligence and machine learning. Skillsets have changed significantly over the years—the first chair of the department wouldn’t even recognize the curriculum today,” said Bidanda.For Bidanda, it is clear that the discipine will continue to evolve as the world presents new challenges. "As society becomes increasingly reliant on technology, industrial engineering becomes increasingly important as a discipline. The Information Age seems to offer endless possibilities, but its success requires that industrial engineers solve problems at the interface of computers and humans," he said. "The proud history of IE at the University of Pittsburgh shows the impact industrial engineers have already had on our modern lives, and it suggests an even greater potential for industrial engineers to shape our future."Vintage photographs are from the Historic Pittsburgh Site (www.historicpittsburgh.org) and are courtesy of the Archives Service Center of the University of Pittsburgh, Detre Library and Archives of the Heinz History Center, Northland Public Library, and Oakmont Carnegie Library. Black and white photos from The Owl, Archives Service Center, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh.
Pitt�s Swanson School of Engineering Announces Search for Next Chair of Industrial Engineering
Industrial, Office of the Dean, Research
As the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, faculty, professional staff, and alumni are preparing for the next chapter in its history. James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, announced that the school will engage in an international search for the department’s next Chair of Industrial Engineering.The new chair will succeed Bopaya Bidanda, the Ernest Roth Professor, who served as Department Chair for the past two decades.“As we look toward the future of engineering and what skills may be demanded for the engineer of 2040, we envision industrial engineering as being a human-driven pathway to socioeconomic innovation,” Martin said. “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on supply chains, patient care, safety, and more has shown us that the industrial engineer of the 21st century will have an even more critical role in the global marketplace.“Our Industrial Engineering program is one of the oldest in the world, and since 2000 has grown under Bopaya’s leadership,” Martin continued. “I am grateful to his service and dedication in in helping the department expand in areas including manufacturing, nanomaterials, and community and international engagement.”Initial development of the search was grounded in the Swanson School’s strategic plan with an exploration committee of internal and external representatives. Martin then engaged this group to establish the framework for a formal search committee through a SWOT analysis utilizing the school’s planning framework of Now, Next, and Beyond. This framework included: Now: developing the immediate plan and resources for the search; Next: engaging in an international candidate review and developing a transition plan; and (Beyond), after the new chair is named, revisiting the SWOT analysis and strategic plan to implement a new direction with renewed focus.The search committee members appointed by Martin include:Alan George, Committee Chair: Department Chair, R&H Mickle Endowed Chair, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson SchoolMostafa Bedewy: Assistant Professor, Industrial EngineeringKaren Bursic: Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Industrial EngineeringGeorge Harvey: Department Administrator, Industrial EngineeringJayant Rajgopal: Professor and Graduate Program Director, Industrial EngineeringMark S. Roberts, MD, MPP: Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public HealthRobert K. Cunningham: Vice Chancellor for Research Infrastructure, Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for ResearchAmanda J. Godley: Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Office of the ProvostKevin Braun BSIE ’90: Vice President, Global Industrial Coatings, PPG Industries, Inc.“Our strategic plan notes that tomorrow’s engineer will require global problem-solving skills and be adaptive, collaborative, and human-focused. I believe the industrial engineer of the mid- to late-21st century will be most valuable in that realm, and who better to establish that trajectory than the next Chair of Industrial Engineering at Pitt,” Martin said. “Key to the department’s next 100 years will be a focus on emphasizing the value of people; building strong collaborative partnerships with industry, government and communities; and translating research into a new paradigm of success.“These are grand challenges for the next chair, and so I look forward to meeting the forward-thinking individuals who are ready to accept.”###
Bopaya Bidanda Invited as Chief Guest at Engineer�s Day Celebration in Mumbai
Industrial, Accolades, UPCAM
India�s National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) celebrated Engineer�s Day on September 15. The University of Pittsburgh�s Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and chair of industrial engineering and president of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE), was invited as Chief Guest of the event.Engineer�s Day is an annual celebration that recognizes the achievements of Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya (1860-1962) on the day of his birth. Visvesvaraya (Sir MV) was a civil engineer who is widely known for his irrigation techniques and flood disaster management.�Sir MV is an engineering icon in India, and I�m honored to join my industrial engineering colleagues to celebrate his achievements and the more to come from pioneers in this field,� said Bidanda, who also helped establish a relationship between NITIE and IISE two years ago. �This was personal because Sir MV was a friend of my extended family, and I recounted several personal anecdotes about him during my talk at NITIE.� Bidanda spoke about how Sir MV had a very strict sense of ethical behavior. He carried two candles to remote field sites that did not have any electricity. When he did work for the government in the evenings, he used his �government candle,� and when he did personal work, he used the candle bought with his personal funds. Bidanda also spoke about successfully navigating an organization through times of crises, disruption, and �black swan� events. In addition to his research, SIR MV also made notable contributions to engineering education and served as the 19th Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1919. He received India's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955 and was also knighted by King George V for his contributions to the public good.
Meet Your Social Media Mediator: Artificial Intelligence
Features, Research, Industrial, Banner
Canyons and social media platforms have something in common: Whatever you say will likely be echoed back to you.The echo chambers of social media allow us to easily connect with people who share our interests and to form communities at a time when socializing in-person is unsafe.But they’ve also made it easy for people to get entrenched in their own viewpoints and to resist differing opinions.New research suggests that rewiring algorithms can help us escape the echo chamber and help us make better decisions as a group.Researchers at the University of London, MIT and the University of Pittsburgh are finding that mediating communication in a social network using rewiring algorithms that guide interactions can influence the accuracy of collective decisions. The conference paper detailing their work recently won the Most Inspiring Paper Award at the ACM Collective Intelligence Conference.“Our work shows that you can affect the outcome of a group’s decision making by getting people with different opinions to talk to one another,” said Amin Rahimian, assistant professor of industrial engineering at Pitt. “Which rewiring algorithm works best depends very much on the decision-making context and the questions you’re asking. “This research shows that algorithms matter and have a huge influence on the way people understand and use the information they find through social networks.”The researchers assembled teams of individuals online and asked them to make predictions about future upcoming events and give a brief rationale for their response. The questions stemmed from a broad range of topics, such as what the cryptocurrency Bitcoin would be worth on a certain future date, or which team would win an upcoming soccer match. The researchers then used three rewiring algorithms that would guide the groups’ interactions with the other participants, along with a control group that interacted freely within a static, unchanging network.One algorithm, called the Polarize Algorithm, identified the individuals in the group who had the most extreme predictions and paired them with people with moderate predictions, such as those who perhaps were unsure of their answer. This approach exposed people who may have come to the experience with limited information about the question to hear from people who had strong views on either end of the spectrum.The second algorithm, called a Scheduling Algorithm, made sure everyone got a chance to directly or indirectly hear from every other person in the group, giving everyone access to the whole body of knowledge the group possessed. The final rewiring algorithm, called a Mean-Extreme Algorithm, identified outliers--individuals whose beliefs were extraordinarily different from the rest of the group’sand therefore statistically more likely to be incorrect--and connected them to individuals in the group who opposed them, so as to encourage the outliers to adopt more moderate beliefs. The algorithms were shown to have different effects on the accuracy of the groups’ predictions. For instance, groups rewired by the Polarize Algorithm became more accurate after they were able to interact with one another than when they made their initial predictions, though, in aggregate, they were no more accurate than the control group. “Our work is the first to show how mediating a conversation algorithmically can have a significant effect on the accuracy of the group’s decision making,” said Rahimian. “To me, it’s inspiring to see that machine intelligence can interface with human networks and influence our collective intelligence.” Rahimian is conducting this research with PhD student Jason Burton and Professor Ulrike Hahn in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of London’s Birkbeck College, who received support from a grant from Nesta’s Center for Collective Intelligence Design, and Abdullah Almaatouq, the Douglas Drane Career Professor in Information Technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Helping valuable donor milk reach infants in need
More than 15 million infants around the world are born prematurely each year and can experience health complications and lengthy hospitalizations as a result of underdevelopment and immature immune systems. But for babies whose mothers may be unable to produce milk due to their baby’s premature birth, or have health conditions or medications that preclude breastfeeding, and a physician recommends breast milk as the preferred choice for those infants’ needs, what are the options? Lisa Maillart and a team of researchers partnered with the largest donor milk bank in the U.S. to help improve their existing systems and processes and realize significant outcomes. Their work will be featured in an upcoming edition of the INFORMS journal Service Science.Listen to the podcast here.
IE Alumna Guiping Hu Named New Sustainability Department Head at RIT
Guiping Hu recently began her new role as the sustainability department head at Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS). Hu arrived on campus from Iowa State University (ISU), where she served on the faculty of the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department. She also was affiliated with ISU’s sustainable agriculture graduate program, Bioeconomy Institute, and the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program. Dr. Hu earned her MSIE (2006) and PhD IE (2009) from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.Hu’s work focuses on operations research and data analytics, two areas that have a wide range of applications in sustainable manufacturing, renewable energy systems, sustainable supply chain design, and sustainable agriculture.In addition to publishing more than 75 journal papers and participating in over 40 conference proceedings, she has been the principal investigator or co-PI on 35 funded research projects garnering more than $10 million. She also has held multiple key roles within the industrial engineering profession, including as an associate editor, elected division president, and board of directors member.Open communication and a growth mindset are major tenets of Hu’s educational philosophy. “I love to connect, communicate, and collaborate,” she said. “Our goal is to provide students with the best academic experience in both classroom and research settings.”Read the full story here.
Sherwin and Bidanda Receive the 2021 ASEE IED New IE Educator Outstanding Paper Award
The Industrial Engineering Division (IED) of the American Society of Engineering Education annually presents an Outstanding Paper Award to exceptional individuals in IE education. Two faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering received this year’s recognition.Michael Sherwin, assistant professor of industrial engineering, and Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and chair of industrial engineering, received the award at the virtual 2021 ASEE Annual Conference for their winning article, "Effects of Pedagogical Changes to an Engineering Capstone Design Course During the COVID-19 Pandemic." When the COVID-19 pandemic forced universities to shut down all but essential work, faculty and staff had to strategize how to transition courses to remote instruction. Sherwin’s article focuses on the IE senior capstone course and uses student surveys and course evaluations to assess if the mode of course delivery affected the overall student experience.“Through a general class survey, we were able to confirm that the changes made to the Industrial Engineering Senior Design Course (IE1090) did not adversely impact the student experience or the ability to meet the ABET course requirements,” Sherwin said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has produced several challenges to education delivery, but I am proud of how the students have responded to the changes. Although a limited study, the results demonstrate we are doing the right things.”“While we were fortunate to receive a national award for redesigning our signature capstone design course, I really want to commend all of our IE faculty who worked very hard,” Bidanda said. “They developed uniquely innovative teaching methods, like video and board games, to continue to deliver high quality education to our students. We have an incredible group of dedicated faculty members.”
New $3 million National Science Foundation center aims to connect materials data science research to industry
Industrial, Research, Banner, UPCAM, Spotlight
Case Western Reserve University and the University of Pittsburgh will launch a joint center this fall that uses cutting edge data-science and materials research to help companies make more reliable and durable products. The Center for Materials Data Science for Reliability and Degradation (MDS-Rely) is a $3 million center supported by a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the remainder from fees paid by member companies and other organizations, such as government agency labs.The MDS-Rely Center aims to produce breakthrough research that also benefits the U.S. economy by linking industry innovators, government agency labs and a world-class, multidisciplinary academic team. The Center also plans to help prepare skilled workers and provide employment opportunities for Case Western Reserve and Pitt students and graduates.In Cleveland, the Case Western Reserve Center is led by Roger French, the Kyocera Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Case School of Engineering. In Pittsburgh, the site is led by Paul Leu, BP America Faculty Fellow and associate professor of industrial engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering.“Right now, there is a digital transformation happening known as Industry 4.0, where companies are interested in gathering lots of data and using that data to make better and more-informed decisions,” French said. “This transformation is driven by new capabilities in data science, computing and statistics. Our center seeks to apply these methods to better understand how and why materials degrade and use this knowledge to extend their lifetimes.”The new center is a research extension of ongoing work at Pitt and Case Western Reserve, where French is also director of the Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension (SDLE) Research Center. The SDLE center also focuses on degradation science and designing better, longer-lasting materials and systems.The MDS-Rely Center, leaning on the combined research power of some 40 faculty members from both institutions, will work with partners to understand how a material’s structural, electronic, chemical and optical properties change over time, informing both what the materials can do and how their function will change over time. “This work not only allows us to understand how long these materials can last in certain products, but can enable us to neutralize degradation mechanisms and extend the lifetime of various products,” added Leu. “So, for example, instead of using a product for five years, perhaps we can use it for 30 years.”MDS-Rely has a dozen committed members, some of which have already joined. It expects to continue growing each year as additional organizations join. Opportunities for industry and academiaThe work of MDS-Rely will give industry and government partners opportunities to gain from pre-competitive research and science-based improvements.One of the Center’s primary goals is to help industry become more efficient—especially in costly fabrication materials. The industrial and government lab partners would also be able to recruit researchers and students from the two universities.It also offers the universities a new vehicle to accelerate the impact of basic research and a way to expose aspiring researchers to real-world applications of their work.French is joined in leading the Center at Case Western Reserve by Laura Bruckman, associate research professor of materials science and engineering, and Jonathan Steirer, who will serve as Managing Director of MDS-Rely. Satish Iyengar, professor and chair of the Department of Statistics, and MDS-Rely Industry Liaison Officer, Liza Allison, also program administrator at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Advanced Manufacturing (UPCAM), join Leu in leading the Pitt site. The Center is also supported by the UPCAM and Case Western Reserve’s Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI). It is part of the NSF’s Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program created in 1973.For more information, visit www.mds-rely.org and follow the center on Twitter @mdsrely. Interested organizations can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. ###Case Western Reserve University is one of the country's leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 5,100 undergraduate and 6,700 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.eduto see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is an internationally renowned leader in health sciences, learning, and research. A top-10 recipient of NIH funding since 1998, Pitt repeatedly ranks as the best public university in the Northeast, per The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Pitt consists of a campus in Pittsburgh—home to 16 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools—and four regional campuses located throughout western Pennsylvania. Pitt offers nearly 500 distinct degree programs, serves more than 33,000 students, employs more than 14,000 faculty and staff, and awards 9,000 degrees systemwide.
Finding the Fountain of Youth for Catalysts
Research, Industrial, Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS, Banner
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)—tiny filaments of carbon, each smaller than one ten-thousandth the size of a human hair—have shown transformative potential for electronics, energy storage devices, and high-strength/low-weight composites. The dominant method to synthesize CNTs, called catalytic chemical vapor deposition, uses metal nanoparticles as catalysts that grow CNTs from the bottom up, much like trees growing from seeds in a forest. The high-temperature process, however, changes the nanoparticles over time, meaning the catalysts have a limited lifespan for use.Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have developed a new method to significantly extend the lifetime of nanocatalyst “seeds” for the bottom-up growth of carbon nanotubes. Their findings were recently published in the journal Chemistry of Materials.“An increasing number of chemical conversion technologies depends on oxide-supported metal catalysts, such as iron, nickel, and copper, but catalytic deactivation eventually kicks in, which is undesirable because it greatly limits the yield of the process,” said Mostafa Bedewy, assistant professor of industrial engineering, who led the study. “In the case of carbon nanotube growth from nanoscale catalyst seeds, this progressive deactivation leads to the death of individual nanotubes among a population of billions per square centimeter. What’s interesting in our study is that we leverage rapid temperature changes to delay catalyst deactivation and extend the catalytic lifetime toward growing indefinitely tall CNTs.”Bedewy, who also holds secondary appointments in the departments of chemical & petroleum engineering, and mechanical engineering & materials science, established the NanoProduct Lab in 2016. Engineers in his research group focus on fabricating high-density arrays of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes “forests.” This is accomplished by catalytic chemical vapor deposition and using surface-bound metal nanoparticles as a catalyst. Bedewy’s research, funded by the National Science Foundation, utilizes a custom-designed multizone reactor for chemical vapor deposition with unique rapid thermal processing capabilities. The present study builds on previous work by the same group, which showed for the first time the ability to decouple the following three different components of the process from each other using this one-of-a-kind reactor: preparation of catalyst nanoparticles by thin-film dewetting, thermal decomposition of precursor gas, and nucleation and growth of carbon nanotubes.PhD student Golnaz Tomaraei and former postdoc Jaegeun Lee worked together on this project with assistance from PhD student Moataz Abdulhafez, who are all authors of the paper that appeared in Chemistry of Materials. “While previous work by other research groups either demonstrated decoupling of gas-phase reactions from catalytic growth of nanotubes, or demonstrated decoupling of catalyst formation from catalytic growth of nanotubes, our approach is the first to be able to completely decouple these three different processes,” said Lee. “And that is what enables us to rapidly heat the catalyst to a high temperature before growth starts for catalyst formation by reduction and dewetting, before changing temperature back to a lower temperature that is appropriate for growth.”The team also reveals the underlying mechanisms for the observed boost of catalytic lifetime.“It turns out from our comprehensive characterization of the metal catalyst and the oxide support layer that the loss of catalyst by subsurface diffusion was suppressed when we implemented the rapid thermal pretreatment step at high temperature, which delayed catalyst deactivation,” said Tomaraei. “We show that thermal treatment at 900°C makes the alumina support layer denser and less porous with higher film crystallinity and Lewis basicity.”This work is a promising approach for controlling the performance of nanocatalysts by using a unique knob based on dynamic process recipes. “This outstanding study on thermochemical pretreatment of catalyst for carbon nanotube growth provides valuable insight into some of the fundamental questions in the field and would benefit researchers working on process design and catalyst engineering for chemical vapor deposition of long carbon nanotube arrays,” said Placidus Amama, associate professor and Tim Taylor chair in chemical engineering at Kansas State University, who was not involved in this study.While the next steps for this work will leverage rapid thermochemical pretreatment for efficient manufacturing of tailored carbon nanotubes, the insights can also be extended to other oxide-supported catalyst systems utilized in other chemical conversion processes in industry.The paper, “Boosting Catalytic Lifetime in in Chemical Vapor Deposition of Carbon Nanotubes by Rapid Thermal Pretreatment of Alumina-Supported Metal Nanocatalysts,” (DOI:10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c04692) was coauthored by Jaegeun Lee, Golnaz Najaf Tomaraei, Moataz Abdulhafez, and Mostafa Bedewy.
60 Researchers from the Swanson School of Engineering Ranked Among Top 2% of Scientists Worldwide
Accolades, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS, Electrical & Computer, Civil & Environmental, Industrial, Honors & Awards
According to a new report by Stanford University, 60 researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering are ranked in the top 2 percent of scientists in the world. The report covered scientists globally from a wide range of fields, and the ranking is based on citations from Scopus, assessing scientists for career-long citation impact up until the end of 2019 and for citation impact during the single calendar year 2019. More information on the ranking method can be found here.The full list can be found here.“I am incredibly proud of the breadth and depth of our primary and secondary faculty within this survey, both overall and as a segment of the University of Pittsburgh,” noted James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. “Receiving this external validation is a testament to their research and dedication to their respective fields.”The researchers from the Swanson School of Engineering are:BioengineeringX. Tracy CuiWilliam FederspielPrashant KumtaPatrick LoughlinDavid VorpStephen F. BadylakMichael BoningerR. A. CooperJoseph FurmanJorg GerlachThomas GilbertMark GladwinJohn KellumKacey G. MarraJ. Peter RubinWalter SchneiderIan SigalAlexander StarYoram VodovotzWilliam WagnerJames H.C. WangAlan WellsPeter WipfDouglass Lansing TaylorChemical and Petroleum EngineeringAnna C. BalazsEric J. BeckmanRobert EnickGerald D. HolderJ. Karl JohnsonJoseph McCarthySachin VelankarGötz VeserIrving Wender (deceased)Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmir AlaviAndrew P. BungerKent A. HarriesPiervincenzo RizzoLuis VallejoRadisav VidicFred MosesElectrical and Computer EngineeringHeng HuangAlexis KwasinskiKartik MohanramErvin SejdicMingui SunRami MelhemRob RutenbarIndustrial EngineeringLarry ShumanMechanical Engineering and Materials ScienceWilliam (Buddy) ClarkPaul OhodnickiG. Paolo GaldiPeyman GiviBrian GleesonScott X. MaoGerald H. MeierWissam A. SaidiGuofeng WangXudong ZhangCarey BalabanFreddie H. Fu
IE PhD Student Moataz Abdulhafez captures Best Poster Award at ASME MSEC Conference
Honors & Awards, Industrial, UPCAM, Spotlight
Research investigating graphene production at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering was recently recognized at the 2021 ASME Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC).Moataz Abdulhafez, a fifth-year PhD student in the Swanson School’s Department of Industrial Engineering, received the conference’s Best Poster Award for his work, titled “Direct laser-induced nanocarbon formation on flexible polymers: Tailoring porous and fibrous morphologies.” Abdulhafez works in the NanoProduct of his advisor, Assistant Professor Mostafa Bedewy.“When I started working on graphene fabrication using lasers, I realized that we can create a large variety of types of graphene-related nanomaterials,” said Abdulhafez. “Hence, we started to investigate how to tune our process to deliberately create each of these different morphologies and eventually identified the abrupt transitions that happen at specific combination of parameters, which was really exciting.”“In our lab we focus on advanced manufacturing and materials engineering at the nano-scale, and Moataz has developed a unique approach for spatiotemporal control of the laser process to enable creating different types of graphene-based nanomaterials on the same flexible substrate,” Bedewy explained. “His research enabled unprecedented control on morphology and chemistry in laser-induced graphene fabrication. This may have tremendous impact on the scalable manufacturing of flexible devices with tailored graphene having distinctive and desired properties.”
Pitt Engineer Mostafa Bedewy Selected for the Frontiers of Materials Award by TMS
Honors & Awards, Industrial, Accolade, UPCAM, Spotlight
The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) has selected Mostafa Bedewy, assistant professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, as a recipient of the 2022 Frontiers of Materials Award. Bedewy’s research on the fabrication of graphene and related carbon nanomaterials directly on polymers enables the realization of flexible and wearable electronic devices, such as implantable biomedical sensors and bendable batteries. His NanoProduct Lab focuses on advanced manufacturing of bio- and nano-materials that impact major societal challenges in energy, healthcare and the environment.“I’m excited about the opportunity to bring more attention to this emerging area of research, and honored that TMS has selected me to lead the discussion,” said Bedewy, who also holds appointments in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. “I look forward to the innovations and collaborations that will emerge from this meeting with my colleagues in the field.”“This award is a testament to the outstanding and innovative efforts Mostafa has put into developing his interdisciplinary research group since he joined our faculty in 2016,” said Bopaya Bidanda, the Ernest E. Roth Professor and chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. “We are thrilled by this achievement and the visibility it brings to Mostafa’s work.” The Award recognizes top-performing early career professionals who are able to organize a Frontiers of Materials symposium on a hot or emerging technical topic at the TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition, which will be held in 2022 in Anaheim, Calif. As a recipient, Bedewy will also deliver a keynote lecture during the event and will be invited to organize a suite of thematic papers for an upcoming issue of JOM, the Member Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. Dr. Bedewy’s previous awards include the Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers’ Manufacturing and Design (IISE M&D) Division in 2020, the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2018, the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in 2017, the Robert A. Meyer Award from the American Carbon Society in 2016.
Printing a Better Microgrid
Research, Industrial, Banner, UPCAM, Spotlight
The future of electronic displays will be thin, flexible and durable. One barrier to this, however, is that one of the most widely used transparent conductors for electronic displays—indium tin oxide (ITO)—doesn’t perform as well on larger areas and can crack and break down with wear. Indium is also a rare earth mineral, which is relatively scarce, and the process to create ITO requires high energy consumption and expensive equipment.One emerging alternative is metal “microgrid” conductors. These microgrids can be customized to their application by varying the microgrid width, pitch and thickness, and they can be made with a variety of metals.New research from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering investigates the use of microgrids printed with particle-free silver inks, demonstrating its advantages when compared with other particle-based inks. The paper is published in ACS Applied Electronic Materials and is featured on a supplemental cover of the journal.“Among the alternatives to ITO being explored, metal microgrids are an attractive option because of their low sheet resistance and high transparency, which is well suited to many optoelectronic applications,” explained Paul Leu, Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, whose Laboratory for Advanced Materials at Pittsburgh (LAMP) conducted the research. “However, because of the fabrication processes available, it’s difficult to perfect. Our research focuses on addressing key issues in fabricating silver microgrids using particle-free silver ink, and we found it has some key advantages over particle-based inks.”The project is a continuation of the LAMP lab’s collaboration with Electroninks, a technology company in Austin, Texas. The company produces a circuit drawing kit called Circuit Scribe, which uses conductive silver ink to allow users to create working lights with circuits drawn on paper. Circuit Scribe sparked Leu’s initial interest in working with the company to develop their particle-free metal ink as a way to address some of the limitations of ITO.The researchers found that the particle-free fabricated microgrids were more reliable than those printed with particle-based inks, showing better transparent electrode performance, lower roughness, and better mechanical durability, which is necessary for flexible displays. To test its durability, the researchers performed several tests, including adhesion, bending and folding tests.“These microgrids outperformed both particle-based ink-formed microgrids and ITO microgrids in all of our tests,” said lead author and PhD student, Ziyu Zhou. “Our research paves the way for better performing, less expensive and more durable displays that don’t rely on the mining of rare earth minerals.”In addition to evaluating the microgrids as a replacement for ITO in OLEDs, the team is evaluating them for transparent antennas and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.The research paper, “Polymer-Embedded Silver Microgrids by Particle-Free Reactive Inks for Flexible High Performance Transparent Conducting Electrodes,” (DOI: 10.1021/acsaelm.1c00107) was coauthored by Ziyu Zhou, S Brett Walker, Melbs LeMieux and Paul W Leu.The supplemental cover, designed by Randal McKenzie, is featured in the May 25th issue of the journal.
Engineering Smarter Stents
Grants, Industrial, Banner, UPCAM, Spotlight
An estimated two million people will need a coronary artery stent every year. A small mesh tube inserted into a narrow or blocked coronary artery, a stent can help ensure blood can continue to flow through the artery unimpeded. Today, many also contain a coating that releases a steady dose of medication to improve healing and keep the blockage from coming back.Stents, however, are not without their risks: Restenosis—the re-narrowing of an artery—is one risk of coronary artery stents and occurs in three to 10 percent of cases in the first six to nine months. There is also a risk of blood clot formation, or thrombosis, that can also occur as the stent’s medicinal coating dissolves, exposing a metal surface.Youngjae Chun, associate professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, is part of a consortium from industry, academia and research that will seek to revolutionize the design of heart stents. The new stents will feature ultra-low profile struts and a uniquely textured “smart” surface that will help improve healing and lessen the risks of restenosis and thrombosis.The consortium, which includes members from industry, academia and research, recently received $2 million in funding from the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Outstanding Company Research Center Promotion Project (ATC+).“The uniqueness of our stent is in both the thin struts that may reduce the risk of restenosis and the smart surface, which can help improve healing and prevent clots,” said Chun, who is a co-principal investigator. “When you introduce specialized micro and nanopatterns on the material—like grouped patterns, dimples, cavities or diamond patterns—you can improve biocompatibility.”Most widely-used drug-eluting stents (DES) have a polymer coating mixed with a drug that is released over several months to help prevent restenosis. After that period, however, the metal stent is exposed. The unique, patterned surface on the proposed DES design would encourage endothelial cells—cells that form a barrier between vessels and tissue to control the flow of fluids in the body—to grow on the surface of the stent, helping to speed healing and reduce the risk of blood clot formation.Chun’s lab will provide the computational modeling of the stent, as well as the creation of the smart surface. They will work with lead investigator and DES manufacturing company Osstem Cardiotech, as well as Daegu Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation, located in South Korea.The project, “Development of a Coronary Artery Drug Eluting Stent That Contains Smart 60um Ultra-Thin Struts and Surface Structures for Rapid Vascular Healing Process,” began in April 2021 and will last four years.
Message of Vaccine Acceptance Can Boost Immunization Rates
Industrial, Research, Banner
The development of a COVID-19 vaccine signaled, for many, the long-awaited light at the end of the tunnel. But for the vaccine to be effective in ending the pandemic, a large majority of the population – some estimates put it at more than 75% – have to be willing to get it.And that might prove to be the tricky part.While hesitancy to get a vaccination makes headlines, new research finds that emphasizing the widespread and growing acceptance of the vaccine is an effective way to encourage more people to get immunized.“Our research has shown that giving people accurate descriptions of norms in their communities, like how many people are accepting the vaccine, makes them more willing to get it themselves,” said Amin Rahimian, assistant professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and co-author of the study, which is currently under peer review. “This knowledge presents an important opportunity for public health officials to effectively communicate.”The study, led by MIT Sloan School of Management professors Sinan Aral and Dean Eckles, highlights the importance of messaging in reaching the goals of widespread vaccination, herd immunity and the eventual eradication of COVID-19. As part of a larger collaboration with Facebook and using input from public health experts at Johns Hopkins University, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), and the World Health Organization, the researchers fielded a survey with over 1.9 million responses from 67 countries in their local languages.On a sample of more than 400,000 people in 23 countries, the researchers surveyed the participants about their plans for vaccination, inserting information throughout the survey about others’ behavior. When given accurate information about the number of people who said they’d receive the vaccine, the number of people who were unsure or felt negative about accepting the vaccine was reduced by 5 percent.“Everyone has different reference points when it comes to societal norms, but overall, peoples’ preventative health behaviors are dramatically influenced by social and cultural factors,” said Rahimian. “The most important message is to appreciate the value of these norms. It is natural for people to be hesitant, but emphasizing overall acceptance is an important way to contextualize the decision they’re making for themselves and their community.”Because one cannot tell by looking at people whether they’ve been immunized, messaging around acceptance rates is an especially potent tool to encourage more participation. The researchers noted that it wasn’t clear going into the study whether learning that more people were vaccinated would encourage or decrease acceptance of the vaccine. For example, if a majority of others say they will get it, some people may think it’s safe to skip it.“Humans are sensitive to the behaviors of others. Public health communications should avoid overemphasizing the shrinking minority of people who say they won’t accept a vaccine against COVID-19,” said Eckles. “The best way forward, as is often the case, is the presentation of clear, accurate and timely information. That includes the information that other people overwhelmingly intend to accept these vaccines.”The Age of DataRahimian’s work is at the intersection of networks, data, and decision sciences. His work focuses on analysis and decision making in large-scale, sociotechnical systems, like social media, and the opportunities it represents for researchers.“The landscape for scientific research is changing in the age of data. The combined force of high-end data analytics and high performance computing opens new ways for scientific discovery,” said Rahimian.In this project, the researchers partnered with Facebook to gather data. The survey was deployed through the social media platform, and the researchers received anonymized responses attached only to a participant number. The partnership gave them extraordinarily detailed information on the participants’ demographic data along with their responses, without revealing their identity.“It was very important for us to make sure our survey was representative of the population. Facebook is in a unique position to help with this kind of work because of the massive amount of demographic and behavioral data that they can use globally,” Rahimian said. “Ensuring that we are hearing from a lot of different kinds of people allows us to extrapolate better conclusions about the population as a whole.”The paper, “Surfacing Norms to Increase Vaccine Acceptance,” (Preprint DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/srv6t) is undergoing peer review and was co-authored by Alex Moehring, Avinash Collis, Kiran Garimella, M. Amin Rahimian, Sinan Aral and Dean Eckles.
Karen Bursic Wins Grant Award for Best Paper in The Engineering Economist
Honors & Awards, Industrial, Research
Many fundamental engineering subjects, like statics and dynamics, heat and energy, signals and systems, and statistics, have reliable methods for measuring students’ learning. Engineering economy, which uses economic principles to evaluate engineering decisions, has not traditionally been among them, despite its importance to the curriculum.The Engineering Economist recently published an article by Karen Bursic, associate professor of industrial engineering and undergraduate program director at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, that evaluates a concept inventory to determine students’ learning in engineering economy courses. The article, “An Engineering Economy Concept Inventory,” (doi: 10.1080/0013791X.2020.1777360), was recently awarded the Grant Award, an award given annually by the Engineering Economy Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).“With all the changes in engineering education, like flipped classrooms or problem-based learning, it’s especially important to have an unbiased, targeted assessment tool to make sure students are learning important core concepts,” said Bursic. “The Engineering Economy Concept Inventory I have developed can help instructors understand whether the pedagogical changes they make to their course have been effective.”Bursic teaches the Engineering Economics Analysis course at Pitt, a course that introduces engineering undergrads to concepts like cost estimation, interest rate calculations, depreciation, and economic equivalence concepts.“These skills are critical for the effective application of engineering skills in the real world,” said Bursic. “While decision makers are often confident in the technical solutions that engineers provide, they almost always will ask whether benefits outweigh costs or which of several alternatives is least costly.”The Grant Award, named for Eugene L. Grant, is awarded for the best paper published in The Engineering Economist. Grant was a professor of economics of engineering at Stanford University whose primary objective, both in the several textbooks he penned and his classroom lectures, was to help students develop practical skills for solving real world problems.Papers considered for the Grant Award are evaluated on originality, importance of the problem they address, logic and clarity, and adequacy of the proposed solution. The Award includes a cash prize of $1000.Bursic will receive the Award at the ASEE conference in Long Beach, Calif. on July 28, 2021.