UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State co-sponsored the Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award competition at the conference and Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) annual spring exhibition from May 22-25.

The Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering award recognizes individuals or teams who have developed innovative techniques to improve the performance of service industries, according to the IISE website. The winners received two free conference registrations and were recognized at the event.

According to Vittaldas Prabhu, holder of the Charles and Enid Schneider Chair in Engineering of Service Companies and Director of SEE 360, the objectives of the competition are closely linked to the mission of the Penn State Service Enterprise Engineering Initiative (SEE 360). The program focuses on raising awareness and improving educational tools to improve the productivity and quality of the service sector.

“This year’s winners represent the vast opportunities across multiple service industries ranging from airlines, container supply chains and non-profit organizations,” said Prabhu. “These are truly remarkable examples of how applying the service systems approach can lead to innovative solutions that create value through improved productivity and customer service.

To participate in this competition, teams and individuals submitted PowerPoint presentations that explained the motivations, approaches, reasoning, trials and successes of their projects. The presentations were evaluated by the IISE Honors and Awards Committee, made up of industrial engineering experts from universities across the United States.

  • First place: “Prescriptive Analytics for Swapping Aircraft Assignments at All Nippon Airways” by Saravanan Venkatachalam, Wayne State University; Suresh Acharya, University of Maryland; and Kenji Oba, Juro International Systems

  • Second Place: “Innovative Value Stream Improvement to close BIG Performance Gaps with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto” by Caroline Kent, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Josh Smertz, The Poirier Group

  • Third Place: “Improving Container Train Operations and Pricing in Indian Railways” by Amit Upadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

  • Finalist: “Improving Container Rail Transportation Operations and Pricing in India” by Amanda Chu, Georgia Institute of Technology; Pinar Keskinocak, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Monica Villarreal, Denver Public Schools

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Last updated on June 04, 2021