ESE Senior Design Team Receives INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research Prize

The 2013 Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE) Senior Design team consisting of Sam Lim, Fred Abiprabowo, Palm Harinsuit and Willis Zhang is the recipient of the 2013 INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research Prize presented by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).  Their paper entitled, “Designing a Simulation Tool for Commercial Cross-Docking Application” was selected by INFORMS to be presented by the team at the 2013 INFORMS Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research Prize Competition is held each year to honor a student or group of students who conducted a significant applied project in operations research or management science, and/or original and important theoretical or applied research in operations research or management science, while enrolled as an undergraduate student.  Peter Hahn, Adjunct Associate Professor in ESE, and Monique Guignard, Professor of Operations and Information Management in The Wharton School, advised the students.

For their project, the team developed a discrete-event simulation model, using ExtendSim© software to dynamically replicate the operations of a large cross docking facility. Working closely with a large multinational transportation company, they constructed a prototype model to determine the impact of resource assignments on the cost of shipping per inbound container. Their simulation model depicts the operational processes executed at a fully operating cross dock and tracks important metrics, including facility throughput, total cost, resource utilization and idle time. They validated the accuracy of their model by comparing model performance measures against actual historical data provided by the company.  The prototype simulation model serves as a tool that enables cross-dock operators to evaluate assignment strategies in a risk-free, costless environment.

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is the largest professional society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics. Information on the 2013 Annual Meeting can be found here.

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