Pitt | Swanson Engineering


Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices - it is the engineering discipline that offers the most wide-ranging array of opportunities in terms of employment, and it is distinguished by its flexibility. While other engineering disciplines tend to apply skills to very specific areas, Industrial Engineers may be found working everywhere: from traditional manufacturing companies to airlines, from distribution companies to financial institutions, from major medical establishments to consulting companies, from high-tech corporations to companies in the food industry.

View our Summer 2017 course schedule for undergraduate and graduate students.

The BS in industrial engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (http://www.abet.org). To learn more about Industrial Engineering’s Undergraduate Program ABET Accreditation, click here

Our department is the proud home of Pitt's Center for Industry Studies, which supports multidisciplinary research that links scholars to some of the most important and challenging problems faced by modern industry.


Pitt IE Professor Lisa Maillart Awarded Fulbright Scholarship to the Netherlands


PITTSBURGH, PA (March 28, 2017) … Lisa Maillart, associate professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, was named a Fulbright Scholar to Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands. Through her Fulbright award, Dr. Maillart will collaborate with researchers at TU/e on multiple projects related to maintenance optimization in healthcare, and she will teach a graduate course on Markov Decision Processes (MDPs). Dr. Maillart’s focus in applied probability as well as MDPs and Partially Observable MDPs (POMDPs) influences her research in maintenance optimization, healthcare operations and medical decision-making. “Dr. Maillart’s expertise on MDPs and in particular POMDPs will be a great benefit for us,” said Geert-Jan van Houtum, professor of maintenance, reliability and quality at TU/e. “We aim to work together on multiple joint papers, and the ambition will be to get them published in top journals in our field. With Dr. Maillart in our team, we will increase our possibilities to realize such top publications.” Dr. Maillart’s research at TU/e will be heavily driven by data supplied by the multinational Dutch electronics corporation Philips, which has a research facility headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She will collaborate with personnel from Philips Research and the faculty and students of Eindhoven University to gain a better understanding of smart maintenance approaches for healthcare systems and personalized health. Many healthcare settings require sequential decision making to manage systems that deteriorate randomly over time—for example, large-scale medical equipment or a chronically ill individual. Dr. Maillart will examine how new types of data can be analyzed to improve the decision making process for these complex problems. The new course on Markov Decision Processes will potentially expand into a permanent course at TU/e. Dr. Maillart will be instrumental in helping the faculty design the curriculum. She will also be involved in the supervision of PhD and master thesis research projects while visiting TU/e. About Lisa MaillartLisa Maillart is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Stochastic Modeling, Analysis and Control (SMAC) Laboratory in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the faculty at Pitt, she served on the faculty of the Department of Operations in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She received her MS and BS in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and her PhD in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. Her primary research interest is in sequential decision making under uncertainty, with applications in medical decision-making, healthcare operations, healthcare policy and maintenance optimization. She is a member of INFORMS, SMDM and IIE, and was recently named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

The Swanson School Presents Alumnus John Richter with 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Industrial Engineering


PITTSBURGH (March 22, 2017) … Collectively they are professors, researchers and authors; inventors, builders and producers; business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry pioneers. The 53rd annual Distinguished Alumni Banquet brought together honorees from each of the Swanson School of Engineering’s six departments and one overall honoree to represent the entire school. The banquet took place at the University of Pittsburgh's Alumni Hall, and Gerald D. Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering, presented the awards.This year’s recipient for the Department of Industrial Engineering was John Richter, BSIE ’75, retired, Vice President of Operation, PPG Coatings Asia.“After earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Pitt, John would embark upon a successful and global career at PPG Industries,” Dean Holder said. “Like the quintessential engineer who continually builds upon his knowledge, John started in coatings and resins, supply chain and process engineering, leading toward his jump to Valspar Highpoint Plant Manager. From there, his expertise would have an impact throughout PPG’s coatings divisions, first in the U.S. and later, around the globe at 42 plants as well as warehouses and distribution chains.”About John RichterJohn Richter graduated with his BS in industrial engineering in 1975. He became a manufacturing professional with extensive global experience in organizational structures, plant operations and supply chains, with a strong emphasis on environment, health and safety. He served as PPG Vice President, Asia Pacific Coatings Operations from 2011 to 2016. He was responsible for the supply chains and manufacturing plants for the seven coatings businesses through Asia Pacific and India.Richter became Valspar Highpoint plant manager in 1993, where he was responsible for the daily operation of a coatings manufacturing plant. In 1995 he was appointed PPG sr. engineering consultant and then PPG Springdale Plant Manager, Industrial Coatings. This plant remains the primary production site for Harley Davidson, Titleist, JEG lifts and steel and aluminum coil coatings. Richter quickly became the PPG Manufacturing Director, Industrial Coatings in Pittsburgh, PA, responsible for the seven manufacturing plants that produced industrial coatings products in North America, Europe, Australia and China. He was appointed PPG Global Operations Director, OEM Coatings in 2003, responsible for the 42 plants around the world, the warehouses that support the plants and the distribution of finished goods. ### Photo Above: Dean Holder (left) with John Richter and IE Department Chair Bopaya Bidanda.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Pitt’s Bioengineering and Industrial Engineering programs move up in 2018 U.S. News & World Report Graduate School Rankings

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 14, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has moved up one slot among engineering programs in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” which will be available on newsstands April 11. The Swanson School is tied 42nd overall among university engineering programs, and 21st among all Association of American Universities (AAU) members. Two of its programs, bioengineering and industrial engineering, made significant gains over 2017. Bioengineering jumped from 18th in the nation to 12th overall, and remains at 6th among public AAU university programs. Industrial moved from 23rd to 17th overall, and from 13th to 10th among AAU publics. Other department rankings include: Chemical engineering: 33rd overall, 18th among AAU publics Civil engineering: 60th overall, 27th among AAU publics Computer engineering: 43rd overall, 20th among AAU publics Electrical engineering: 55th overall, 26th among AAU publics Materials science: 43rd overall, 22nd among AAU publics Mechanical engineering: 57th overall, 26th among AAU publics Complete rankings and information about the process can be found online in the U.S. News Grad Compass. ###


Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards four novel biomedical devices with $77,500 total Round-2 2016 Pilot Funding

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Industrial

PITTSBURGH (January 10, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $77,500 to four research groups through its 2016 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include a new technology for treatment of diabetes, a medical device for emergency intubation, an innovative method for bone regeneration, and a novel approach for implementing vascular bypass grafts. CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. CMI leadership evaluates proposals based on scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. “This is our fifth year of pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round’s awardees,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC’s clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School’s engineering faculty.” AWARD 1: Intrapancreatic Lipid Nanoparticles to Treat DiabetesAward for further development and testing of use of lipid nanoparticle technology for the induction of α-to-β-cell transdifferentiation to treat diabetes. George Gittes, MDDepartment of Surgery University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Kathryn Whitehead, PhDDepartment of Chemical Engineering Carnegie Mellon University (Secondary appointment at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine) AWARD 2: The Esophocclude - Medical Device for temporary occlusion of the esophagus in patients requiring emergent intubationContinuation award for further refinement of the Esophocclude Medical Device using human cadaver testing to simulate emergency intubation.Philip Carullo, MDResident, PGY-1 Department of Anesthesiology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Youngjae Chun, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Industrial Engineering Department of Bioengineering (Secondary) University of Pittsburgh AWARD 3: RegenMatrix - Collagen-mimetic Bioactive Hydrogels for Bone RegenerationContinuation award for fully automating the hydrogel fabrication process, for animal studies and for fine-tuning related innovations. Shilpa Sant, PhDAssistant Professor Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh Akhil Patel, MS Graduate Student Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Pittsburgh Yadong Wang, PhD Professor Department of Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh Sachin Velankar, PhDAssociate Professor Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pittsburgh Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD Associate Professor Department of Oral Biology University of Pittsburgh AWARD 4: TopoGraft 2.0 - Anti-platelet surfaces for bypass grafts and artificial hearts using topo-graphic surface actuationContinuation award for in-vivo validating of results and developing a new approach for topographic actuation of the inner lumen of synthetic bypass grafts. Sachin Velankar, PhD Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pittsburgh Luka Pocivavsak, MD, PhD Department of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Edith Tzeng, MD Department of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Robert Kormos, MD Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center About the Center for Medical Innovation The Center for Medical Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering is a collaboration among the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services. Over 50 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $900,000 since inception. ###
Author: Yash P. Mokashi, Fellow, Center for Medical Innovation

Pitt Engineering Student Teams Crowd Top Spots at 10th Annual Ergonomics Design Competition

Bioengineering, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (December 12, 2016) … Four University of Pittsburgh teams made a lasting impression at the 10th Annual Ergonomics Design Competition hosted by Auburn Engineers, Inc. by all finishing in the Top 10 and taking three spots in the top five—becoming the first school to achieve that feat in the 10 years of the competition. The top Pitt team finished in second place overall, for the second time in two years. “This is just our second year of competing, and I am so pleased with our teams’ successes in this national competition,” said Joel Haight, associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Industrial Engineering, director of the School’s Safety Engineering program and faculty advisor to the Ergonomics Design Competition teams.  The Ergonomics Design Competition began with a Preliminary Design project that challenged students to identify workplace stressors and design solutions to alleviate them. The project took place over the course of the fall semester and required students to apply ergonomic principles in a given scenario to tool design, complex workstation design, design of manufacturing cells, product handling devices, evaluation of work system and other considerations.  This year the students evaluated and compared the ergonomics of car washing at a commercial car wash, at home by the owner of the vehicle and with an “Uber” type service in which car washers travel to the customers upon request.  Students also had to complete a Final Design project, which was less complex but had strict 48-hour deadline. The teams analyzed a pizza making operation and the stressors of each position involved in the process of making pizza. Results from the Preliminary Design project and the Final Design project, along with a series of “Lightning Round” questions related to ergonomics, allowed the judges to select the Top Five teams. The finalists gave live presentations via WebEx to a panel of professional ergonomists across the country to determine the winner. (Second Place overall team. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Lauren Judge, Mikayla Ferchaw,Emily Zullo, Jonathan Kenneson and Andrew Becker) After thorough evaluation by the judges, one of the two teams from the University of Michigan slipped into first place, edging out the Pitt team, which consisted of the Department of Industrial Engineering’s (IE) Lauren Judge and Emily Zullo; Bioengineering’s (BioE) Mikayla Ferchaw and Andrew Becker; and Electrical and Computer Engineering’s (ECE) Jonathan Kenneson. As the second place finisher, the team will also serve as the alternate for presenting the results of their work at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference in Austin, TX in October 2017. Two of the Pitt teams finished in the Top Five. (Top Five finisher. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Piyusha Sane (BioE), Riddhi Gandhi (BioE), McKenzie Kallquist (IE), Geena Petrone (IE) and Kor'an Sharif (IE)) (Top Five finisher. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Jacqueline Schauble (BioE), Cagla Duzbasan (IE), Max Jablunovsky (IE) and Anthony Sciulli(IE)) The final Pitt team received an honorable mention for an overall Top 10 finish. (Top 10 finisher. Left to right: Kristyna Finikiotis (IE), Rob McCauley (IE), Dr. Haight,Sarah Masterson (IE), Emily Lain (IE) and Chris Jambor (IE)) The competition began with a total of 35 teams and ended with 28 completing all of the required tasks. In addition to the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan, participating universities included Texas A&M University, University of Utah, Auburn University, University of Buffalo and University of Puerto Rico, among others. Auburn Engineers, Inc., sponsor of the competition, is an international ergonomics consulting company based in Auburn, Alabama. ###
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

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