Areas of Focus
Twenty-four Senior Design teams from the Georgia Tech Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) completed real-world Capstone projects for the spring 2018 semester. These teams presented their projects at the Capstone Expo on April 24, 2018. At the Expo, FedEx Fleet Mix took home the ISyE Judges’ Choice award. From among the 24 teams, four teams – Cycle-Ops, FLEETCOR, Shaw Industries, and Textron were selected as finalists in the ISyE Best of Senior Design competition. Team Textron was chosen as the first-place winner.
“The spring semester Capstone design teams worked on projects with clients large and small, and across a number of industry segments, from health care to breweries. It was very difficult to select four finalist teams, and the four selected were very representative,” said Leon McGinnis, professor emeritus and Senior Design coordinator. “These teams, and the other 20 Senior Design teams, demonstrate once again the breadth of opportunity and the depth of excellence for our graduates.”
“This semester we had many outstanding teams who brought great value to their clients. ISyE should be proud of its senior undergraduates who contribute to our No. 1 ranking,” added George Nemhauser, A. Russell Chandler III Chair, Institute Professor and Senior Design coordinator.
Senior Design team Textron’s project goal was to increase the throughput of Textron’s TUG tractor manufacturing line. The team used an optimization model to rebalance the manufacturing line, verified this output in a simulation model, and synchronized the workers on the line using Lean tools. If Textron implements this design, the daily tractor throughput will increase by 50 percent. This will enable them to meet demand and capitalize on their backlog to increase yearly sales by $20 million.
“Working with this Senior Design team on improvements for our baggage tractor line was a phenomenal experience from start to finish for the whole Textron GSE team,” said Adam Martin, quality and CI manager of Textron’s TUG technologies. “The team not only worked hard on developing solutions to improve our processes but also considered change management and impact to the assembly team as part of their solution as well.
“I was incredibly impressed at the team’s dedication to ensuring each change was not only good on paper but practical for the assembly team. Their project has provided us the data and tools necessary to tackle large volume increases in the coming months. Each and every team member has a bright future ahead of them,” added Martin.
Textron team members included Lauren Boulger, Jonathan Edwards, Cal Elwer, Erin Gant, Taylor Green, Charlie Lebby, Sam Millson, and Nitin Singh. They were advised by Anderson-Interface Chair and Professor Shabbir Ahmed.
Senior Design team Cycle-Ops partnered with Relay Bike Share to reduce the number of understock events. Understock events occur when a user attempts to rent a bike but finds a station is empty. To minimize understock events, the team solved an optimization model using Python code, which was given to Relay as a decision tool. When the team’s solution is implemented, Relay will see an 84 percent reduction in understock events. As a result, Relay can make, on average, $27,300 in additional yearly revenue.
Cycle-Ops team members included Elizabeth Ball, Brianna Honeywell, Harika Kankipati, Suzanne Kastens, Ije Okafor, Heer Patel, Nicole Redder, and Kaitlin Rizk. They were advised by Professor Rentao Monteiro.
The FLEETCOR Senior Design team worked with FLEETCOR to modernize the company’s antiquated sales process of cold-calling customers. They applied data-driven industrial engineering techniques and developed an expected revenue-based lead-prioritization decision support tool employing machine learning models. The team projected the impact of their work would lead to an increase of 71 percent in new customer revenue.
FLEETCOR team members included Cameron Anderson, James Bottoms, Paul Benning Davis IV, Preston Devaney, Langdon Hollingsworth, Yu (Ryan) Hu, Alex McAuliffe, and Nyles McLean. They were advised by Professor Shijie Deng.
Senior Design team Shaw Industries partnered with the company to revamp its reverse logistics process for returns. They redistributed the work from one central facility to 29 regional distribution facilities around the country. These regional facilities equipped them with an extensive desktop application that iterates through possible return decisions and returns both the top five feasible options and the costs associated with them. By rerouting returns to be more cost-effective, as well as standardizing processes and reducing holding time, this team saved the company over $740,000 per year.
Shaw Industries team members included Talia DeBenedictis, Sarah Edwards, John Preston Green, Kara Pendley, Sean Ruff, Nick Shepherd, Katherine Sledjeski, and Jacqueline Weiland. They were advised by Professor Alexander Shapiro.
Senior Design team FedEx Fleet Mix, which took home the ISyE Judges’ Choice Award at the Capstone Expo, worked with FedEx to optimize the fleet mix of delivery trailers in order to minimize operational costs while keeping the service quality unchanged. Elements of the problem formulation included enforcing capacity constraints, ensuring service standards were upheld, and transporting cargo via rail at a reduced cost per mile rate. By thoroughly analyzing the cost-factor tradeoffs of alternative trailers and developing an optimization-based scheduling tool, the team proposed a change to the fleet mix that can be obtained by the company within the next trailer acquisition cycle. The team’s project will save the company $200,000 per week in operational costs when implemented.
FedEx Fleet Mix team members included Catherine Burns, Soheil Faghihi, Jackson Fan, Raghav Garg, Grant Herman, Ziwei Miao, and Alex Wandrick. They were advised by Professor Shijie Deng.