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Jianjun “Jan” Shi, Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is the 2021 recipient of the NAMRI/SME 2021 S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award. The award honors outstanding original research presented as a paper at the annual North American Manufacturing Research Conference that, upon implementation, has had a significant commercial/societal impact.
The award committee cited the paper “Quality Prediction and Control in Rolling Processes Using Logistic Regression,” Transactions of NAMRI/SME, vol. 35. Focusing on the hot rolling process, this paper developed innovative analytics tools to build a quantitative relationship between process parameters and defects; identify key defect-producing process parameters; and formulate active quality control strategies considering quality target, control cost, and engineering constraints/feasibility.
It also led to decades-long research into data fusion for in-process quality improvement in steel mills. Many of the developed quality algorithms have been implemented in HotEye® systems by OG Technologies, Inc. of Ann Arbor, MI. Such systems are in use by over 40 steel plants worldwide, with annual results of over $100 million in cost savings; 1.2 billion KWh in energy savings; and 50,000 tons of reduced CO2 emissions.
While Shi co-authored the work with Ran Jin and Jing Li, who are now at Virginia Tech and ISyE respectively, it is Shi’s continued research in this area that is being honored. In support of Shi’s recognition, OG Technologies Chairman Terrance C. Liddy and President Tzyy-Shuh Chang noted that “this paper has made original and profound contributions to the development of inline defect reduction, prevention, and quality control methodologies for rolling processes, and has also made great impacts to industrial practices.”
The award is named for Shien-Ming Wu, who was the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology at the University of Michigan. Wu was the first researcher to apply advanced statistical techniques to manufacturing research, now known as the dynamic data system. Shi was Wu’s final Ph.D. student before Wu’s untimely death in 1992.
“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition named after my Ph.D. advisor, the late professor S. M. Wu,” said Shi. “This achievement could not be reached without the tireless efforts of my students and collaborators, and persistent support from industrial sponsors.”
Shi’s work focuses primarily on the development and application of data-enabled manufacturing. His methodologies integrate system informatics, advanced statistics, and control theory for the design and operational improvements of manufacturing and service systems by fusing engineering systems models with data science methods. The technologies developed in Shi’s research group have been widely implemented in various production systems with significant economic impacts.
The S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award is the latest in a recent spate of prestigious recognitions for Shi. His research has also been honored with the 2021 ASQ Shewhart Medal; the 2020 Best Applied Paper Award from IISE Transactions; the 2019 ASQ Brumbaugh Award; and election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018.
Shi will receive the award in a virtual ceremony on June 24, 2021.