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 Spring 2018 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.



Glass with switchable opacity could improve solar cells and LEDs

Electrical & Computer, Industrial

News release from The Optical Society WASHINGTON (December 11, 2017) ... Using nanoscale grass-like structures, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have created glass that lets through a large amount of light while appearing hazy. This is the first time that glass has been made with such high levels of haze and light transmittance at the same time, a combination of properties that could help boost the performance of solar cells and LEDs. The glass exhibits another remarkable quality: It can be switched from hazy to clear by applying water. This could make it useful for creating smart windows that change haze or opacity to control the privacy of a room or to block glare from sunlight. "Switchable glass available today is quite expensive because it uses transparent conducting layers to apply a voltage across the entire glass," said Paul W. Leu of the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, leader of the research team. "Our glass would be potentially less expensive to make because its opacity can be switched in a matter of seconds by simply applying or removing liquid." In Optica, The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, the researchers describe their new nanograss-based glass, which achieves a record 95 percent light transmittance and a similarly high degree of haze at the same time. The researchers experimented with glass etched with nanograss structures from 0.8 to 8.5 microns in height with "blades" each measuring a few hundred nanometers in diameter. The discovery of switchability was one of serendipity. "I was cleaning the new nanograss glass when I discovered that cleaning it with water made the glass become clear," said project lead, graduate student Sajad Haghanifar. While the discovery was incidental, it can be easily explained. "The water goes between the extremely hydrophilic nanostructures, making the nanograss glass act like a flat substrate. Because water has a very similar index of refraction to the glass, the light goes straight through it. When the water is removed, the light hits the scattering nanostructures, making the glass appear hazy." Using nanograss to improve solar cells Leu's group developed the new glass to improve the ability of solar cells to capture light and turn it into power. Nanostructure patterns can prevent light from reflecting off the solar cell's surface. These structures also scatter the light that enters the glass, helping more of the light reach the semiconductor material within the solar cell, where it is converted into power. The new glass uses a unique pattern of nanostructures that looks much like grass. Because the structures are taller than previously-used nanostructures, they increase the likelihood that light will be scattered. Although glass with the nanostructures appears opaque, tests showed that most of the scattered light makes its way through the glass. The fact that the glass is highly hazy and exhibits high transmittance could also make it useful for LEDs, which work in a way that is essentially the opposite of a solar cell, by using electricity that enters a semiconductor to produce light that is then emitted from the device. The new glass could potentially increase the amount of light that makes it from the semiconductor into the surroundings. Finding the right 'grass' height The researchers found that shorter nanograss improved the antireflection properties of the glass while longer nanograss tended to increase the haze. Glass with 4.5-micron-high nanograss showed a nice balance of 95.6 percent transmittance and 96.2 percent haze for light with a 550-nanometer wavelength (yellow light, a component of sunlight). Although more work is needed to estimate the exact cost of manufacturing the new glass, the researchers predict that their glass will be inexpensive because it is easy to make. The nanostructures are etched into the glass using a process known as reactive ion etching, a scalable and straightforward method commonly used to make printed circuit boards. To turn the glass into a smart window that switches from hazy to clear, it would require placing a piece of traditional glass over the nanograss glass. Pumps could be used to flow liquid into the space between the two glasses, and a fan or pump could be used to remove the water. The researchers also showed that in addition to water, applying acetone and toluene can also switch the glass from hazy to clear. "We are now conducting durability tests on the new nanograss glass and are evaluating its self-cleaning properties," said Haghanifar. "Self-cleaning glass is very useful because it prevents the need for robotic or manual removal of dust and debris that would reduce the efficiency of solar panels, whether the panels are on your house or on a Mars rover." ### Photo above: New glass etched with nanograss structures can be switched from hazy to clear by applying water. As shown here, removing the water from the glass makes it appear hazy again. This switchable glass could offer a simple and inexpensive way to make smart windows that change between clear and opaque. (Credit: Sajad Haghanifar, University of Pittsburgh) Paper: S. Haghanifar, T. Gao, R. T. Rodriguez de Vecchis, B. Pafcheck, T. D. B. Jacobs, P. W. Leu, "Ultrahigh Transparency, Ultrahigh Haze Nanograss Glass with Fluid-Induced Switchable Haze," Optica, Volume 4, Issue 12, 1522-1525 (2017). DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.4.001522. About OpticaOptica is an open-access, online-only journal dedicated to the rapid dissemination of high-impact peer-reviewed research across the entire spectrum of optics and photonics. Published monthly by The Optical Society (OSA), Optica provides a forum for pioneering research to be swiftly accessed by the international community, whether that research is theoretical or experimental, fundamental or applied. Optica maintains a distinguished editorial board of more than 50 associate editors from around the world and is overseen by Editor-in-Chief Alex Gaeta, Columbia University, USA. For more information, visit Optica. About The Optical Society Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit osa.org.
Rebecca B. Andersen, The Optical Society

Pitt IE and Children's Hospital Team Up to Reduce Wait Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Reports


The last thing a parent with a sick or injured child wants to do in the hospital emergency room is wait. And continue waiting as anxiety builds.Working to limit that scenario, Children’s  Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has teamed up with industrial engineers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering to develop ways to reduce emergency-department wait times. The team has developed wait-time indicators, which update every 3 minutes, and show length of time before the next treatment room is available. Those times also are posted on the hospital website. At 4:30 p.m. on a recent afternoon, for example, the monitor showed that the next room would be available in 15 to 25 minutes, with a general range of 0 to 50 minutes. Read David Templeton's full article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
David Templeton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

IE Tenure Faculty

Industrial, Open Positions

The Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for one or more tenure-track faculty positions. Candidates at all levels will be considered, subject to appropriate qualifications. Applicants must have strong methodological training in one or more traditional areas of industrial engineering and be motivated by impactful engineering problems in areas such as operations, supply chains, healthcare, energy and manufacturing. We are particularly interested in candidates who have the ability to conduct cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research in fields such as data analytics, machine learning, cybermanufacturing and cyberphysical systems. For junior candidates, our primary search criterion is research potential. Senior candidates must have established an outstanding research record commensurate with rank. All candidates should have evidence of, or potential for, teaching excellence. Candidates from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.The Department of Industrial Engineering is currently comprised of 19 full-time faculty members and enjoys an outstanding reputation in a wide variety of research areas. The department maintains vibrant programs at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels, offers excellent laboratory facilities, and benefits from many contacts with regional and national corporations. Additional information about the department can be found at www.engineering.pitt.edu/industrial.Applicants should e-mail a curriculumvitae, representative publications, and a list of at least three professional references to facultysearch2017@ie.pitt.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Pitt and UPMC Researchers Collaborate to Save More Organs for Transplants


PITTSBURGH (October 26, 2017) … Each year, the United States suffers an extreme shortage of organ donations, with only a quarter of patients in need receiving a transplant. Many transplantable organs are lost when a donor’s heart fails, and the organs stop receiving vital blood flow. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh can potentially double the amount of successful organ donations by developing a novel stent to maintain blood flow to organs, even during the donor’s final heart beats.The National Institutes of Health awarded a four-year, $1.3 million R01 grant to a University of Pittsburgh research collaboration between the Department of Surgery and the Department of Industrial Engineering. The study titled “An Organ Perfusion Stent as an Alternative to Surgery in Donor Organ Recovery” will develop a dual chamber organ perfusion stent made of smart material to direct selective blood flow during transplant surgeries. Leading the study are Principal Investigators Bryan W. Tillman, assistant professor in the Division of Vascular Surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC); Youngjae Chun, associate professor of industrial engineering and bioengineering; and Sung Kwon Cho, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. The stent will isolate visceral arteries—which supply blood to many major organs—without disturbing the heart. To make the stent, the research team will use a superelastic material with a flexible shape memory effect called nitinol, or nickel titanium.“The shape memory behavior of nitinol is critical for endovascular devices such as stents, filters, and occluders, because at low temperatures, nitinol can easily be collapsed, inserted into a catheter, and delivered into the body,” said Dr. Chun. “Once inside, the body heat will change nitinol’s properties to be superplastic without any actuation force, which is really beneficial for a wide-range of catheter-based procedures.” Venous dual chamber organ perfusion stent prototype. Note: somematerials in the design were purchased from Cook Medical The organ perfusion stent can be inserted by a clinician into the femoral artery after the delivery of a guide wire and a catheter. This small puncture or “needlestick” method allows clinicians to maintain selective blood flow to certain organs without disrupting others’ natural functioning. The much larger organ stent in its compressed state can be delivered to the desired organ and deployed.  “We can target the kidneys, pancreas, and liver,” said Dr. Chun. “Transplants involving any major organs connected to the main aorta will be able to benefit from this new technology.”Other collaborators include William C. Clark, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt; Ryan Dzadony, associate director of the UPMC School of Perfusion; Anthony J. Demetris, Starzl Professor of Liver and Transplant Pathology at UPMC; and Amit Tevar, associate professor of surgery at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Visiting Scholar Sanjeev Goyal Wraps up Yearlong Collaboration with Pitt and American Red Cross


PITTSBURGH (October 25, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh hosted Sanjeev Goyal, assistant professor at the YMCA University of Science and Technology in Faridabad, India, as a postdoctoral scholar focusing on the use of predictive models in disaster response. Dr. Goyal has been working under the supervision of Louis Luangkesorn, assistant professor of industrial engineering at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, to predict the demands for food and shelter services following major floods.“In the early days of a disaster, the deployment of state and national resources into the disaster area is often delayed pending a request for resources from local agencies,” said Dr. Goyal. “The delay can be lengthened because local personnel are conducting first response operations. However, it may be possible to initiate movement of resources into an affected region if an estimate of the needs can be made, then direct specific resources as local agencies make specific requests when preliminary assessments are completed. Predictive models promise to provide these types of estimates.” To develop a predictive model, Dr. Goyal and Dr. Luangkesorn are using demographic, physical, and historical data that is readily available outside of the disaster area on the first day of a disaster. Demographic data is represented by the Social Vulnerability Index maintained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical damage impacts are represented by the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service historical and current flood gauge data. Historical data is available from American Red Cross damage assessment and feeding and sheltering operations from past major floods. The model seeks to predict the damage to residences and the resulting needs for food and shelter. This prediction can then be used to initiate the assignment of supplies, personnel, logistics, and financial resources to disaster relief. Efforts can be refined as more information is available. Initial results of the model have been used to inform response to floods in summer 2017 in the United States. Further work is intended to prepare the model for use by disaster response agencies in making initial resource requirement estimates in areas impacted by flooding rivers.  Dr. Goyal received support from a University Grants Commission of India for the one-year fellowship, which began October 2016. The work was done with the advice and assistance of Mr. Michael Whitehead, government operations manager at American Red Cross. ###
Louis Luangkesorn, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering

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