Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Join With Us In Celebrating Our 2020 Graduating Class! 

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Welcome

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. 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.

Click here to view the Summer 2020 (2207) term schedule.

Click here for the upcoming Fall (2211) term undergraduate schedule. Click here for the graduate schedule.




May
13
2020

Pitt Researchers Create Durable, Washable Textile Coating That Can Repel Viruses

Covid-19, Industrial

PITTSBURGH (May 13, 2020) — Masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are essential for protecting healthcare workers. However, the textiles and materials used in such items can absorb and carry viruses and bacteria, inadvertently spreading the disease the wearer sought to contain. When the coronavirus spread amongst healthcare professionals and left PPE in short supply, finding a way to provide better protection while allowing for the safe reuse of these items became paramount. Research from the LAMP Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering may have a solution. The lab has created a textile coating that can not only repel liquids like blood and saliva but can also prevent viruses from adhering to the surface. The work was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. “Recently there’s been focus on blood-repellent surfaces, and we were interested in achieving this with mechanical durability,” said Anthony Galante, PhD student in industrial engineering at Pitt and lead author of the paper. “We want to push the boundary on what is possible with these types of surfaces, and especially given the current pandemic, we knew it’d be important to test against viruses.” What makes the coating unique is its ability to withstand ultrasonic washing, scrubbing and scraping. With other similar coatings currently in use, washing or rubbing the surface of the textile will reduce or eliminate its repellent abilities. “The durability is very important because there are other surface treatments out there, but they’re limited to disposable textiles. You can only use a gown or mask once before disposing of it,” said Paul Leu, co-author and associate professor of industrial engineering, who leads the LAMP Lab. “Given the PPE shortage, there is a need for coatings that can be applied to reusable medical textiles that can be properly washed and sanitized.” Galante put the new coating to the test, running it through tens of ultrasonic washes, applying thousands of rotations with a scrubbing pad (not unlike what might be used to scour pots and pans), and even scraping it with a sharp razor blade. After each test, the coating remained just as effective. The researchers worked with the Charles T. Campbell Microbiology Laboratory’s Research Director Eric Romanowski and Director of Basic Research Robert Shanks, in the Department of Ophthalmology at Pitt, to test the coating against a strain of adenovirus. “As this fabric was already shown to repel blood, protein and bacteria, the logical next step was to determine whether it repels viruses. We chose human adenovirus types 4 and 7, as these are causes of acute respiratory disease as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye),” said Romanowski. “It was hoped that the fabric would repel these viruses similar to how it repels proteins, which these viruses essentially are: proteins with nucleic acid inside. As it turned out, the adenoviruses were repelled in a similar way as proteins.” The coating may have broad applications in healthcare: everything from hospital gowns to waiting room chairs could benefit from the ability to repel viruses, particularly ones as easily spread as adenoviruses. “Adenovirus can be inadvertently picked up in hospital waiting rooms and from contaminated surfaces in general. It is rapidly spread in schools and homes and has an enormous impact on quality of life—keeping kids out of school and parents out of work,” said Shanks. “This coating on waiting room furniture, for example, could be a major step towards reducing this problem.” The next step for the researchers will be to test the effectiveness against betacoronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19. “If the treated fabric would repel betacornonaviruses, and in particular SARS-CoV-2, this could have a huge impact for healthcare workers and even the general public if PPE, scrubs, or even clothing could be made from protein, blood-, bacteria-, and virus-repelling fabrics,” said Romanowski. At the moment, the coating is applied using drop casting, a method that saturates the material with a solution from a syringe and applies a heat treatment to increase stability. But the researchers believe the process can use a spraying or dipping method to accommodate larger pieces of material, like gowns, and can eventually be scaled up for production. The paper, “Superhemophobic and Antivirofouling Coating for Mechanically Durable and Wash-Stable Medical Textiles” (DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b23058), was co-authored by Anthony Galante, Sajad Haghanifar, Eric Romanowski, Robert Shanks and Paul Leu.
Maggie Pavlick
May
13
2020

Industrial Engineering Professor Wins Outstanding Young Investigator Award in Manufacturing and Design

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (May 13, 2020) — The Manufacturing & Design (M&D) Division  at the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) has selected Mostafa Bedewy, PhD, as winner of the 2020 M&D Outstanding Young Investigator Award. Bedewy is assistant professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. The award recognizes outstanding early-career M&D Division members, who have made “high impact scientific contributions to the manufacturing and design field as evidenced by their research endeavors including publications, intellectual property and other funding and dissemination activities.” “Mostafa is an outstanding researcher and teacher and has contributed to a range of modern manufacturing methods,” said Jayant Rajgopal, PhD, professor of industrial engineering at Pitt and IISE Fellow, who nominated Bedewy for this award. “As the junior most member of our department’s outstanding manufacturing group, he is well on his way to becoming a star in his own right. He is already recognized around the country by his peers, and this award is a validation of this recognition.” Bedewy leads the NanoProduct Lab at Pitt, which focuses on fundamental research at the intersection of nanoscience, biotechnology and manufacturing engineering.  The lab’s research aims to bridge the gap that currently exists between promising proof-of-concept functional nanostructures/biomaterials (in lab-scale environment) and mass-produced products (in industry). “The societal impact of nano-/biosciences sometimes hinges on our ability to develop novel manufacturing methods that transform discoveries into viable technological solutions, especially those impacting energy, healthcare, and the environment,” said Bedewy. “Hence, our work is highly interdisciplinary, and that’s why it has been published in scientific journals specialized in physical chemistry, as well as in manufacturing and process engineering.” Bedewy's research interests include nano- and micro-manufacturing; biology-assisted manufacturing; cybermanufacturing and data analytics; chemical vapor deposition (CVD); patterning/processing of biomolecules and biointerfaces; surface engineering and coating technology; bottom-up synthesis and self-assembly of nanoparticles and nanofilaments; and in situ materials characterization and metrology. He joined the Swanson School of Engineering in Fall 2016 after a postdoctoral associate position in bionanofabrication at MIT. He completed his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 2013. His work has been previously recognized by the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2018; the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in 2017; and the Robert A. Meyer Award from the American Carbon Society in 2016.
Maggie Pavlick
May
5
2020

Swanson School of Engineering Names Natasa Vidic as 2020 Outstanding Educator

Industrial, Diversity, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs

PITTSBURGH (May 5, 2020) — The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering recognized Natasa Vidic, PhD, assistant professor of industrial engineering, with the 2020 Outstanding Educator Award. This competitive award recognizes her excellence in teaching and innovative work in improving learning methodologies for undergraduate students. The award includes a $2,000 grant to further enhance the recipient’s teaching. Vidic received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and hired as a Visiting Professor immediately after. She joined the Department of Industrial Engineering as an assistant professor in 2010. Since then, she has taught over 3,500 engineering students and frequently has more than 200 students per semester. “Natasa has worked tirelessly as a valued member of the Undergraduate Committee to make sure our students receive the best possible learning experience,” said Bopaya Bidanda, PhD, Ernest E. Roth Professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering. “She is always working towards improve her courses each year both in content and technique, and has led the effort to review core course content in the entire curriculum to ensure that there is no duplication, and that technical material is integrated in a logical progression.” In addition to her course load and committee work, Vidic has spent the past decade researching engineering education, where she focuses on improving engineering students’ learning strategies through models and modeling. “This award reaffirms my past efforts to improve student learning outcomes,” said Vidic. “It inspires me to work even harder to make sure that we continue to offer outstanding education to our students and help them reach their potential.” Vidic was one of the first faculty members in the Swanson School to “flip” her class, a teaching method that presents the lecture content online for students to watch before class, leaving class time for discussing and applying the material. “Since the very first course I took from Dr. Vidic, I admired her ability to engage a classroom.  Even in a setting of over eighty students, you never felt as though you were just sitting through another hour and a half lecture,” said Sean Callaghan, who graduated with his BS in industrial engineering in 2019. “Most of the time, you were having a conversation with either a small group or the entire room and talking through the complex theories and problems that Dr. Vidic had just presented that day.” Vidic’s open-door policy has solidified her role as a mentor and advisor to a growing number of undergraduates. Among them is senior industrial engineering student Jacob Richards, who said, “I fervently believe that there is no faculty member like her, that she is one of those special cases that mean so much to people like me and that without her, I would not be where I am today.” The Outstanding Educator Award is usually presented in person at a meeting for faculty; however, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the award was announced by U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering James R. Martin II in his address to the graduating industrial engineering class. “Improving the way we teach and serve students is a goal toward which we strive, and Natasa has been a tremendous role model in that respect,” said Martin. “The Swanson School is proud to have her among our faculty as she emboldens the next generation of the engineers to solve the toughest problems and advance the human condition.”
Maggie Pavlick
Apr
17
2020

IE Senior Samy Helmbacher Earns Second All-ACC Academic Recognition

Industrial, Student Profiles, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs

Originally posted at Pitt Athletics. PITTSBURGH (April 17, 2020) ... Three members of the University of Pittsburgh swimming & diving team were selected to the 2020 All-ACC Academic Team. Pitt senior swimmer Samy Helmbacher earned his second All-ACC Academic recognition, while senior swimmer Eben Vorster and sophomore diver Serena Buchwald were both first-time honorees. "We are extremely proud of these three tremendous student-athletes," said Pitt head coach John Hargis. "This recognition highlights the continued level of accomplishment for each of these athletes as well as our entire program – both in the pool and in the classroom. They are the true definition of the Pitt student-athlete." The ACC has now named 13 Pitt swimmers or divers as worthy of All-ACC Academic Team honors during Coach Hargis' four seasons at the helm of the program. Helmbacher becomes the fourth member of the Pitt swimming & diving program to earn multiple All-ACC Academic Team recognitions since the Panthers joined the conference in 2013-14, following in the footsteps of Kinga Cichowska, Zach Lierley and Meme Sharp. The graduating senior from Rosheim, France, finished his Pitt career as one of the most decorated swimmers in program history. Along with his two All-ACC Academic honors, the individual-medley standout qualified for several ACC championship finals during his four-year collegiate career, earned an ACC medal and qualified for the NCAA Championships – all while studying industrial engineering. The holder of three Pitt records, Helmbacher is also a three-time domestic national champion in his native France and represented his homeland at the 2019 World University Games last summer in Italy. A fellow men's swimming senior, Vorster received his first selection to the All-ACC Academic Team. A film and media studies major, Vorster has been a four-year star for the Panthers in the pool and finished his Pitt career by setting the program record in the 200-yard freestyle and earning his first appearance in an ACC championship final when he qualified for the top heat in the 400-yard individual medley. The Bloemfontein, South Africa native won a domestic national title in his homeland last year and represented South Africa at the World University Games and the World Championships in South Korea. For Buchwald, her first All-ACC Academic Team selection comes after she was named an All-American for this season by the CSCAA in platform diving. Buchwald scored in multiple events at her first ACC Championships, then qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time after a great performance on platform at the NCAA Zone Diving Meet. The sophomore diver from Winnipeg, Canada, is enrolled in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Apr
15
2020

Peering Into Undergraduate Research at Pitt: Swanson School of Engineering Publishes Sixth Edition of Ingenium

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

PITTSBURGH (April 15, 2020) … Demonstrating the diverse and exceptional undergraduate research in the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, Associate Dean for Research David A. Vorp recently released the sixth edition of Ingenium. This edition features a collection of 26 articles that highlight work performed throughout the 2019-20 academic year and during the school’s 2019 summer research program. Ingenium mirrors the peer-review process of scientific journals by inviting undergraduate researchers to submit manuscripts to a board of graduate students. The review board provides feedback to which the undergraduates are required to respond before their work is accepted. The co-editors-in-chief for this edition were Monica Liu, a bioengineering graduate student, and Jianan Jian, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student. “I think Ingenium is a great experience for undergraduates,” said Liu. “They have been diligently working on research all year, and Ingenium is a great way for them to present it to a larger audience and get experience writing a scientific paper.” While the publication is designed to help prepare undergraduates, members of the graduate review board also benefit from a different point of view in the academic writing process. “Graduate students spend so much time writing about their research and incorporating feedback,” said Liu. “Ingenium is a great way to experience the other side of things -- taking the time to review others' work gives us a broader perspective when we review our own work.” Ingenium features research from each department in the Swanson School and is divided into five categories: experimental research, computational research, device design, methods, and review. The publication is sponsored by the school’s Office of Research. “With each year and with each edition of Ingenium, we continue to see notable and impressive academic and professional growth and development in our undergraduate students when given opportunities to engage in scientific research,” said Vorp. “We witness students taking the knowledge, skills, and information that they learn in their coursework and apply it in a meaningful and intentional manner outside of the classroom. These thriving students are our future -- of both our highly accredited institution and our world.” ###

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