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  • Posted by Jiaqi Wu /
  • September 08, 2014

Seminar: “On the Road to Ubiquitous OR Town” 

Leon McGinnis, Professor Emeritus
Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Georgia Institute of Technology

Thursday, September 11, 2014
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Brickyard (BYENG) 210 [mapLeon McGinnis Seminar]

Today, finding a new restaurant or the home of a new friend is as easy as entering an address into your phone, and accessing a shortest path algorithm that uses a network model based on the latest roadmap, and it doesn’t matter if the destination is across town or across the country. What if we could make it almost that easy to analyze production requirements to determine batch sizes and release schedules? Or perform Factory Physics calculations to determine WIP levels? Or simulate alternative warehouse or factory configurations? These kinds of innovations would bring sophisticated OR analyses to operational and strategic decision makers across the spectrum of enterprise scale, but they would require us to put sophisticated OR applications “in a box” with standard interfaces. What research and development would be required to enable such an innovation?

This talk will describe the journey of the Keck Virtual Factory Lab researchers, from the ambition of ubiquitous OR to brink of realistic demonstration. It will describe our encounters with computer science and software engineering, with knowledge management, and perhaps most interesting, with the (self-imposed) limitations of the most frequently used OR tool. With any luck, we’ll have a lively discussion of “what it all means” for Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Leon McGinnis has been teaching and leading research in the Stewart School for almost 40 years, where he has focused on problems of understanding, modeling, analyzing and designing discrete event logistics systems, or DELS. His teaching portfolio includes the development or major revision of courses on computational methods in OR, optimization, manufacturing enterprise, production systems, systems design, and model-based systems engineering. His research has been funded by Federal agencies, including the US Navy Sea Systems Command, DARPA, and NSF, and by companies such as Boeing, Ford, GM, GE, Lockheed, and United Technologies. He has held leadership positions at Georgia Tech in multi- disciplinary and industry-supported academic programs as well as multi-disciplinary research centers. He has mentored 29 PhD students, many of whom have achieved leadership positions in academia and industry, and his work has been recognized with the David F. Baker Outstanding Research Award and the Fellow Award from IIE.

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