ISyE Senior Design Team Wins Fall Capstone Expo

Dec 18, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

Out of 143 teams from seven schools and two colleges at Georgia Tech, including 23 teams from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), an ISyE Senior Design team took home the prize for best overall project. This is just the second time an ISyE team has received the top Capstone award, which comes with $3,000 in prize money.

The winning team, “Sky’s the Limit,” worked with Delta Airlines In-Flight Services (IFS). The project examined Delta’s distribution network to consolidate warehouse inventory and optimize trucking. The team evaluated how Delta stores and transports in-flight materials that get packed for flights, such as pillows and snacks. They discovered that these items were stored in a range of warehouses and were delivered by partially filled trucks. They found that reducing warehouse operational costs and increasing truck utilization would result in significant yearly savings of 17%.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ ISyE team on their Senior Design project,” said Chris Vanner, senior planner for IFS Transportation at Delta. “The amount of energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism each member of the team demonstrated was truly unsurpassed. Thanks to their hard work and meticulous attention to detail, they identified numerous opportunities to improve operational efficiencies across Delta’s IFS supply chain. Their findings, once implemented, will not only increase efficiency of our supply chain but also result in significant cost savings for Delta. I cannot thank them enough for all their hard work throughout the semester, and we’re looking forward to implementing their findings as soon as possible.”

The team members included Christine Cristobal,?Afreen Fahad,?Mack Hathaway,?Kelsey Keith,?Carolina Llerena,?Madison Messier,?Priya Sharma, and Thomas Suh. They were advised by Associate Professor Enlu Zhou.

Senior Design team “Authority Life,” which worked with the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) Authority, not only took home the Capstone prize for best ISyE project but also won the ISyE Best of Senior Design Competition.

The GWCC hosts around 300 events in Atlanta annually and is transforming their business model to a data-driven assessment of profitability on a per event basis. The Senior Design team developed and implemented three models to achieve this goal: a rooms-to-event assignment optimization model, a cost prediction model, and a profit margin classification. They also designed a web app to integrate the three models. Through this new integrated data-driven approach, GWCC Authority’s annual profits are projected to increase by about $1.1 million.

“Working with this Senior Design team was a delight. They were able to problem-solve and were tenacious enough to dig and get the information needed for their analysis out of our databases (not always the easiest task),” said Mark Koeninger, director of business intelligence and process improvement for GWCC Authority. “We had many meetings and sessions both in-person and on the phone, but our team was also able to get together for a team-building event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as well as a team lunch, and I was able to see firsthand the teamwork and camaraderie that has developed.

“As for the project’s impact to my building, it is a gamechanger. I have been tasked with putting a focus on expenses, event level P&L’s, and driving profitability. This tool is a great piece of that puzzle, as I get the company culture geared toward managing profitability and expense. With a potential savings of $1.1 million over the next year, I am excited to get the team using this to its full capability.”

The team members included Daniel Alayo-Matos, Hailun Chang, Brandon Kang, Yunsang Kim, Emily Kornegay, Peyton Skinner, Mayke Vercruyssen, and Yihua Xu. They were advised by A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Alexander Shapiro.

Senior Design team “Ocsic,” which worked with Cisco Systems, was a finalist for the ISyE Best of Senior Design Competition. The goal of their project is to maximize recovery value from returned products, achieved through three key steps: (1) introducing a new mathematical model to allocate products to channels based on expected profit; (2) consolidating inventory to facilitate its reallocation between channels; and (3) enabling e-commerce retailers as alternative remarketing channels. Implementing these would increase profit by 40% for FY19, reduce scrapped products by 12.7%, and reduce average inventory by 18.4%, and avoid sending 6,350 pounds of material from to a landfill.

The team members included Kenneth Bassett, Kyle Brown, Jayanth Chintham, Nicholas Franco, Mustafa Gharaibeh, Eleana Padilla, Seong Hwan Park, and Erik Pulido. They were advised by Director of Student Services Dawn Strickland.

Senior Design team PIVOT was also a finalist for the ISyE Best of Senior Design Competition. PIVOT manufactures carts and kiosks for food and beverage vendors. The demand for PIVOT's carts and kiosks has been increasing rapidly, but an essential resource – skilled manufacturing employees – are in short supply. To satisfy increasing demand, the team designed a production system that utilizes lower-skilled employees in the complex assembly process. The team delivered tools for training employees including assembly instructions and drawings, as well as optimization software that determines the optimal assignment and order of tasks for workers with different skills to minimize project completion time. The improvements, already implemented, doubled the throughput of the system and decreased labor costs by 16.7%.

The team members included Walid Abdi, Jacob Carlton, Sunny Chen, Renee Desprez, David Guo, Mara Hayes, Rizwan Khan, and Chloe Kim. They were advised by Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt.

As is typical for ISyE’s Senior Design teams, in addition to the projects’ individual client benefits, the projects collectively have generated impressive value.

“The impact and potential value of the Senior Design projects is very compelling,” said Dima Nazzal, ISyE director of professional practice and Senior Design coordinator. “While we have a rigorous method for identifying the ISyE competition finalists, it’s still difficult to choose the top three. This year, we’ve had several teams that took their projects into a higher level by implementing their recommendations and directly testing their impact at the client site. Collectively, the 23 ISyE teams generated more than $20 million in annual potential value for their clients. More importantly, several ISyE projects this semester created positive environmental and societal impact, such as the projects with Shepherd Center’s sustainability committee and the project with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta.”

  • Senior Design Team
    Senior Design Team "Sky's the Limit" (Client: Delta Air Lines)
  • Senior Design Team
    Senior Design Team "Authority Life" (Client: GWCC Authority)
  • Senior Design Team
    Senior Design Team "Ocsic" (Client: Cisco Systems)
  • Senior Design Team
    Senior Design Team "PIVOT" (Client:: PIVOT)

For More Information Contact: 

Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering