GE Energy Team Wins First Place in 2012 Spring Senior Design Competition

May 8, 2012 | Atlanta, GA

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  • GE Energy Team

  • Railcar Management, Inc. Team

  • Saia, Inc. Team

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
404.385.3102

 

Out of twenty-four teams of undergraduate students in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), the GE Energy team has been selected to receive the coveted first place award in the Spring 2012 Senior Design Competition.  Guided by faculty advisor Donna C. Llewellyn, students Jacmara Katheryn Ching Sanchez, Santiago Diaz Kieffer, Antonio Elosua Cantu, Oscar Andres Harasic-Yaksic, Yonatan Dov Mintz, and Mario Solares Nassarwere were chosen for their project “Wind Turbine Offloading Optimization Strategy.” 

GE Energy is a leader in the alternative energy field, installing over 16,000 wind turbines since 2002. For their project, The GE Energy team created tools to forecast the times of arrival of components to wind sites and optimize the allocation of offloading cranes. GE Energy can expect savings of $1.9 million from the implementation of these tools.

Finalists in the competition were the two Senior Design teams who worked with Railcar Management, Inc. (RMI) and Saia, Inc.

Guided by faculty advisor Alexander Shapiro, students Lane Bourgeois, José Rodrigo Espinosa, Ashley Everett, Stephen Fausel, Brandon Hochstetler, Brenton Hochstetler, Katie Kim, and Donna Riggins made up the RMI team.  RMI provides software solutions for railroad companies, and uses RailDOCS, a software suite, that manages the testing of fixed assets along railroads.  For their project, “Schedule Optimization for Asset Inspection,” the team developed an optimization model, which provided an exact testing schedule that will minimize the number of tests performed per year.  On average, the model saved 109 labor hours per maintenance worker - an estimated revenue of $235,000 to RMI.

The Saia, Inc. team was advised by Alan Erera, and included students Mark Gurevich, Leonardo Lacayo, Courtney Lynch, Andres Pavia, Jessica Reichsfeld, Matthew Schrichte, Baris Yildirim, and Zheng Zheng. Saia, Inc. is a super-regional, less-than-truckload (LTL) company. For their project, “Determining System Trailer Fleet Size and Terminal Assignment,” the team developed an approach to optimize the composition of Saia's trailer fleet, and to assign the fleet to appropriate terminals throughout the network.  The approach relies on a large-scale integer program that models the flow of trailers of different types over time using a week-long planning horizon across Saia's network of nearly 150 terminals.  Using the model for a number of planning weeks, the approach is used to determine the right size and composition of the trailer fleet and provides a purchasing strategy given a capital budget for new trailers. It is estimated that Saia will save $1.8 million annually using the fleet proposed by the approach.

All senior students in ISyE culminate their undergraduate educational experience with the Senior Design course in order to provide firsthand experience at solving real world problems in a team environment. Students typically work in teams of six to eight individuals with 15-25 Senior Design teams running each semester. Each group is advised by an ISyE faculty member, and the faculty coordinator manages the overall course. Companies interested in submitting a project for consideration can either contact Joel Sokol, at 404 894-6484 or can post a project through the ISyE webpage at http://www.isye.gatech.edu/seniordesign/. Senior design teams look for projects before the start of the fall and spring semesters.

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