Current and recent projects

Healthcare systems engineering

ISE has a long tradition and excellent track record in healthcare system engineering research and teaching. Over the years, the faculty members and students have successfully completed many projects with many healthcare institutions, such as, Henry Ford Health Systems, Detroit Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and dealt with such diverse topics as surgery operations, scheduling and supply chain management. 

Proposed member site for NSF Center for e-Design

The mission of the center is to serve as a nationally recognized center of excellence in design where innovation and creativity are integrated with fundamental principles of science, mathematics and engineering in the development, testing and implementation of new methods and technologies for the design of products and systems in reduced time to market, at high quality, and with reduced costs. This new design paradigm envisions products and systems that are conceived and produced with the full participation of all key stakeholders including: designers, manufacturers, engineers, OEMs, and consumers. Wayne State’s proposed Center for e-Design is led by Dr. Kyoung-yun Kim. 

Value-added decision making for managers

This is the title of a book authored by Kenneth Chelst, Ph.D., Wayne State University and Yavuz Burak Canbolat, Ph.D., Abbott Laboratories. This book was developed out of a course in decision and risk analysis that has been delivered to hundreds of experienced technical managers over the last 17 years. The primary thesis of the book is that there is more to decision making than just picking the best alternative. A structured approach clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of the best alternatives and enables the decision maker to develop a plan for improving on the best by adding value and/or reducing risk. View more information on Value Added Decision Making, including links to full chapters.


Project MINDSET is a $3 million NSF-funded project designed to develop, implement and evaluate a two-semester course for high school seniors based on the mathematics of operations research and industrial engineering. The three partner universities are North Carolina State University (Robert Young, Karen Keene and Karen Norwood),Wayne State University (Kenneth Chelst and Thomas Edwards) and University of  North Carolina-Charlotte (David Pugalee). The course is designed to address well-documented performance gaps and motivational issues in high school mathematics in the United States. View a full report on Project MINDSET.

Robust design tools and integrated product development

The project Robust Design Tools and Integrated Product Development is a $415,000 Siemens funded project that covers many important research topics and operating strategies related to the high value, high cost and complex product development process faced by Siemens Energy Inc. Siemens Energy Inc is a top developer and producer of power generation equipments, such as gas turbines. Gas turbine is similar to aircraft engine; it is among the most complex industrial product that works in extreme load and extreme high temperature. The product development process is feature by complex system interfaces, strict and complex requirements on material, fabrication accuracy and extreme thermodynamic loads, as well as very high reliability and durability requirements. View a full report on the Siemens-funded Robust Design and Integrated PD project.

Human factors engineering and ATO experimentation

This project is aimed at supporting TARDEC’s IGS division and its Army Technology Objectives (ATOs) with state of the art human factors research, development and integration. Specifically, this research developed an ergonomic application of the popular decision-making framework, the Analytic Hierarchy Process, in the context of an input-device selection decision.  The literature is reviewed with respect to the use of the Analytic Hierarchy Process in human factors and systems engineering contexts.  A case-study example is provided demonstrating the use of the Analytic Hierarchy Process methodology in the systems engineering task of selecting among commercial-of-the-shelf alternatives, taking into account human factors engineering considerations.  The strengths and weaknesses of the methodology are discussed, with conclusions for the applicability of the method for human-centered systems development. View a full report on this human factors engineering research project.

Augmented reality-enhanced human-robot interaction for UGV operations

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) provide a technical means to increase soldier stand-off from dangerous tasks such as mine field clearing, explosive ordnance disposal, surveillance and vehicle inspection. Research on human robot interaction has grown commensurately with the increase in prevalence and applications of robotic technology. The objective of this proposed research is to design and develop augmented reality technologies aimed at simplifying the human robot interface. Improvements in the human-robot interface, like those relying on recent advances in Augmented Reality (AR), will enable better mission performance and better skill transfer from platform to platform. View a full report on this research project.


Telerehabilitation (TR) is a rehabilitation environment, in which the use of telecommunications technology provides rehabilitation and long-term support to people with disabilities in geographically-remote regions. Current wheelchair selection and evaluation processes are based on in-person assessment often not available to patients in under served or rural areas due to lack of expertise by clinicians in wheeled mobility and seating (WMS) interventions. To improve current rehabilitation processes, technologists and clinicians have investigated the use of advanced telecommunications and information technologies as a way of bridging the geographic distance between individuals with specialized medical needs living in remote areas and the source of specialty care. View a full report on this NDIRR-funded Telerehabilitation project.

Supply chain logistics efficiency

Developing dynamic routing algorithms for JIT milk-run deliveries in congested stochastic time-dependent transportation networks is the subject of a series of our projects from 2006-2010 funded by DoT and MDOT through the MI-OH UTC. The motivation for this work comes from the needs of our automotive and other non-automotive companies in South-East Michigan. We have developed a number of dynamic routing algorithms over the years that exploit real-time traffic information available from Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) sources such as Using historical ITS data, the models explicitly characterize recurrent congestion state-transition dynamics of each network arc using time-dependent Markov chains. View a full report on this supply chain efficiency project.

Digital diffusion

A central problem faced by today’s management is how best to diffuse new ideas, processes and technologies across a global enterprise given the dynamic, emergent, and elusive character of its communication networks. A critical factor in organizational competitiveness has become the speed at which innovations can be implemented.  While fostering good ideas and producing innovation is central to business success, the speed of execution in today’s organizations has become the differentiating factor that provides competitive advantage and is far from assured, as the Gartner Group has observed.  Researchers in information systems in particular, have begun to recognize the importance of better alignment between information technology infrastructure and business systems.  IT professionals are also recognizing the utility of diffusion of innovation theory to study implementation problems. View a full report on the NSF-funded digital diffusion dashboard project.