I am happy to report that I have been awarded my first grant! I am one of 16 young engineers and scientists across the country to receive a 2013 Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
My grant focuses on designing responsive sea-based logistic delivery systems in the presence of imperfect information. The Navy would like to operate like a commercial logistics provider (like UPS), who has information about where the packages and trucks are in their network. This tracking information is used by companies, like UPS, to better design their logistic systems such that packages are delivered on time using resources efficiently.
Because of the wear and tear of identification information that can occur during transport, the difficulty of real time transmission due to network bandwidth limitations, and the lack of scanning equipment at the receiving end, logistic decisions have to be made with imperfect visibility. In addition to operating in an opaque network, the Navy operates in a challenging environment that includes the need for increased security measures, synchronization of sea-based logistics operations with land operations, the absence of permanent infrastructure, and individual logistic transport needs.
Therefore, at the heart of my grant is:
- to build mathematical models and algorithms to quantify the impact that imperfect information has on Navy logistics, and
- to develop models that can be used to understand and design better logistic delivery systems.
For example, the models developed will be useful in answering questions like, “How should stowage, retrieval, loading and unloading of supplies be conducted during expeditionary operations to improve readiness and responsive times?”
I’m excited to begin research associated with this 3-year grant. The tremendous support I have received from friends, family, colleagues, my department, college, and university have been especially rewarding.