Awesome students win a bunch of awards

Based on their intellectual curiosity and mad modeling skills, I knew I had some pretty great students working in my research lab.  As validation, they also received a bunch of external recognition in the form of awards, scholarships, and career opportunities.

Graduate Student Researchers

Faraz Ramtin and I

Faraz Ramtin received a Graduate Fellowship and is interning at Hertz Rental Company’s OR department.

Faraz Ramtin was awarded a Graduate Research Excellence Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year.  He is also gaining great experiences as an Operations Research Intern at Hertz Rental Company this summer.  Faraz, who proposed his dissertation on analytic models for  a case-level order fulfillment technology, will graduate Spring 2014.  He and I arrived at UCF at the same time and was the first student involved in my research team.  It has been fun to watch him grow in his ability for independent research and analysis.

Ali's Ph.D. Graduation

Ali’s Ph.D. Graduation

Ali Bozorgi graduated this May with his Ph.D.  His dissertation on inventory problems in the cold supply chain was co-advised by Dima Nazzal at Georgia tech and myself.  Ali is off to Clemson as a Post Doctoral Fellow, where I’m looking forward to hearing about his many future successes.




Mohamed did a great job presenting at ISERC

Mohamed did a great job presenting at ISERC

Mohamed Awwad presented his research at the Institute of Industrial Engineers Annual Conference in Montreal to a full house.  It was his first presentation at a research conference and he did a great job describing his work on search and retrieval operations in dense storage systems.  I enjoyed chairing the “family session” that also included other branches of my academic tree: Russ Meller, Tish Pohl, and Pratik Parikh.

Kaveh's send off party watching the Netherlands versus Argentina World Cup Match

Kaveh’s send off party watching the Netherlands versus Argentina World Cup Match. (from left to right: Patrick, Kaveh, Jen, Shahab, and Ali).

Kaveh Azadeh has been awarded an assistantship to pursue his Ph.D. under Rene de Koster in the Department of Technology and Operations Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.  Kaveh and I have worked together on research since we both arrived in Orlando in 2011 and he will definitely be missed in our group, especially for his statistics knowledge and movie recommendations.  As an impromptu send off party, our lab got together to watch the Netherlands vs Argentina game in the World Cup.    Although Kaveh was rooting for his soon-to-be new home country, Messi and Argentina were victorious.

Shahab Mofidi is the newest graduate student addition to our team.  He has been a great asset in solidifying and expanding ideas for my CAREER proposal due next week.  In addition to implementing an optimization and simulation model and getting interesting results with short deadlines, I knew he was a perfect fit for my team when he commented that the font for a figure was different than the main text.  This eye for detail is a must after Russ ruined my ability to look at a document and not see formatting and typo errors :).

 Undergraduate Researchers

I’ve enjoyed exposing undergraduate students to the joys and (maybe some perils) of research.  They have done a great job contributing to our research lab, which isn’t surprising given the awards they’ve racked up.

Huber CSCMP Central Florida Roundtable Scholarship 2014

Chris awarded a scholarship from the CSCMP Central Florida Round Table

Whitney awarded a scholarship from the CSCMP Central Florida Round Table








  • Patrick Reilly was awarded the Outstanding Graduating Senior award from UCF’s Industrial Engineering Department.  As an undergraduate researcher, Patrick did a great job modeling Operations Research problems found in sea-based logistics.  I am very happy that he will stay on as my graduate student and continue working on research that describes mathematically the propagation of uncertainty in dense storage environments.
  • Brandon Finley has been awarded the Institute of Caster & Wheel Manufacturers Honor Scholarship for the 2014/2015 academic term from the Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc.  Brandon and I are working on research on modeling reshuffling policies in warehouses with multiple operators.
  • Whitney Anderson and Chris Huber were both awarded scholarships from the  Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Central Florida Round Table for the 2014/2015 academic term.  Through the Undergraduate Research Experience provided via EXCEL, both students conducted research in my lab in Spring 2014.  Whitney participated in research on selecting piece-level order-fulfillment technology and Chris participated in analyzing data for sea-based logistics policies.
  • Margot Tejera was awarded the 2014/2015 UPS Scholarship for Minority Students, which is a National IIE Scholarship awarded to one undergraduate IE student each year.  Margot was a former undergraduate researcher in my lab and she is the current student president of the IIE student chapter.
  • I have been fortunate to have Mohmoud Sbeih and Kristin Elias’s help in writing my CAREER proposal this summer.  Both undergraduate students have provided valuable insights to the research and educational objectives of the proposal.  I’m excited that both will continue research in my lab and are currently in the process of defining a project that they can individually take the lead on.



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