2009 News Archive


Searches begin for two Presidential Endowed Chairs in health-related fields

ISE Department Chair, Tamás Terlaky selected to serve on one of the committees

Tamás Terlaky and eight other faculty members from across Lehigh have been chosen to serve on the search committee for the Presidential Endowed Chair: Professorship in Health-related Sciences and Engineering.

The search committees for this chair and the Presidential Endowed Chair: Professorship in Health-related Social Sciences and Humanities have recently met and begun searches to fill both positions. The searches will be conducted across college and department lines, with a focus on talent and leadership in these health areas.

To read more about the searches or to apply, please visit the news archive web site.

Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Students Finish strong in Fed Challenge Competition

A cross-disciplinary team of Lehigh students finished as a finalist and runner-up in the preliminary round of the College Fed Challenge Competition recently in Baltimore.

During the annual challenge, teams of students simulate a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The competition includes a lengthy presentation by participating colleges, followed by a rapid-fire question-and-answer session conducted by a panel of expert judges.

The Lehigh team consisted of Christopher Addy ‘10, Kristin Giglia ‘11, Soe Ha ‘10, Jennifer Nagel ‘10 and Yousef Janjri ‘11. Addy and Giglia major in economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Janjri majors in IBE/I&SE, Ha in accounting and finance, and Nagel in economics, all in the College of Business and Economics (CBE).

Hubert Dagbo ‘12, David Gritz ‘12 (I&SE), and Brian Paul ‘12 also participated in this year’s challenge and helped with different facets of the team’s preparation leading up to the competition.

To read more about the competition, please visit the news archive web site.

Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I&SE Student takes first place in Thalheimer Competition

David Gritz ’12 and Jason Rappaport ’12 (Mechanical Engineering), was part of a three-way tie for first place in the Joan F. & John M. Thalheimer ’55 Student Entrepreneurship Competition. This competition, along with the Michael W. Levin ’87 Advanced Technology Award is part of the Eureka! Ventures Competition Series. This series is a university-wide program that annually recognizes and awards student entrepreneurs that are announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Thalheimer Student Entrepreneurs Competition accepts proposals focused on innovative ventures and early stage business plans. These include, but aren’t limited to, ideas focused on a new or existing technology or service with a social or environmental impact.

Their program, Goodsemester, is an interactive, Web-based educational tool, that includes a variety of social networking features that allow users to collaborate and exchange information in real-time. Beginning in January, the application will be piloted in the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) freshman workshop.

Each first-place winner in the Thalheimer contest received $2,500 to develop their plans. The competition considers proposals focusing on innovative ventures and early stage business plans. This competition is sponsored by the Lehigh Entrepreneurship Network.

To read more about the competition and the winner, please visit the news archive web site.

Posted Friday, November 20, 2009


Bob Storer gives Founder's Day address

Dr. Bob Storer

The Lehigh community gathered to honor the legacy and vision of university founder Asa Packer and recognize the contributions of faculty and administrators in a late afternoon ceremony in venerable Packer Memorial Church this week.

The Founder’s Day address was delivered by Robert Storer, professor of industrial and systems engineering and co-director of the university’s Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program. Earlier this year, Storer was named the fifth recipient of the Lindback Faculty Award, which is presented to a senior faculty member for distinguished teaching.

To read more about Bob's speech, please visit the news archive web page.

Posted Friday, October 16, 2009


Ph.D. alum wins second place in George E. Nicholson Student Paper Competition

James Ostrowski '07Ph.D. won 2nd place in the 2009 George E. Nicholson Student Paper Competition at the INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Jim Ostrowski (second from right) and winners

The Nicholson Student Paper Competition is held each year to honor outstanding papers in the field of operations research and the management sciences written by a student. The finalists presented their papers in sessions held in the beginning of the conference.

To read more about the competition, please visit the INFORMS web page.

Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009


High-performance computing workshop draws 175

National experts from academia, government and industry met at Lehigh this week to discuss what S. David Wu, dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, calls the "third pillar" in the modern arena of scientific inquiry.

A total of 175 people, including Lehigh faculty and students, attended the university’s first workshop on high-performance computing (HPC), which was held Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 5-6, and sponsored by the engineering college.

To read the entire article, please visit the news archive page.

Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Tamás Terlaky gives 12th Annual Simon Stevin Lecture

Tamás Terlaky, chair of the department of industrial and systems engineering, was a featured speaker at the 12th Annual Simon Stevin Lecture on Optimization in Engineering, held in September in Leuven, Belgium. The lecture is part of a broader optimization conference, the 14th Belgian-French-German Conference on Optimization, that covers all aspects of optimization and its application. Each year, an outstanding international scholar is invited to give the Stevin lecture as a way to report on latest progress in the development of optimization algorithms and their applications in engineering, and this year the honor went to Terlaky.

"Optimization is everywhere in the engineering sciences," says Terlaky. "Civil engineers strive to design the strongest possible structures from certain material, electrical engineers strive to design the fastest computer chips, mechanical and aerospace engineers strive to design optimal products and objects, such as engine blocks or airplane wings. Industrial and systems engineers optimize industrial processes, supply chains and financial products. Ultimately, optimization enhances competitiveness and efficiency. As an industrial engineer, it is a great honor to be invited to present in this high impact lecture series."

The invitation recognizes the significance of Terlaky’s research in optimization methodology, and his decades-long effort to facilitate the interaction between the engineering and optimization communities. It also coincides with the 10th anniversary of launching the journal Optimization and Engineering, for which Terlaky serves as founding editor-in-chief.

Terlaky gave a talk on "Linear Optimization and Extensions: Three decades of polynomial time algorithms." He discussed the impact of polynomial time algorithms on the theory and practice of optimization that former Rutgers University professor, Leonid Khachiyan, proposed in the late 70’s. The impact that Khachiyan made in the optimization community has now crossed over into several fields.

"Optimization, especially in engineering, is interdisciplinary by nature. The core methodology is mostly mathematical, the design and analysis of algorithms impacts various areas of mathematics, statistics and computer science," says Terlaky. "For example, medical researchers, physicians and optimization experts are collaborating to design optimal radiation therapy for cancer treatment – advancing methods of killing off cancer with as little harm to surrounding cells as possible."

"One may grow into the optimization field from many different backgrounds," says Terlaky about students interested in entering the field. "Students who are willing to explore this challenging but highly satisfying field should develop their mathematical, computer science and engineering skills. Finally, in order to work with the interdisciplinary teams, everyone must have good communication skills, to be able to get ideas across effectively."

Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009


ISE Homecoming 2009

To read more information, please visit our Web page.

Posted Monday, August 31st, 2009


Computational modeling/optimization conference comes to Lehigh

MOPTA 2009 brings together theoretical, applied aspects of computational methodologies

MOPTA Logo

The ISE department recently played host to "Modeling and Optimization: Theory and Applications" (MOPTA), a three-day international conference that brought together experts in theoretical and applied aspects of computational methodology. The conference was the most recent in an annual series initiated in 2001 by ISE department chair Dr. Tamás Terlaky, during his time as Director of the School of Computational Engineering and Science at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The 2009 Lehigh event marks the first year the conference was held in the United States.

MOPTA 2009 brought together a diverse group of experts in discrete and continuous optimization, engaged in theoretical and applied aspects of computational engineering. Featured speakers from NASA's Langley Research Center, MIT, Princeton University, University of Florida, and Otto-von-Guericke Universität in Germany discussed a broad array of topics: portfolio and risk optimization, global optimization, process engineering, transportation systems, and optimal railroad design. Some 57 contributed talks from representatives of academia and industry offered a wide set of perspectives on the field, to the conference's one hundred attendees.

"Optimization is at the heart of all engineering and management problems: doing things more efficiently, saving energy, accelerating production with less waste, optimizing transportation and supply chain systems," says Terlaky. "These conferences bring together top international experts who are actively engaged in theory, computational methods and various engineering areas. Events like MOPTA, and the upcoming Computational Engineering and Science (CES-HPC09) workshop in October, help to invigorate our campus' intellectual community and provide valuable opportunities for students and professionals to directly interact with those experts."

A competition that AIMMS to Optimize

MOPTA also served as the final round of the 1st annual AIMMS-CPLEX/MOPTA Optimization Modeling Competition, where teams of graduate students competed in the modeling and solving of a complicated vehicle-fleet maintenance scheduling problem. 28 three-person teams from nine different countries participated in the competition, created by ISE visiting professor Imre Pólik, and sponsored by Paragon Decision Technology, developers of the AIMMS modeling system. ILOG (now part of IBM) also provided its CPLEX solver free of charge to the participants.

The teams were given three months to solve the problem and submit the details of the mathematical model supporting their solution and show an implementation of the model in the AIMMS modeling system. A panel of judges, hailing from the conference organizing committee and Paragon, evaluated the submissions, provided feedback to all teams, and selected the three finalist teams. The finalist teams -- Konrad's Truckers of Konrad Zuse Institute Berlin, Germany, Team Twente of University of Twente, The Netherlands, and Team SMU from Southern Methodist University, in Texas -- were set to present their work at a dedicated session of the conference.

But the final round of competition brought a twist -- between the end of May, when they were notified of their selection as finalists, and the date of the workshop in late August, the team received an extra aspect to the problem to incorporate into their models.

Stefan Heinz and Jonas Schweiger of Konrad’s Truckers (1st and 3rd from left), receiving the award from ISE professor Robert Storer (2nd from left) and Peter Nieuwesteeg and Gertjan de Lange of Paragon Decision Technologies.

After their conference presentations, each team faced tough questioning from a panel of judges comprised of Lehigh ISE professor Bob Storer and visiting professor Imre Pólik, and Peter Nieuwesteeg from Paragon. Scoring was based upon the teams' total effort -- their models, implementations, reports, results, oral presentations and Q&A responses.

During the conference's closing banquet, team "Konrad's Truckers" were announced as having won the competition. "After AIMMS finally announced the winner at the conference dinner, it was a big relief for us," said Stefan Heinz of the winning team. "All of our work paid off and we were quite proud to have come out on top." For their efforts, Konrad's Truckers were awarded a free license to the AIMMS/CPLEX system -- a valuable tool for their continued research. Monetary prizes and plaques were awarded to all three finalist teams, as well.

For more information about MOPTA, please visit the conference website.

Posted Monday, August 31st, 2009


Computational Engineering & Science/HPC: workshop on emerging trends in science and engineering

HPC Logo

For academic institutions, government agencies, and industry concerns that seek to address the grand challenges of our time, there exists and ever-expanding requirement for researchers who understand their field as well as they understand the technology that enables problem-solving within it.

On October 5-6, at Iacocca Hall on its Mountaintop Campus, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science is hosting a workshop entitled Computational Engineering & Science/HPC: Enabling New Discoveries. Preeminent researchers from all walks of science and engineering life will gather to broaden appreciation of the pervasiveness of computational methods in science and engineering research, and to explore related challenges and opportunities.

The workshop will bring together experts from Lehigh and other organizations – those who explore high-end computational technology and methodologies, and those who explore other areas of science and engineering and increasingly rely on high performance computing platforms for success. Together, these perspectives will lead to new perspectives and new opportunities for discovery, and accelerate advances in areas such as information and communication science, bioengineering and health care, energy and the environment, civil infrastructure, and nanotechnology.

Invited speakers to include:

Mihai Anitescu, Computational Mathematician, Mathematics and Computer Science Division - Argonne National Laboratory

Donald W. Brenner, Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering - North Carolina State University

Gerhard Hummer, Chief, Theoretical Biophysics Section - National Institutes of Health

Robert J. Vanderbei, Professor and Chair, Operations Research and Financial Engineering - Princeton University

There is no charge for Lehigh faculty, staff, or students; however, all participants will need to register. Registration is now available at the Computational Engineering & Science/HPC Web site. Or, to be added directly to the invitation list, please send an email to ceshpc@lehigh.edu with the subject "CES HPC Invite".

Registration is now available. To register, visit the website.

Posted Friday, August 7th, 2009


New ISE Faculty Members Adds Expertise in Large-Scale Mathematical Programming

Frank E. Curtis

The ISE Department is pleased to announce its newest faculty member, Dr. Frank E. Curtis, who started this fall semester. Frank joins us from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University, where he taught statistics, nonlinear optimization, linear algebra, and calculus.

His research interests revolve around the area of large-scale mathematical programming and its applications, which lies at the intersection between applied mathematics, scientific computing, and operations research. Frank’s doctoral work was primarily intended for the solution of very large-scale problems involving partial differential equations. Through recent work, it has broadened to have applications in mixed-integer nonlinear programming, which is a rapidly developing paradigm in areas such as chemical engineering and economic modeling. Besides conducting research, Frank will be teaching IE 220, Introduction to Operations Research.

Frank graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, in 2003 with a dual bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science. He then attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he received his Master of Engineering in 2004 and his Ph.D. in industrial engineering in 2007. Frank has published several papers in journals such as the IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis, SIAM Journal on Optimization, and the American Journal of Mathematical and Management Sciences. He has also presented his work at numerous conferences and workshops in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

“I am looking forward to interacting with all of my fellow faculty members and hopefully working on new and exciting collaborations,” says Frank. “I hope to strengthen my current avenues of research and explore new areas both locally at Lehigh and internationally. I'm also looking forward to teaching and learning from undergraduate and graduate students about all the exciting opportunities within the ISE Department.”

Posted Wednesday, August 5th, 2009


CVCR director, Joel Sutherland, recognized for distinguished service in supply chain/logistics

Joel L. Sutherland, managing director of Lehigh University’s Center for Value Chain Research will receive the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' 2009 Distinguished Service Award.

CSCMP presents the award annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the art and science of supply chain and logistics management. The award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an individual for achievement in these two professions.

To read the full story, click here.

Registration for the Fall 2009 Symposium is now available! For more information, visit their Web site.

Posted Tuesday, July 21st, 2009


Supply chain program recognized as one of nation’s best

Lehigh University was lauded for its academic and research innovation in a new national survey of the nation’s premier supply chain programs. The survey was the first of its kind conducted by AMR Research, a global business and technology research firm that regularly surveys the international business landscape.

Lehigh worked collaboratively with industry partners from across the United States to establish its Center for Value Chain Research in 2002. It has become a leading, cross-disciplinary facility for both students and faculty, who work with such corporate partners as Crayola, Colgate-Palmolive, Penske and Air Products on contemporary supply chain challenges.

To read the full story, click here.

Registration for the Fall 2009 Symposium is now available! For more information, visit their Web site.

Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


Dept Chair's Ph.D. Candidate places second at MITACS Annual Conference poster competition.

Tamás Terlaky's Ph.D. student at McMaster University, Oleksandr Romanko, placed second at this year’s MITACS Annual Conference poster competition. The poster, titled Credit Risk Portfolio Optimization, addresses credit risk modeling and the development of optimization techniques for reducing the credit and market risk impact on financial institutions and industrial enterprises. Oleksandr is receving his Ph.D. in computer science in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster.

To read the full story, click here.

Posted Wednesday, June 17th, 2009


2009 MOPTA Conference to be held at Lehigh

MOPTA 2009 Logo

The 2009 Modeling and Optimization: Theory and Applications (MOPTA) Conference will be held at Lehigh University from August 19 to the 21. This conference began by ISE Department Chair and the George N. and Soteria Kledaras ’87 Endowed Chair Professor, Dr. Tamás Terlaky, focuses on recent development on the area of discrete and continuous optimization theoretical, computational and applied aspects.

MOPTA’s goal is to present a diverse set of exciting new developments from different optimization areas while at the same time providing a setting which allow intense interaction among the participants. Researchers from both the theoretical and applied communities who do not usually get the chance to interact in the framework of a medium or large-scale event, will have the opportunity to connect during the conference.

Invited speakers include Ravindra K. Ahuja of the University of Florida, Natalia Alexandrov from the NASA Langley Research Center, Paul I. Barton of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John M. Mulvey of Princeton University, Pablo A. Parrilo of MIT and Robert Weismantel of Otto-von-Guericke Universität, Magdeburg, Germany.

To registrer for MOPTA, click here.

Posted Friday, June 5th, 2009


Van Ackeren named to the 2009 National Football Foundation

Brendan Van AckerenIE student, Brendan Van Ackeren ’09 was recently named to the 2009 National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who maintained a 3.2 grade point average or better. A total of 564 players from 266 schools qualified for membership in the society’s third year, a 27-percent increase from the 2008 class.

To read more about Brendan, click here

Posted Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Photograph by Speciality Photography


Center for Value Chain Research to hold Spring Symposium

CVCR Poster Session

The Center for Value Chain Research (CVCR) will hold its annual Spring Symposium on May 21 in the Perella Auditorium at the Rauch Business Center. This symposium will be focusing on “Creating Supply Chain Value in Challenging Times: Lessons from Industry Leaders.” This event is co-sponsored by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the following corporate sponsors: Crayola, Colgate-Palmolive and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Industry leaders will be providing sessions on a variety of topics to shed insight on supply chain challenges and solutions during these troubling economic times. Industry speakers will include:

•Bob Boucher, Vice President of Global Customer Service & Logistics from Colgate-Palmolive

•Pete Ruggiero, Vice President - Global Operations from Crayola

•Steve Hensler General Manager - Global Supply Chain from Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

•Caldwell Hart, Director - Supply Chain Management from Dresser-Rand Company

•Jack Gross, Senior Vice President & GM – International from Schneider Logistics

•Joseph Gallick, Senior Vice President – Sales from Penske Logistics

•Marc J. Heeren, Senior Director - Supply Chain Development from Maersk Logistics/Damco

•Donna Stelzer, Vice President - Global Supply Chain Solutions from OHL/Barthco

CVCR is an interdisciplinary center at Lehigh University provides a unique, multidisciplinary approach to research, offering exciting new opportunities for innovation by integrating analytical and quantitative engineering approaches with process-driven and field-based business research. The CVCR is a joint venture between Lehigh’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Business and Economics. The CVCR is run by Joel Sutherland and Dr. Michael Santoro of the Management Department and Dr. Larry Snyder.

CVCR Poster Session

For more information or to register for this event, please visit their website.

To see pictures from the Symposium, check out our photo album.

Posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009