sponsored by Missouri Science & Technology University from the 2018 IISE Annual Conference & Expo. Sasha Dong, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at Texas State University and took first place in the competition along with her co-authors, Sha Tao and Qianqian Shi from Nanjing University. Their paper, titled Coupling Resource Allocation and Project Scheduling Considering Resource Scarcity, was inspired by the lack of research they found in improving resource utilization in project scheduling. The paper considered both resource allocation and project scheduling and investigates the interaction between the two.
Dr. Dong studied Architectural Engineering at Nanjing University where she was afforded the opportunity to work as a research assistant for the Hong Kon-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge project. Here she met Prof. Zhaohan Sheng and became interested in the field of project management. She continued her studies at Columbia University in Construction Engineering and Management and completed her Ph.D. at Cornell under Prof. Mark Turnquist in Operations Research and Transportation. Her research relies heavily on the use of operations research models and algorithms to solve today's pressing transportation problems. In particular, she is interested in the network representation of transportation and logistics systems, and civil infrastructure networks and project networks.
This paper was developed with two co-authors in China, who coded the model and conducted the computational experiments from the mathematical model that Sasha developed. The problem is innovative and
has important practical implications for two major reasons. First, it allows for hiring extra resources and leasing idle resources; second, it considers varying resource costs which depend on the resource scarcity. This problem is modelled as an ILP, and effects of resource capacity and resource scarcity on solutions are analyzed by numerical experiments.
They hope to extend the research to consider stochastic prices of resource renting and leasing as well as various resource transfer time functions for hiring and leasing. Additionally, more efficient heuristic algorithms could be further developed to solve this NP-hard problem.
Q: What was the inspiration for the article?
The major inspiration for this article is that how to allocate resources and improve resource utilization in project scheduling is a big challenge, and we found most studies about project scheduling only focus on determining start times of activities to minimize project makespan while only taking resource limitations as constraints. So in our paper, we proposed a problem called coupling Resource Allocation and Project Scheduling (RA&PS) problem, which considers the interaction between resource allocation and project scheduling.
Q: What does the prize/award mean for you?
It was a big honor to receive this award and have our research recognized. This award also encourages us to work hard and contribute more to our community. Personally, because disaster operations management is my current major research focus, I plan to integrate resource allocation into disaster response.
Q. What is your involvement in SEMS and IISE? And how long have you been involved with SEMS and IISE?
I have been with IISE for four years, and the first conference I attended was at Montreal in 2014; however, I am new to SEMS. I have not b
een very active in IISE, so I hope I could be more involved with both SEMS and IISE in the near future. I will help Dr. Pilar Pazos-Lago organize the SEMS "Best Paper" and "Best Student Paper" competitions for the coming year, and I also have volunteered to be the Engineering Management track chair next year!