System to increase mining efficiency earns national research award

June 8th, 2012
From left, IIE President Professor Don Taylor presents the Graduate Research Award to UA engineering doctoral student Sai Srinivas Nageshwaraniyer and his advisor, Professor Young-Jun Son, at the IIE Conference and Expo 2012 in Orlando, Fla. Credit: Institute of Industrial Engineers photo
Sai Srinivas Nageshwaraniyer, a doctoral student from the University of Arizona department of systems and industrial engineering, is the 2012 winner of the Graduate Research Award from the national Institute of Industrial Engineers, or IIE.

The IIE award is the third for UA engineering students in four years, and all of the UA awardees studied in the research group of SIE professor Young-Jun Son.

Srinivas is developing a simulated operations system for coal mines that would be able to resolve different levels of materials handling decisions that occur throughout an operating day. Srinivas's proposed system would have the ability to coordinate scheduling decisions within the pit-to-train materials flow, including the flow of coal from the mine pit, to the hopper, to the silo, to shipping points, all in near-real time.

"Srinivas's research is timely, and its impact on both the academic field as well as the mining industry will be significant," Son said. "Experiments have been conducted with real world coal mines that illustrate and demonstrate the performance of this proposed framework," he said.

The title of Srinivas's thesis is "Simulation-based Optimal Planning for Material Handling Network in Mining." The Graduate Research Award was presented to Srinivas May 21 at the 2012 Annual Conference and Expo of the Institute of Industrial Engineers in Orlando, Fla.

Srinivas earned his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, in India, in 2008. His graduate studies at the UA systems and industrial engineering department began in August 2009, and he earned his master's degree in May 2011. Srinivas continues his studies towards a PhD at the UA in Son's research group.

Son's group has been responsible for several recent research awards. Doctoral student Hui Xi and former doctoral student Nurcin Celik received the IIE Graduate Research Award at industrial engineering expos in 2011 and 2009, respectively, making Son's students the recipients of the IIE national award three times in last four years.

In 2009, Son and former PhD candidate Seungho Lee took home the best paper award in the area of modeling and simulation at the Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Miami, for their paper titled "Dynamic Learning in Human Decision Behavior under the Extended Belief-Desire-Intention Framework." Celik received the Graduate Research Award as well as best PhD scientific poster award at the same conference.

In 2008, Son and Lee won the best paper award in the area of homeland security at the Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Vancouver, Canada. At the same conference, Lee also received best PhD scientific poster award.

At the 2005 Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Atlanta, Son received the Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer Award. He also won the best paper award, with five of his graduate students, in the area of modeling and simulation.

Provided by University of Arizona College of Engineering

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