Sara Shashaani received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 2016. Before joining the ISE faculty, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan in the Industrial and Operations Engineering Department. She became interested in data analytics – her research focus area – during her postdoctoral fellowship. “I built models that would predict power outages induced by hurricanes,” explained Shashaani. “I am most inspired to work on a problem when the available data calls for new ways to tackle the associated real-world problem.”
Many systems in the world like water, power, and transportation have little structure or high complexity that makes them incomputable. Shashaani’s current research focuses on building data-driven, predictive models that account for the uncertainty that is present in the real systems. She also designs new stochastic optimization methods that can analyze these systems for fast and reliable decision-making. Her hope is that someday her research allows for better understanding and risk management of critical and high impact problems such as natural disasters, epidemics, or political situations.
Besides her modeling research, she plans to make connections between many STEM sectors and a variety of disciplines including urban planning, environment and sustainability, human behavior, public policy, and public health. “These will bring interesting and challenging problems to the body of knowledge we have in the ISE Department,” said Shashaani.
She chose NC State based on the expert faculty along with the talented and hardworking students, the great leadership in the department and college, and access to many resources in her research area. “Also, I really like Raleigh and North Carolina is a beautiful state,” confided Shashaani.
Hong Wan received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University in 2004. Before joining the ISE faculty, she was an associate professor in the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. She also directed the Purdue Blockchain Lab, co-directed the Smart Design Lab, and is part of the SEED Center for Data Farming at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Wan’s research focuses on the areas of data, simulation, and blockchain. On the data side, she concentrates on simulated data and internet data trying to find the algorithm by first analyzing them. For simulation, she wants to focus on the design of the simulation analysis. “I want to crunch the data so you can get more information,” shared Won. Finally, there is blockchain. “I want to build an agent-based simulation model to study blockchain to see how it can really help us,” said Wan.
Her Operations Research interests include:
- Design and analysis of computer simulation experiments
- Stochastic processes
- Quality improvement and quality control
- Applied statistical methods
- Healthcare system engineering
Along with Sara Shashaani and Xiaolei Fang, the three new faculty members make up the Department’s new data analytics research area — one of the hottest and fasting growing job sectors in the country.