ISE assistant professor Sara Shashaani has spent her career developing simulations and models. Her research has primarily focused on simulation optimization and teaching simulation and modeling courses. This year, she won the 2023 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Modeling and Simulation Teaching Award for her work in teaching the course, Introduction to Simulations.
She earned this based on her high level of course design, innovation, student satisfaction and leadership. “She received an overall rating of ‘Excellent’ for the category of ‘Course Materials, ‘” stated Maria Mayorga, director of the operations research program at NC State.
One of Shashaani’s class goals has been integrating different opportunities into the coursework. One of those opportunities is for students to participate in the annual international SIMIO Simulation Competition. In 2022. she mentored the student team of Claudia Donahue and Alexej Lozevski, who took first place. As their advisor, Shashaani oversaw their proposals and methodology in creating the winning simulation. The competition pits student teams from around the world against each other to solve a real-world problem.
Shashaani’s award is a testament to her exceptional abilities as an educator and her dedication to simulation and modeling. “Receiving an award for teaching this difficult course is an honor for me, but it also shows that I was successful in tackling that challenge and opportunity,” said Shashaani. Through her course, she has demonstrated her commitment to providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and the practical skills to apply it beyond the classroom. Whether it is simulations, a competition or a classroom, Shashanni has proved she is a model professor.