Sara Shashaani

Assistant Professor

Sara Shashaani joined the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering as an assistant professor in January 2019. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, where she worked on designing and improving probabilistic predictive models, specifically used for hurricane-induced power outages, with challenges in highly imbalanced datasets and a large set of explanatory variables. Her dissertation research in the area of derivative-free simulation optimization awarded her a Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 2016. Besides her research, she is passionate about activities that target the environment, community wellness, and science communication.

Research Interests

Shashaani’s research interests include stochastic optimization and Monte Carlo simulation methodology, theory and algorithms, their integration with data science and analytics, and their applications in long-term important problems in society such as sustainability and environment resiliency, energy infrastructure systems, healthcare, transportation, and human behavior modeling and economics.

Shashaani’s personal research website


Ph.D.Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial EngineeringPurdue University2016
MSISEORMaster of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering and Operations ResearchVirginia Tech2014
MSIEMaster of Science in Industrial EngineeringPurdue University2011
BSIEBachelor of Science in Applied ComputingSouthern Cross University2009
BSIEBachelor of Science in Industrial EngineeringIran University of Science and Technology2008

Honors and Awards

  • 2021 | Faculty Research and Professional Development Award, North Carolina State University
  • 2020 | Finalist in Best Service Science Paper Competition, Service Science Cluster of INFORMS
  • 2019 | Outstanding Reviewer Award, Winter Simulation Conference
  • 2016 | Best Student Paper Award, Ph.D. Colloquium, Winter Simulation Conference
  • 2015 | Ross Fellowship Award, Purdue University
  • 2014 | Outstanding Teaching Assistant, ISE Virginia Tech
  • 2012 | Visiting Researcher Summer Scholarship, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology & Virginia Tech


Discover more about Sara Shashaani



Diagnostic Tools for Evaluating and Comparing Simulation- Optimization Algorithms
Eckman, D. J., Henderson, S. G., & Shashaani, S. (2023, January 5), INFORMS JOURNAL ON COMPUTING, Vol. 1.
SimOpt: A Testbed for Simulation-Optimization Experiments
Eckman, D. J., Henderson, S. G., & Shashaani, S. (2023, March 9), INFORMS JOURNAL ON COMPUTING, Vol. 3.
Improved feature selection with simulation optimization
Shashaani, S., & Vahdat, K. (2022, May 30), OPTIMIZATION AND ENGINEERING, Vol. 5.
Personalized Predictions for Unplanned Urinary Tract Infection Hospitalizations with Hierarchical Clustering
Mao, L., Vahdat, K., Shashaani, S., & Swann, J. L. (2022), In Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics (pp. 453–465).
Robust Simulation Optimization with Stratification
Jain, P., Shashaani, S., & Byon, E. (2022), 2022 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC).
Improved Complexity Of Trust-Region Optimization For Zeroth-Order Stochastic Oracles with Adaptive Sampling
Ha, Y., Shashaani, S., & Tran-Dinh, Q. (2021), 2021 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC).
Non-Parametric Uncertainty Bias and Variance Estimation via Nested Bootstrapping and Influence Functions
Vahdat, K., & Shashaani, S. (2021), 2021 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC).
Parameter Calibration with Stratified Adaptive Stochastic Trust-region Optimization
, (2021). INFORMS Workshop on Quality, Statistics, and Reliability.
Wake Effect Calibration in Wind Power Systems with Adaptive Sampling Based Optimization
Jain, P., Shashaani, S., & Byon, E. (2021), IISE Annual Conference Proceedings, 43–48. Retrieved from
Manda, A. B., Gopalswamy, K., Shashaani, S., & Uzsoy, R. (2020), 2020 WINTER SIMULATION CONFERENCE (WSC), pp. 1730–1741.

View all publications via NC State Libraries

Sara Shashaani