A Final Message From The Department Chair – Fall 2023

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Once again, we are coming to the close of another busy fall term at the University of Florida. At this time of year, the temperatures in Gainesville are pretty much perfect, and the students and faculty are ready for a relaxing holiday season.  

As in past semesters, the faculty have achieved several new research accomplishments, including additional grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Mostafa Reisi Gahrooei, Ph.D., is collaborating with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Science to develop new federated data analytics to support commercial farm decision making. This is a multi-year project aimed at promoting yields for perennial crops. Dr. Reisi Gahrooei also received a separate NSF grant to develop a rapid damage assessment framework to support emergency agencies in critical data collection and integration as well as recommendations for response resource allocations.  

The NSF also awarded Yu Yang, Ph.D., a grant to assess equity in delivery and access to new individual transportation systems, including developing measures for analysis of fairness and to support policymaking. This is a multi-year project on optimization modeling to promote shared micro-mobility system accessibility. These grants, among other new faculty funding, have elevated current active department awards to over $7 million. 

This year, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering has once again been highly supportive of ISE Department growth and expansion of instructional and research capabilities. The college allocated to the department one new instructional faculty position and three open-rank tenure-stream positions, including one position focused on ISE applications of AI for Complex Systems. There are multiple active searches open at this time. The instructional faculty search is focused on persons with expertise in data analytics, simulation analysis and supply chain systems. The other open rank positions are in the areas of stochastic optimization and health and human systems modeling and analysis. These new hires will push the department to over 25 full-time faculty. The department has had a strong record of faculty recruiting over the past five years and has been fortunate to develop a technically broad and cohesive team. 

During this term, the ISE faculty have also been engaged in new academic program development. The faculty proposed and approved two new graduate minors in ISE at the master’s level (3 courses) and Ph.D. level (4 courses). The faculty also put in place a new undergraduate minor (3 courses), which is expected to substantially increase ISE student credit hours. Returning to the graduate level, department faculty recently converted several systems engineering semester-long courses (in design, architectures and management) to 5-week short courses to meet demands from government agencies and non-government contractors in the state of Florida for micro-credentials. The short courses were offered online this year between April and November with no cost for government employees. The courses will be offered on demand for interested students in the future. 

As an outlook for future program development, the department is in the process of formally proposing to the UF Graduate School a new master’s degree in Engineering Management (MSEM) in collaboration with the Warrington College of Business. The new program is to be delivered through the pending UF Jacksonville Graduate Center, currently under development by the University administration. The degree program will include an integrated core of engineering and business courses along with the option of different concentrations that are also formal minors through the Graduate School. It is anticipated that this new program will be implemented in Fall 2025.  

Finally, the department is very excited about the arrival of our new chair, Iris Rivero, Ph.D., and the expertise that she brings in advanced manufacturing and biomedical engineering, as well as her substantial academic administration experience. Through Dr. Rivero’s leadership, our department will further expand into new research directions that are expected to lead to greater collaborations with other units around campus. This includes, for example, work in industrialized construction with the College of Design, Construction and Planning involving co-(ro)bot 3D printing of concrete structures. We look forward to these new research developments and an even brighter future for UF ISE. 

For as much as we enjoy sharing with you the exciting accomplishments resulting from our activities at UF, we welcome the opportunity to hear about your achievements and points of pride. Please don’t hesitate to reach-out to media@ise.ufl.edu with your story to share. We also invite you to visit the main campus and department during any of your travels to sunny Florida! 

Best regards and (as always) GO GATORS! 

 Dave Kaber