Students come out on top in research paper competition

Thursday, June 20, 2024

A team from the Department of Management Science and Engineering won first place in Canadian Operational Research Society’s (CORS) Undergraduate Student Paper Competition.

Claudia De Fazio, Anika Gapczynski, Chloe Pilon, Kayley Brash, Michaela Trevisan received the award for their paper titled, “Inventory Slotting Optimization for Stable Palletization in Distribution Centres”.

CORS brings together operational research professionals with annual conferences held across Canada, special interest groups, traveling speaker programs and student support. The professional society runs an annual paper competition to showcase the high quality of operational research education in Canada as well as the excellence of the new generation of operational researchers. This year the prize winners were announced during the organization’s annual conference in London, Ontario.

The Waterloo team’s winning entry was drawn from their final-year Capstone project and focuses on increasing the efficiency of the palletization process. Their solution, called OptiSlot, leverages mathematical modelling and data analytics to optimize layout, inventory slotting and palletization in distribution centres. OptiSlot considers item characteristics, to determine ideal order pick sequences and item slotting locations and recommends distribution centre layouts for improved order fulfillment and delivery. The submission of the project was supported by Dr. Samir Elhedhli.

The competition was an overall success for the department, with papers from Management Science students making up three of the four finalists in the undergraduate paper competition. The other projects in the final were:

  • Thomas Enns, Natalie Tam, Skyler Nam-Wong, Yvonne Yang, Zuhayr Shaikh – “Optimizing the Location of Electric Vehicles Charging Stations Alon Ontario Highways”
  • Claudia De Fazio – “Towards Sustainable Transportation: An Optimization Model for Electric Plane and High-Speed Rail Integration”

Students and professors from the department were also finalists in four other competitions:

  • Practice Prize Finalist:Dr. Hossein Abouee Mehrizi, Benjamin Ravenscroft (Waterloo), Xinyuan Zhang (UBC), and Brendan Wylie-Toal (Director of Research and Innovation, KidsAbility Centre for Child Development) –“Efficiency Gains in the Health Sector Through Data-Driven Patient Scheduling: The Case of Paediatric Rehabilitation Services”
  • Student Paper (Open Category) Finalist and Health Care Operational Research SIG Student Presentation Award Finalist: Danielle Ripsman (University of Waterloo) – “Superior and Light Pareto Robust Optimization”.
  • Open Category Runner-up: Benjamin Ravenscroft (University of Waterloo) – “Reducing Diagnostic Imaging Wait Times: Lessons from a Large-Scale Empirical Analysis”

Go to Management Science and Engineering to learn more about the department.


The OptiSlot team at the 2024 Capstone Symposium

The OptiSlot team at the 2024 Capstone Symposium