Fatih Safa Erenay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo. His research interests include applications of stochastic modelling and optimization, with a focus on Markov decision processes, partially observable Markov decision processes, dynamic programming, simulation, and simulation-based optimization. Using his methodological expertise, he develops novel models to tackle high-impact medical decision making, transportation, and production planning problems.
His research mainly focuses on optimal decision making for the management of infectious and chronic diseases. He uses stochastic modelling and simulation to capture the progression of diseases such as end stage liver disease, cancer, influenza, MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Then, he employs Markov decision processes (MDPs), partially observable MDPs (POMDPs), control theory, and simulation-based optimization to determine valuable insights about the optimal management of these diseases and/or optimal delivery of associated health services. He actively collaborates with clinicians and public health experts from the School of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mayo Clinic-Rochester, and Grand River Hospital, Kitchener-Canada to shed light on various controversial policy questions and methodological issues, such as;
- How should donated organs be allocated to patients awaiting transplant to balance the efficiency (e.g., life year gains) and urgency measures (e.g., pre-transplant deaths)?
- How frequently should an individual patient with particular demographics, personal history, and risk of having advanced lesions undergo cancer screening?
- How can we improve vaccine coverage and reduce vaccine wastage by using multi-dose vials of different sizes? Can we avoid service denial using small and large vials dynamically?
- How can we optimize the vaccine allocation protocols to mitigate influenza pandemic propagation while considering the randomness and heterogeneity in disease spread?
Professor Erenay’s research also includes OR applications in production planning, multi-criteria scheduling, and transportation problems. He has publications or papers under revision in prestigious OR journals such as Operations Research, M&SOM, Production & Operation Management, INFORMS Journal on Computing, IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operational Research, and Annals of Operations Research as well as in well-known medical and engineering journals such as Cancer, PLoS ONE, Medical Decision Making, and Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. The quality of his research has been acknowledged by several prestigious awards: 2009 Service Science Best Paper Award (Winner), 2009 INFORMS Pierskalla Best Paper Award (Finalist), Poster Competition of 2009 IERC Doctoral Colloquium (Winner). In 2017 and 2018, his PhD students became the winner and the runner-up in the CORS Student Paper Competition for their joint works. Dr Erenay is also an associate editor for IISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering and an editorial board member for INFORMS Service Science journal.