Production, Service, & Human Systems use engineering methods and knowledge from the mathematical, physical, biological, information, social, and management sciences to develop, implement, operate, evaluate, and improve complex systems made up of people and machines. Engineers in this area work with systems that produce goods and services. MIME-based research in Production, Service, and Human Systems encompasses five thematic areas:

Engineering Management

Engineering Management research is focused on the discovery of fundamental tenets that lead to the successful convergence of engineering and management practices to solve complex socio-technical problems. High performance in socio-technical systems depends on the creation and innovation in engineering management principles, systems science and systems thinking, organizational and safety culture, design of management systems, organizational performance measurement, process improvement, and engineering economics.

Past and current Engineering Management research at Oregon State includes studies and design of holistic management systems to improve socio-technical systems, application of systems thinking principles to enhance the effectiveness of organizations, design of full cost models to assist sustainable manufacturing decision making, design of virtual team collaboration tools, and design of enhanced management tools that minimize intrusion in daily workloads.

Healthcare Systems Engineering

Health Systems Engineers translate engineering knowledge and tools into innovative solutions for complex problems in health delivery systems. Health Systems Engineers focus on improving patient experience, improving patient health outcomes, and reducing per capita cost of care. Health systems engineers improve the resilience of healthcare systems by applying concepts from lean process improvement, information systems and logistics, performance improvement, engineering design, and other tools from engineering, management, and related disciplines.

Recent health systems engineering research at Oregon State have focused on improving resilience in healthcare systems through

  • Patient centered process flows in primary care facilities
  • Emergency room wait time reduction
  • Strategies to sustain process improvements
  • Workflow analysis to integrate electronic health records systems
  • A pyramid of mentorship for real time process improvement training.

Human Factors Engineering

Human Factors Engineering discovers and applies scientific principles to develop systems in which people play significant roles as users, operators, and maintainers. To achieve high levels of system performance and human productivity, health, safety, and satisfaction, Human Factors Engineering explicitly considers human sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and physical characteristics in the design of tools, equipment, workstations, and tasks for manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare, and other complex systems.

Recent and current Human Factors Engineering research at Oregon State includes studies of human task management (including distractions and interruptions), human factors in flight deck automation, helicopter human factors, manufacturing inspection, mission-critical user interface design, and job performance aids for physicians and emergency surgical teams.

Information Systems Engineering

Research in Information Systems Engineering focuses on the design, integration, analysis, and implementation of hardware and software platforms that collect, store, and analyze data. Information Systems Engineering researchers employ state-of-the-art methodologies and technologies to solve problems and optimize the performance of complex systems in environments such as manufacturing and transportation.

Recent and current research in Information Systems Engineering at Oregon State includes a wireless sensor network approach to assembly task time estimation, differentiating transportation modes using Bluetooth sensor data, the modeling and optimization of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) networks for inventory management, and a multi-threading algorithm for solving transportation location problem.

Production and Logistics Systems

Activity in this area centers on the design, analysis, and optimization of complex systems that produce and deliver goods and services. Researchers in this area use a wide set of operations research methodologies that include mathematical modeling, algorithm development, simulation, and statistical analysis to address planning problems at the strategic level, and design and scheduling problems at the tactical and operational levels of production and logistics systems. Our research includes the design and control of production systems, determining the locations where products are produced and where services are to be provided, managing inventory at different locations throughout a supply chain, resource allocation, facility layout, and scheduling of the operations needed to produce and deliver products and services.

Recent and current Production and Logistics Systems research at Oregon State spans different sectors including electronics manufacturing, discrete parts manufacturing, metals, aerospace, and transportation planning; and includes production scheduling in flow shop, job shop and assembly systems environments, metal fuels production process modeling, performance analysis and improvement of manufacturing systems, design of relay networks for freight transportation, and intermodal transportation planning.