During the fall semester of 2014, four of SJSU's Industrial & Systems Engineering students formed themselves into a team and worked on building a simulation model for the Society for Health Systems’ Flexsim Healthcare Model Building competition. The team’s members included Mike Dang—BS ISE ’14, Rebecca Mantecon—MS ISE ’15, Sandeep Kannan—BS ISE ’15, and Park Srivipapattana—MS ISE ’14, and faculty advisor, Dr. Louis Freund. When the competition was announced in October 2014, a total of 35 teams consisting of 155 students and faculty advisors submitted registrations to participate. The teams represented schools from seven countries (Israel, Canada, China, Mexico, Columbia, Indonesia, and the US). All teams in the competition were given a case study of a Pennsylvania hospital’s emergency department to understand, model and improve.
In late January, the SJSU team was informed that out of the 12 teams that submitted final models for the case study, they were chosen to be one of three finalist teams to present at the society’s Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference, which was to be held in Orlando, Florida on February 17-19. The 12 models and reports came from schools such as The University of Wisconsin–Madison, Mississippi State University, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State, 3 teams from North Carolina State, University of Central Florida, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and two teams from Canada (Concordia University, and Laval University).
Mike Dang and Rebecca Mantecon represented the team at the 3-day conference and presented in front of the two other teams and a panel of judges for evaluation. After presenting their hard work and creative solution to the judges (the hospital’s employees, other health care workers, and professors) at the conference, San Jose State University’s team was awarded second place in the competition! The University of Wisconsin–Madison took first place, and Mississippi State University took third place. The SJSU team was very honored and proud to represent SJSU and to place in the top three on the first time entering the competition. The top three teams won monetary prizes and plaques, and the SJSU team will hang their award in the ISE Department’s office.