Xinyang Liu, a Grainger Engineering graduate student of Industrial & Enterprise Systems department, won the Thomas L Fagan, Jr. Award for Best Student Paper from RAMS this October. Her paper titled “Multi-stage Product Family Design for Reliability with Remanufacturing” aims to optimize product end-of-life decisions considering uncertainties in product demand and end-of-life qualities to achieve sustainability objectives.
“This topic is motivated by a rising attention about sustainability and circular economy. I have recently been participating in multiple projects sponsored by the Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) institute she said. “One of the critical challenges in remanufacturing is to deal with the uncertainty in both quantity and quality of the returned cores. And there is a lack of investigation of the role of reliability in handling this challenge.
“So, my work makes use of the reliability property of the design decisions and a multi-stage problem formulation to optimize end-of-life decisions to provide better end-of-life decision policies.” She cites her advisor, professor Pingfeng Wang. and her main collaborators, University of Connecticut professor Hu Chao and Iowa State University PhD student Ankush Mishra, for aiding her while working on the paper.
“Prof. Wang brought the initial idea of this work to me about making a multi-stage decision for end-of-life processes, and Prof. Hu provided construction suggestions to help shape the work into something more practical. The collaboration and discussion with Ankush is another major
contribution to the success of this work. Our mutual exchange of ideas and the ability to provide constructive feedback have played a crucial role in enhancing the quality of our work,” she said.
When she found out she won the award, Liu was touched.
“I was really inspired and motivated by this award because when I was working on this remanufacturing related topic, I could feel the huge gap between academic efforts and real industry practice. By receiving this award, I feel acknowledged by both academy and industry and motivated to promote more practical strategies for sustainable development,” she said.
Liu will be presented with a plaque at the RAMS Symposium Banquet on January 24, 2024.