Designing good plans is critical to responding effectively to public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza and bioterrorism attacks. This talk will describe operations research models that we have created to help public health officials across the nation plan their response. For planning points of dispensing (PODs), we have constructed novel queueing network approximations and implemented them in a planning tool to determine the number of staff needed to meet a desired throughput (visitors per hour) and to estimate how long visitors will spend inside the facility. In addition, we have developed approaches to solve the inventory slack routing problem (a type of vehicle routing problem) in order to determine the best way to distribute medication to PODs while medication is still arriving at a central depot. Finally, we have designed heuristics to solve the continuous replenishment inventory routing problem, which determines the minimum number of vehicles required to supply a set of PODs that are operating continuously. The area of planning for public health emergencies is rich area for motivating research into interesting operations research problems and applying the results of this research to improve a community's preparedness.
Jeffrey W. Herrmann is an associate professor at the University of Maryland, where he holds a joint appointment with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research. He is the director of the Simulation-Based System Design Laboratory and Associate Director for the University of Maryland Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows Program. He is a member of INFORMS, ASME, IIE, SME, and ASEE.
Dr. Herrmann earned his B.S. in applied mathematics from Georgia Institute of Technology. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow from 1990 to 1993, he received his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida. His dissertation investigated production scheduling problems motivated by semiconductor manufacturing. He held a post-doctoral research position in the Institute for Systems Research from 1993 to 1995.
Dr. Herrmann has led applied research projects supported by NSF, NIST, ONR, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, Harris Semiconductor, Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Division, Black & Decker, and other manufacturers in the state of Maryland. His publications cover topics in process planning, production scheduling, manufacturability evaluation, and manufacturing facility design. His current research interests include emergency preparedness planning and response, health care operations, production scheduling, and engineering design decision-making.