My research focuses on developing and evaluating new computer aided methodologies to support the design and management of engineering systems, with applications in infrastructure and financial systems. The work covers topics such as concept generation and selection, decision-making, machine learning, stochastic optimization, and uncertainty modeling.
In particular, I work on the topic of design for flexibility (also known as real options), a design paradigm aiming at enabling better sustainability and resilience in complex engineered systems, with the goal of improving expected performance in the face of uncertainty and risks. I believe this work is highly needed, given ongoing and future threats we are facing regarding climate change, cyber and physical terrorism, and pandemics. My latest efforts explore the roles of AI and machine learning as part of this emerging paradigm.
Below are a few example outputs from the research.
Design Decision Support System
This software platform was developed in collaboration with the National Environment Agency of Singapore. It aims to support decision-making in system design and deployment of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities in the city state. It integrates seamlessly data analytics, economic evaluation, optimization, and multi-dimensional analysis of system design configurations. The software is licensed under TechID 2017-098.
Decision Rule Based Real Options
This work aims to adapt the economic theory of real options into an application-driven paradigm for systems design.
Real options provide the "right, but not the obligation, to change a system in the face of uncertainty." The flexibility provided by real options have been shown in many studies to provide significant improvements over standard methods not only for design, but also for economic evaluation of real investment projects. However, subtle mathematical and theoretical intricacies have delayed their widespread use.
Decision rule based real options integrates the decision-making process along with the systems design considerations into a paradigm that leads to elegant and intuitive design solutions that fully exploit the concept of flexibility in design.
The paper can be accessed here
Impact and Outreach
IISE Transactions award
The paper "An Approach Based on Robust Optimization and Decision Rules for Analyzing Real Options in Engineering Systems Design" received the 2019 Best Application Paper Award in Design & Manufacturing at the Honors & Awards Ceremony, IISE Conference and Expo, Orlando, USA.
The work on resilient deployment of power grid systems published in the IISE Transactions award-winning paper was featured in the ISE Magazine. As the pre-eminent voice of the Industrial and Systems Engineering profession, ISE strives to enhance professional capabilities, and improve the performance of organizations and the profession as a whole.
This article provides a view on the need to account for uncertainty and flexibility in infrastructure finance and megaprojects design. The full article is available here
United nations development program
In September 2017 I joined the Research Council for UNDP's SDG Impact Finance initiative. The goal is to investigate, research and develop new tools to support the design of sustainable infrastructure systems worldwide.