Industrial Engineering Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Organ Allocation and Transplant Policies: Analysis of Their Evolution and Determinants

Mentors
  • Monica Gentili
  • External to University of Louisville
    • Rob McGrath (George Mason University)
    • Naoru Koizumi (George Mason University)
Research Lab/LocationStudents' lab, J.B. Speed Building
Description of Research

The field of organ transplantation is one of the most regulated areas in healthcare (1). With the constant advancement in medical science and technology, transplant policies keep evolving to ensure patient safety as well as fair and equitable allocation of organs.
Organ allocation first became a regulated process in 1984 under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA). NOTA, as the most important act in the history of transplantation in the United States, created the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a public-private network of regional organ allocation offices. NOTA also authorized the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to contract with a non-profit entity to administer OPTN. In 1986, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) was awarded the initial OPTN contract. Since then, OPTN committees and the board of directors are in charge of developing policies while UNOS has been responsible for coordinating committee and board actions. DHHS has the final authority to approve policies, after which they become binding under the authority of federal regulation. The process also includes the public through feedback solicitation during the public comment period (2)  .

While numerous policies have been proposed and approved since then, the nature of the proposals that become policies as well as the evolution of the policies have not been examined so far. The proposed project intends to catalogue, classify and analyze all transplant related policy proposals and their public comments since 1986. In particular, we will explore both time and spatial diffusions (i.e., state to state) of various types of transplant policies and identify the characteristics of the policy proposals that are likely to become policies. The types of policies to be investigated will include those pertaining to living donor transplants, deceased donor organ allocation, racial and geographic disparities in access to transplant, Medicare coverage post-transplant (for kidney), etc.
The student tasks will include descriptive analysis of the policy information available from web as well as statistical and social network analyses that investigates the trend, evolution and diffusion of various types of policies.       

Diffusion of Health Care Policies across US
Diagram shows a preliminary research that analyzed the diffusion of health care policies across the United States.
References
  • Organ Donation Laws, Legislation, Policy | organdonor.gov [Internet]. [cited 2017 May 19]. Available from: https://organdonor.gov/about-dot/laws.html
  • US federal, state laws, policies governing living organ donation [Internet]. [cited 2017 May 19]. Available from: http://www.livingdonor101.com/legal.shtml
Minimum Student Qualifications
  • Good computing skills for data analysis and data visualization
Pay StatusUnpaid
Timeline & Hours per Week

5 to 15 hours per week

Deadline of ProjectFall 2017
If you are interested

Traffic Crash Data in the US: Data Collection, Analysis and Visualization

MentorsMonica Gentili
Research Lab/LocationStudents' lab, J.B. Speed Building
Description of Research

If driverless cars deliver on their promise to eliminate the vast majority of fatal traffic accidents, the technology will rank among the most transformative public-health initiatives in human history. But how many lives, realistically, will be saved?
This project is the first step to answer this question in detail.

The project can be assigned to more than one student who would like to work together. The student(s)’ tasks will include:

  • Collection and organization of crash data in the entire US for the last ten years
  • Descriptive analysis of the collected data as well as map visualization of the data
Map of Delaware

References
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/reportslinks.aspx
Minimum Student Qualifications
  • Preferred: R language experience
  • Good computing skills for data analysis and data visualization
Pay StatusUnpaid
Timeline & Hours per Week5 to 15 hours per week
Deadline of ProjectFall 2017
If you are interested

3D Printing

MentorsKevin Chou
Research Lab/LocationVogt Building 205 or 104
Description of ResearchThe projects aim at fundamental advancements of 3D Printing using engineering research approaches and skills. Various subjects of research surrounding both metal and polymer based 3D Printing, including theoretical and experimental studies, such as power characterization, temperature measurements and analysis, process simulations, microstructure characterizations, mechanical property evaluations and part accuracy and surface finishes, etc.

3D Printer3D Printed MaterialDistance PixelsMaterial Thickness

Minimum Student Qualifications
  • Required: Junior or Senior in Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Engineering, 3.5 GPA.  Highly motivated and objectives driven
Pay StatusNegotiable
Timeline & Hours per Week

 5 to 15 hours per week

Deadline of ProjectFall 2017