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Washington DC Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (WINFORMS)


Dr. Gene Lin, MITRE & Dr. Nastaran Coleman, FAA

Evening Program

Tuesday January 21, 2014 starting at 6 pm

Capgemini Government Solutions 1201 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

WINFORMS presents together two short talks on successful implementation of operations research techniques in Aviation. Long-standing WINFORMS members Gene Lin and Nastaran Coleman will present their work. Audience discussion will be facilitated by Shervin AhmadBeygi, who spoke last year on NextGen. This evening will be a great opportunity to discuss these projects and the wider opportunity for OR to contribute to innovation and improvement in the aviation field.

Talk 1: Initial Estimate of the Capacity Benefits of Restoring Tower Information Lost in Low Visibility (Gene Lin, presenting joint work with Kurt Rammelsburg and Ray Stanley)

As part of research into concepts for restoring information lost in low-visibility conditions to tower controllers, we are working to estimate the potential benefits of such concepts.  Our approach, independent of any specific technology, has two basic steps:

• to compare a “timeline” of tasks and events under those conditions with an analogous timeline under good visibility, and

• to estimate the difference in runway capacity between the two using runwaySimulator, a CAASD-developed airfield capacity simulating model. 

 Our preliminary finding is that for conditions of low visibility from the tower, there may be significant capacity benefits to such concepts.

Biography: Gene Lin is a senior Modeling and Simulation Engineer at The MITRE Corporation.  He has been there for 10 years, all with the Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development (CAASD), the Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  He works primarily on runway (airport) capacity modeling for both US and international sponsors.  In addition to this and related modeling and analysis tasks (for example, analysis of operational patterns, modeling of runway occupancy times, and review of procedures and standards issued by the FAA and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)), Dr. Lin has also worked on safety analysis of independent approaches, analysis of aviation forecasts, benefits analysis, and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of the US economy. Prior to joining MITRE, Dr. Lin worked for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE) on the development and delivery of planning and scheduling models for petroleum refining.  He is a native of the Philadelphia area but received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and his MS and PhD’s in Chemical Engineering from the MIT.  The latter was where he had his first exposure to OR.  Outside of work, he enjoys reading about current events, playing strategy games, and driving around the DC area with his wife and three kids.

Talk 2: Examples of OR practices at FAA

The speaker will describe a few examples from work where OR techniques are used to estimate the benefits of a new technology, develop performance measure metrics or perform post-implementation analyses of

existing modernization efforts. The techniques used include mixed integer programs, queueing models and statistical analyses.  Mixed integer program examples include optimizing the mix of legacy and new navigation services, optimizing scheduling of air traffic controller shift start times and shift assignments, estimating look-ahead conflict detection counts related to controllers' workloads and using the National Airspace System Flow

Analysis tool to estimate potential benefits of reduced separations in enroute airspace. Queueing models include an analytical delay model used to estimate future delays by airport for various capacity and demand scenarios, and effects of reduced unimpeded taxi-out times on departure delays at capacity-constrained airports. Finally, statistical analyses including performing hourly schedule demand historical trend studies, estimating interarrival time distributions and analyzing historical aviation accident data.

Biography: Nastaran Coleman is a Senior Operations Research Analyst for the NextGen Office of Systems Analysis and Modeling, FAA. She has extensive experience with queueing systems, linear and integer programming, designing and developing databases, stochastic models, and discrete event simulations. She has ample experience in conducting benefit analyses and studying operation and delay trends. Her work has included developing a model to quantify the impacts of new technologies on global aviation emissions for the International Civil Aviation Organization's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, and  quantifying efficiency and safety benefits of various communications, navigation and surveillance initiatives and air traffic controller staffing standards. Prior to joining the FAA, Dr. Coleman worked as an Engineer/Scientist for TRW on a systems engineering technical assistance contract for the FAA and a civilian nuclear waste management contract for DOE. Prior to these she worked as a Systems Analyst for Lewis, Bailey Associates. She holds an M.S. in Operations Research and a Ph.D. in Information Technology, both from George Mason University.

Facilitator Shervin Ahmadbeygi is a lead operations research analyst at Metron Aviation, Inc. He received his PhD in Operations Research from the University of Michigan in 2008. His areas of expertise are in large-scale, integrated and robust optimization, integer programming, stochastic optimization and simulation analysis.

Location: Capgemini Government Solutions - Accelerated Solutions Environment

1201 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

METRO: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange line) is the closest Metro stop (3 blocks).  L’Enfant Plaza (Yellow/Green, Blue/Orange line) is the next closest Metro stop (5 blocks).

Parking:  Parking is available via Central Parking below the office building. The entrance to the parking garage is at 1300 D St SW, Washington, DC 20024.  There is also 2-hour metered parking on D street. 


Light refreshments/networking from 6:00 – 6:30 pm **Note: Intro at 6.30, not 6.45**

Program starts at 6:45 pm and goes until 7.45 pm.

Contacts & RSVP

RSVP on our MeetUp Site below or to [masked]

For program information, please contact Layne Morrison,[masked] or Dan Ford,[masked]

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  • Layne M

    Thanks Gene and Nastaran for excellent talks

    1 · January 28, 2014

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