Final Year Projects

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Final Year Projects 2018-2019



As part of their graduation requirement, IE students worked in teams of three of four to complete a capstone final year project (FYP). The projects tackled a range of issues, including the optimization of the beirut international airport to the lean manufacturing and facility planning. Abstracts of this year's IE FYPs can be seen below.

  • Leah Atallah, Ziad Baydoun, Layal Fleifel, and  Julie Haddad - " Optimization of the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (Minimizing Waiting Time in a Queue )"
The main aim of any organization is to have high efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction. Rafic Hariri International Airport has been facing chaotic scenes lately resulting from various reasons. Some of these reasons are: software error that lead to upheaval in baggage control, long queues at General Security desks due to lack of efficiency of the system used, uncertainty of the travel agencies, and severe staff shortage. These issues lead to a drastic increase in the waiting time of passengers. Accordingly, we decided to handle that obstacle and work on minimizing the waiting time of passengers from the moment they enter the airport until the boarding point. During the first part of this project, we simulated the current situation at the airport after interviewing different people working there and observing passengers go through each checkpoint while timing them. After completion of the first part of this project, we found out there are two bottleneck stations responsible mainly for the long waiting times in queue, which are the check-in counters and the security check at the entrance. The Lebanese laws regarding the security of the civil aviation restricts our ability to make the needed modifications to the security check at the entrance of the airport. In this second part of our project we will focus on fixing the problem of check- in counters by finding a standard method to allocate airplanes to check-in counters in order to have a more accurate representation of our airport's simulation. In addition, our team is also incorporating facilities planning by working on a new layout for the airport that will hopefully minimize the waiting time in queue and maximize the airport's efficiency to deliver a better, more optimal and more efficient experience at the Beirut Rafic Hariri International airport. 

  • Hammam Abu Hatab, Kareem Kaddoura, Nadim Yatim, and Zein Zaher - " Data Analytics and Simulation at AUBMC: Reducing Patient Waiting Time "
A growing number of hospitals are using healthcare-specific simulation technology to identify process improvements, particularly when there are numerous alternatives under consideration. New software and database systems are available, which specifically meet the unique needs of healthcare systems and departments. This research describes a discrete event simulation study of the ophthalmology department at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) using Arena software. The main objectives are to reduce patient waiting time for the process by implementing the techniques aforementioned; consequently, this will increase patient inflow per day. Unlike the popular consensus that patients' waiting time immensely decreases by having additional doctors, this study shows that the bottleneck is in fact at the imaging process of the department. As patient waiting times are linked to resource availability, several alternatives are inspected. The optimal alternative benefiting the department suggests assigning an additional imaging staff and simultaneously rescheduling the tasks of two idle clinical assistants based on specific daily schedules. The clustering of patients enhances the simulation findings by showing how resource reallocation is a valuable extension to the alternative suggested. As a result, the average waiting time per patient decreases by 31.4%.

  • Paul Chawah, Michel Dibo, Micaella Farah, and  Therese Keyrouz - " Utopia: Board Game Development"
The board game industry is expected to grow yearly by 9%, with strategy board games at the forefront. Despite the tough competition in this market and the availability of a large number of leisure substitutes, we have decided to develop a board game that aims to delight customer needs. The target market for our product is mainly students and young adults. After analyzing the main competitors' strengths and weaknesses and assessing market needs, we found out that it is best to incorporate high levels of player interaction and strategic decision-making in a game, while minimizing the elements of luck and routine. The use of a realistic theme, negotiation, simultaneous competition and cooperation, and continuous choices would contribute to a highly stimulating social setting for board game enthusiasts. Knowing that, we proceeded with the concept design of our game. The interactive board game centers on national development strategies through sector enhancement and international trading, mixing both euro-style and strategy play. The game board is an altered map of the world, and game mechanics imply turnbased movement along the board through dice, as well as drawing, trade and use of cards. The goal of the game would be to develop one's countries until they possess highly desirable qualities, hence the name of the game “Utopia". Detailed design specifications were engineered and a basic software prototype was generated in order to test our product in the market. Our business strategy involved penetrating the market with a relatively lower price of 40$/unit to enable us to gain market adoption and subsequently market share, and establishing a differentiation and cost leadership structure. Promotion is to be conducted mainly on social media to reach broad and targeted audiences, while the game would first be available for online purchasing, then in main retail stores. It is estimated that Utopia sales would keep on increasing and that the break-even period is around one operating year, as profits would amount to 133,817$ by the end of the second operating year, offering enough cash liquidity to pursue any opportunity and minimize threats.

 

  • Kassem Abdo, Zouheir Al- Jawiche, Rami Bou Matar, and  Shadi El Bazi - " Simulated Economic Analysis and Database Management of Conserve Chtaura "

Conserves Moderns Chtaura have been using machines that are 30 years old while surviving above break-even point and still generating enough profit for its operations. These machine's productivity level has deteriorated and the company is not generating the same profit as it used to in the past.  This brings the question of what is the most efficient way the company can generate profit again. We also designed a path for the flow of information in the company and investigate the production lines and see if the lines run as efficiently as the company thinks it does. This paper aims at studying the machines at Chtaura and creating a decision making tool to analyze which replacement option will generate the most profit. Our study includes a simulation of the two most used production lines in Chtaura, using Arena Simulation Software. This simulation can emulate the actual process of the production lines. In this way we can create different scenarios on the software and implement these changes on the production lines. In addition to this, the use of a cost benefit analysis will complement the use of the software by determining the optimal option in terms of revenues. Since revenues are linked to efficient production, we have several alternatives to analyze. The first is improving the current production line by just addition of new machines at the inefficient points in the line. The second alternative is the replacement of the current production line with a fully automated one. This paper addressed all the issues and results of the problems that the company wants to be solved and implements a recommendation at the end for which strategy is best suitable for the company.

  • Tala Awada , Sara Jammoul, Christa Makzoume, and Lea Sakr- " Lean Manufacturing, Facility Planning and Simulation: Improving the Efficiency of Cosmetics Production Line"
Studies show that wearing cosmetics has a beneficial impact upon the perception of women's earning, professional class, health and confidence (Nash, Fieldman, Hussey, Lèvêque, Pineau, 2006). They spend 11 minutes a day on average putting makeup, and spend around $3756 per year on their cosmetics products (McLintock, 2017). From here, one can say that what women seek is budget-friendly and effective products that will help them boost their self-esteem and well-being, which may be particularly valuable in facilitating social interactions and promoting good first impressions (Nash, Fieldman, Hussey, Lèvêque, Pineau, 2006).

For those reasons and due to our common interest in cosmetics and manufacturing, we decided to improve a renowned cosmetics manufacturing facility in Lebanon that produces affordable makeup products and has become a major player   in Lebanon and in the MENA region. During our factory visits, we realized that several processes needed improvement, in particular those of two production lines that we decided to focus our work on: the nail polish production line and the compact powder production line.


  •   Firas Atoui   Celine Bitar, Michelle Diab, Antoine Moussally, and Yann Tamraz - " Turning the Grand Factory into an Optimized and Sustainable Nightclub "
This project has two core purposes. First, it aims at turning the Grand Factory, one of Lebanon's most popular nightclubs, into the first sustainable nightclub in the country. The second objective is to optimize the flow of people inside and outside of the club in order to improve customer satisfaction.   Our concern was to raise awareness about energy consumption. We decided to work with the Grand Factory because it attracts and influences a large and young audience. We are also aware of the high energy consumption of nightclubs. This motivated us to come up with sustainable and feasible alternatives. We are mainly focusing on reducing the club's electricity and water consumption through two implementations. First, we are going to install waterless urinals in the men's restrooms, as well as vacuum toilets in the women's restrooms. Second, we are developing piezoelectric tiles to cover the dance floor. These tiles convert the mechanical energy resulting from a footstep into electrical energy that can power electrical devices. This would allow clubbers to actively participate in energy saving and to feel involved in the process, while having fun.  In order to reach as many people as possible and to maximize energy saving, we need to ensure that the Grand Factory maintains its customer satisfaction level and preserves its popularity. The main issue is the overcrowding that leads to long waiting times in queue in three areas: the entrance, the coat check and the bar. We observed the entire processes at these stations, recorded arrival and service times and then modeled the systems on Arena. This allowed us to test various improvements and select the optimal ones.   By implementing these improvements, the Grand Factory would enhance its image and influence many other institutions in the country to follow their lead by going green.

  •   Emilien Raggi, Michel Jurdak, Bechara Fayad, and  Christopher Tamari - " Grand Hotel Revenue Management, Ergonomics and Facility Planning "
This project tackles the topics of Revenue Management, Ergonomics and Facility planning.

Its aim is to help an establishment in the hospitality sector, Grand Hotel Bois de Boulogne, implement a revenue management policy to their everyday operations, facilitate the work of the cleaning staff, and redesign the layout of their kitchen. Familiarization with the hotel industry and more specifically the operations of our business partner led to a suitable RM model using three different fares (100$, 85$ and 70$ all year, except busy holidays). Fares were decided based on customer segmentation and the model was implemented based on an approximation of future demand, provided the past booking data of the hotel and current capacity at any point in time. The algorithm foundation (expected demand) also relies on expert judgment and seasonality. Noting different problems in the hotel's main kitchen that don't allow employees to perform at an optimal level, our layout analysis led to two kitchen plans: one that regroups all the cooking stations in the center of the room and another which separates the different cooking stations. The standard time for the hanging task and the maximum basket weight that workers should be allowed to lift were analyzed. Interviews with the workers also provided information about the location and intensity of pain they felt during the task. Using work measurement methods, we designed two solutions for the hanging operation and one for lifting: for hanging, the first one is the purchase of a new dryer machine that would reduce the load carried by the workers during the hanging of the sheets (which was according to them the hardest part of the operation) in addition to saving time, and the second one is the addition of a table under the clothes line to reduce the range of movement for workers; whereas for lifting, it is the use of pushcarts to carry around the bed sheets from the rooms to the washing station (instead of baskets).

  • Celine Alameh, Carl Assaf, Joudi Bakieh, Aman Chaarani, and Jawdat Mirza  - " Loop x. AUB "

“Are we there yet? Loop hits the streets of Beirut" is a project conducted by Industrial Engineering students over a year to illustrate the importance of Mobility as a Service in solving serious environmental and health issues that Lebanon is facing: The effect of the combustion pollutants on the environment in addition to the chronic traffic problem invading the streets of Beirut were the main drivers of our interest in Loop Sal.  Loop Sal introduces electrical scooter fleet sharing service in Lebanon, as the first operator in the MENA region. The overall purpose of the project is to improve the accessibility of scooters to current and potential users and facilitate fast transportation in a profitable, efficient and timely manner. This operational-analytical study was conducted on a one-year data set provided by Loop operators. Collected data sets were analyzed by Input Analyzer, Arena Simulation, Python and Excel software to optimize the allocation of scooters in the current and potential stations in Beirut. This results in enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing the loss in demand for scooters; and hence growing the market of electric scooters ride sharing. Financial data was collected to undergo a pricing strategy using a mathematical model to meet Loop's monetary expectations while satisfying customer's willingness to pay. An evaluation of traffic zones and roads infrastructure was used to determine the allocation of additional station locations and optimal trajectories ensuring customer's safety.  The findings and results of this project indicate that the existing number of scooters need to increase by at least 50 scooters allocated differently on each station following a stochastic model. The current number of stations need to be upgraded to ensure accessibility of scooters, followed by an adjustment in rides pricing to minimize the opportunity cost incurred by Loop. 

  •  Christina Axarlis, Jennifer Rizkallah, Tala Saab, and Mohammad Shamali - " Warehouse Synthesis: Circulation and  Storage Efficiency "
Warehouse synthesis and management is an essential task for each firm aiming on taking advantage of all its resources. In fact, having a standardized and near optimal warehouse design dictates the success of a business (Cardona et al., 2016). Not only does a good warehouse design reduce costs incurred on the company, but also plays a role in a range of customer service activities such as being able to provide the customers with the required product upon request (Establish, 2005). Motivated by the importance of warehouse synthesis, the aim of our project is to come up with a warehouse management plan for TA group that provides their new facility with standardized procedures to reduce order-picking duration. Furthermore, our objective is to minimize the time it takes for an order to be prepared by setting standardized product allocation and retrieval methods as well as providing a layout that promotes ease of circulation and safety within the facililty.

  •      Nassib El Chaar, Ahmad El Sabbagh, Basil Machtoub, and Serge Richmany - " Optimization of Order-Picker Efficiency and Safety at Transmed's Warehouse"
The aim of this research paper is to study and improve the current manual material handling/order-picking operation in one of the leading service distribution companies in the MENA region, Transmed. Our study is specifically implemented in their warehouse located in Choueifat, Lebanon. As a team consisting of four Industrial Engineers, we conducted a thorough study on the order-picking system at the warehouse. Improving this operation involves reducing cognitive stress and musculoskeletal disorders, whilst improving order-picking productivity of these workers. Knowledge and skills within the fields of Work Measurement and Ergonomics have been applied. The tools and techniques used are Time Studies, Predetermined Time System, NASA-TLX, NIOSH Lifting Equation, and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment. They have been performed on several order-picking participants and have been crucial in determining the standard time of the picking operation and in detecting the following: repetitive motion, performance affecting equipment and machinery, cognitive stress and probable musculoskeletal disorders. All of which could be improved by applying our formulated solutions. The sole purpose of this study is to enhance the productivity and safety of the order-pickers in the warehouse, directly benefiting the company through improving efficiency and effectiveness while reducing direct and indirect costs.  



Final Year Projects 2017-2018

This academic year 2017-2018 witnessed the graduation of the first ever AUB class of Industrial Engineers.

Congratulations to the IE class of 2018!​


The first batch of AUB Industrial Engineers 

The projects tackled a range of issues, including the optimization of a warehouse in a large Lebanese company to the development of a new phone application. Abstracts of this year's IE FYPs can be seen below.​

  • Grace Abdallah, Danielle Boghos, Nour Fakhoury, and Omar Omeish - "Construction Management and Optimization of a Three-Story Residential Building"

This project tackles the subjects of project management and optimization of the construction of a three-story residential building in Ein el Rimmeneh. The construction management study focuses on the assessment of the total duration of the project, using the Critical Path Method on MS Project, as well as the total cost of the project, assessing its direct costs by developing a Bill of Quantities, and its indirect costs. An analysis of different possible risks that could occur has been conducted and their implications on the project have been assessed. The optimization study consists of assessing the resource allocation for the project, in order to decrease cost but not increase time as well, finding a (near) optimal solution. Brook's algorithm, as well as an improvement on that, have been used to do so. A simulation has been conducted on both the cost and the schedule, in order to accurately determine the cost of the project and the critical activities of the project.

  • Joy Bou Sleiman, Ralph Deeb, Zeina Jouni, and Jeffrey Khattar - "Optimization of the American University of Beirut Gym"

Health and fitness are of supreme importance at any stage of human life. People are becoming more and more conscious about their health, and are hence referring to the gym more frequently. Sports are more often than not an adopted mechanism to cope with stress, especially for students and professors who deal with tight schedules and many deadlines. Increasingly, universities around the world are providing their students and faculty with a sports center that caters to these needs. Our objective in this project is to improve the overall gym experience at the Charles Hostler Student Center in the American University of Beirut. We are using our knowledge and expertise in various fields to ensure that the gym at AUB is up to gold standard, and that every person entering it will have a great experience that is well rounded and does not lack anything. 

  • Yara Mia Chamoun, Ramsey Fahed, Chris Maroun, and Lea Nasr - "Optimization of Warehousing Practices at Karim Trading S.A.L."

Working on finding optimal solutions to warehousing issues can be particularly challenging, especially when it comes to countries that lag on the use of modern techniques. Karim Trading S.A.L is a warehouse and distribution company that distributes food, fast moving consumer goods and household products to around 5,000 customers across Lebanon. The company holds 42 product brands, which translates into 680 different products. Despite the large scale of operations of the company, the warehouse is still not running based on predetermined strategies. In this context, we decided that our approach should tackle two main objectives: the design of a new layout for the distribution of products throughout the warehouse, and the development of an order picking strategy applicable to any type of orders. Instinctively, we thought of resolving the issue by looking mainly at optimization tools and trying to derive an integrated model. This reasoning shortly led us to the development of several unrealistic assumptions and simplifications. After extensive research, we shifted our focus towards more flexible and adaptable techniques all based on heuristics. We were able to come up with three different combinations of layouts and order picking strategies: ABC classification, Alphabetical classification, and Weight classification. So far, our empirical research has shown that heuristics can lead up to a 10% improvement on order picking times on average. Our work will now be directed towards a more analytical approach with the aim of concluding based on a final cost-benefit analysis.

  • Elias Chahine, Rami El Shammas, Tracy Haoui, and Dina Khoury - "Beirut Beer Production Line Optimization and Employee Safety"

This project presents an analysis of a Lebanese Beer Production company. Beirut Beer is a company that proudly differentiates its product as the drink of the Lebanese youth that has been gaining recent recognition for its marketing campaigns. These attributes intrigued both our social and educational facets and have driven us towards our objective throughout this field study. Throughout the course of this project, we have aimed to increase the overall efficiency of Beirut Beer's manufacturing plant through optimizing the production line and improving employee well-being. This paper will focus on our results to date with emphasis on the production line. The procedure section of the report contains various qualitative techniques that have allowed us to visualize the problem of production such as detailed walk-throughs, interviews with industry partners, fishbone diagrams of the facility, and flow process charts for the entire packaging process. This has led us to build a robust Arena Simulation model that mimics the reality of the process, which consequently highlighted potential problematic areas on the line. In addition to methods, we have compiled the results of our qualitative and quantitative measures by locating bottlenecks on main processes, which allowed us to shift our focus on certain areas in the factory to analyze and monitor. Furthermore, we have begun tackling the issue of noise levels through the creation of a noise level diagram along with measuring noise using an application throughout areas subjected to a high staff concentration. We will conclude with a discussion on future steps and further analysis that would allow us to reach feasible recommendations.

  • Ahmad Chehab, Ayman Kayali, Fawzi Foz, and Louai Misto - " Inventory Management at Foz Trading: Demand Forecasting, Ordering Policies, and Facility Planning"

This project discusses an operations management case study performed for a Lebanese tool steel supplier known as Foz Trading. Inventory classification and demand forecasting are utilized to build an efficient warehouse management system using optimal ordering policies and shortage tracking. Sales data analysis was key in rearranging the warehouse facility for optimal operating conditions. Finally, a warehouse management system was implemented to improve inventory management and control by monitoring inventory level for each item and tracking their exact location within the facility.

  • Mariam Dabboussi, Nour Khouzami, Nour Obeid, and Carine Saad - "Night Owl: A
    Feasibility Study"

This project is a feasibility study on an up and coming startup in Beirut called Night Owl. Night Owl is working on creating a multi-sided platform between 18-30 partygoers and nightlife establishments which acts as the ultimate “concierge system" for nightlife to know what is hot and trending around Beirut and to help businesses optimize customer experience and attract the right crowd.  We conducted market research through literature reviews, case studies and through ethnographic research. Our ethnographic research was conducted through surveys and face-to-face interviews for both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customers (B2C).   From the market findings we accumulated, we created detailed product specifications which include the ability to authenticate users, search for specific clubs and keywords, control personal account information, filtering information by date, genre and age limit, provide all relevant information and any possible shortcomings in specific events. (Address, description, genre, opening times), book tables at venues via email. We split the app creation process into three phases: wireframes, screens with no functionality and screens with functionality. We presented the wireframes and sketches in the fall semester, along with a clickable mockup in the fall final presentation. Over the winter break, we finalized the technical specifications of the Night Owl app.

  • Layane El Wazzi, Florence Hitti, and Amal Kassem - "Optimizing Wakilni's Operations and Developing its Pricing Strategy"

Our team decided to take on the optimization of the routing scheme and pricing model of an emerging start-up called Wakilni (WK). WK offers a pick/up delivery service and governmental transactions services upon orders placed online or on the phone. The spectrum of orders placed ranges from ordering something very minor to something of greater importance. Moreover, their clients fall into one of the 3 categories: online, offline and personal. Online and offline customers are B to B, whereas personal customers are B to C. Being a delivery service, one of the most important factors for an efficient system is finding an optimal routing scheme, which is what we aimed to achieve through a Vehicle Routing Problem model. On the other hand, knowing that WK doesn't have a pricing strategy, we were inclined to develop a tailored and suitable pricing model to maximize WK's profit.

  • Rayan Fayyad, Wissam Husseiki, Wael Aridi, and Sam Hajjar -" Facilities Planning and Simulation for a Mosaic Manufacturing Firm"

The project will be targeting the mosaic factory of Safa Group, located in Nabeh Al Safa. The interest of this project is mainly driven by the fact the factory is not currently operating, so the impact of the results regarding the factory operations is huge. The objectives pursued are related to the facilities planning of the factory, the work measurements to be followed, and ergonomic planning for a safe work environment. To date, work has been done at the level of facilities planning, including AutoCAD models and simulation. In addition, an ergonomic study was conducted to maintain a work environment that is operator-friendly. The conclusion in regards to this project is that it is promising, and working on a factory from scratch brings great benefit to the company to have a factory plan formulated to be executed.

  • Jad Raphael Mansour, Hussein Jundi, Amin Ladki, and Rashad Abou Karroum- "The Effect
    of Vigilance Decrements on the Performance of Security Guards Monitoring
    Surveillance Cameras"

This report discuss the application of eye tracking to detect vigilance decrements for CCTV security surveillance guards in control rooms. Research has demonstrated that a decline in vigilance (the decrease in sustained attention) does occur after doing a certain task for a period. This decrease in sustained attention can be a dangerous and a critical error in tasks where attention is required to maintain safety and prevent any harmful consequences. The objective of this paper is to study how a CCTV guard tasked to monitor multiple video feeds on a screen faces vigilance decrements with time. It will also be used to find which eye tracking metrics best reflects vigilance decrements. To do so, we designed an experiment that uses eye-tracking. We recruited 10 people and we asked them to look for targets in CCTV. Finally, we developed a prediction model that helped in detecting vigilance decrements in real time based on the experiment results. This prediction model feeds in our adaptive interface to detect the guard's vigilance levels and act accordingly.

  • Mickael Marchi Mekari, Ali Karim, Ahmad El Nakib, and Sami Assaf- " Inventory Control, Production Planning & Warehouse Management Systems Optimization for LibanJus S.A.L"

This project is conducted in collaboration with LibanJus S.A.L., a fast paced-consumer goods firm headquartered in Hazmieh, Lebanon. Its products include some of Lebanon's favorite and fastest selling juices, ice creams and dairy products.  The main emphasis of this project will be to improve sales forecasts. Improved forecasts will give decision-makers more confidence in predicting future production and storage requirements. Moreover, upon analyzing the data with advanced statistical and machine learning algorithms, we hope to find patterns identification methods that can lead to better demand forecasting, allowing for better long-term strategical planning. The ultimate goal, completed in the second part of the project, will be to optimize the firm's management systems. With accurate sales predictions, and an improved warehouse management system, based on an optimized mathematical model for product allocation in the warehouse; we hope to reduce unnecessary wastes, and thus upgrade part of the company's supply chain.

  • Kamal Mafhouz, Edmond Rizk, Joseph Kotait, and Mira El Bahri-" The Optimization of a Supermarket Process"

The supermarket industry in Lebanon is dominated by many firms, which are trying to gain competitive advantage over each other. The key advantage a supermarket can gain is estimating the exact demand of goods needed for inventory, to avoid stock-outs and excess demand from occurring. This Final Year Project aims at optimizing the supply chain of a supermarket in the Ashrafieh area: Charcutier Aoun; more precisely the path of perishable goods from the warehouse to the store shelf. The team will be following the DMAIC process during the entire year since this data-driven strategy is renowned for its improvements on such processes.  ​