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Sustainable Operations Management Research Laboratory

Research in the Sustainable Operations Management (SOM) Laboratory at the University of Kentucky focuses on optimization, scheduling and control in serial systems. Trade-offs among metrics, NP-completeness in flow shop scheduling, and variations in serial systems in real time are three fundamental challenges to SOM. These challenges generates high production cost and holding cost in manufacturing and healthcare systems, slowing down both material and value flows through the serial system. Integration of optimization, scheduling and control provides sustainable solutions to operations management in serial systems, improving not only the efficiency at operations levels from the engineering perspective, but also the effectiveness at management levels from the business perspective. The research group in the SOM Lab is filling the gap between theoretical research and industrial application. Currently, we are doing a project of Systematic Evaluation of Operating Room Scheduling across the Perioperative Process for UK HealthCare, which is funded by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Our research topics:

  • Trade-off balancing for operating room (OR) scheduling
  • Optimization for concurrent design in manufacturing and healthcare systems
  • System robustness to variations in processing times and market demand
  • Relaxing the impact of NP-completeness in flow shop scheduling on system optimization

Our research interests:

Operations Management, Operations Research, Production Scheduling and Control, Simulation and Optimization in Manufacturing and Healthcare Systems.

Open positions:

We sincerely encourage applications for a PhD program at Mechanical Engineering at UK, and join our team of SOM.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Wei (Mike) Li

Associate Professor

Research and Teaching Interests: Adaptive Production Scheduling and Control, Simulation and Optimization in Healthcare Systems, Operations Research, Operations Management, Manufacturing Systems

University of Kentucky, College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering – ME
414J RMB
Lexington, KY 40506-0108
Phone: 859-257-4842
Fax: 859-257-3304
Email: wei.mike.li@uky.edu


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Li, W., Nault, B.R. 2024. Trade-offs between optimal and robust scheduling in one-stage production. Manufacturing Letters, accepted.

Li, W., Nault, B.R. 2023. The robustness of scheduling for trade-off balancing in one-stage production. Manufacturing Letters, 35, 9-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mfglet.2023.07.010. 

Li, W., Nault, B.R., Mohsin, S.I., Huang, Y.L. 2022. Stability of trade-off balancing in one-stage production scheduling. Manufacturing Letters, 33, 48-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mfglet.2022.07.014.

Zheng, M.M., Li, W., Liu, Y., Liu, X. 2020. A Lagrangian heuristic algorithm for sustainable supply chain network considering CO2 emission. Journal of Cleaner Production, 270, 122409. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122409.

Ye, H.H., Li, W., Nault, B.R. 2020. Trade-off balancing between maximum and total completion times for no-wait flow shop production. International Journal of Production Research, 58 (11), 3235-3251. DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2019.1630777.

Abedini, A., Li, W., Badurdeen, F., Jawahir, I.S. 2019. A metric-based framework for sustainable production scheduling. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 54, 174-185. DOI: j.jmsy.2019.12.003.

Li, W., Nault, B.R., Ye, H.H. 2019. Trade-off balancing in scheduling for flow shop production and perioperative process. European Journal of Operational Research, 273 (3), 817-830. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2018.08.048.