SSE-Sponsored Capstone Projects

By sponsoring capstone projects at Penn State, SSE aims to give fourth-year students hands-on experience in using industrial engineering and operations research concepts to identify and capture opportunities for improvement in the service industry.

Current Projects

Occupancy Analytics

Team: Ali Malik, Keri Nicolich, Ameya Hampihallikar, Arib Hyder, Mostafa Rahmy
Mentor: Amol Kulkarni

The objective of this project was to use IoT technologies to develop a system of sensors and microcontrollers networked to persist data in a database, so that users can view the occupancy status of using a GUI over the internet on any standard browser. Data accumulated can then be used to drive decisions, such as optimized scheduling of cleaning and sanitization services. The final prototype consists of a PIR sensor and Raspberry Pi Zero W that transmits sensor data over Wi-Fi to store in a database, which then is utilized by a website to display the associated occupancy status. The solution continuously senses motion at each lab table and the occupancy count is updated depending on if motion is sensed.

System Health Monitoring

Team: Abdullah Almotawa, Yutong Chen, Nina Dupes, Tatiana Klett, Justin Rossi
Mentor: Amol Kulkarni

COVID-19 entered society at the end of 2019 and has claimed the lives of over 1.5 million and infected over 66 million people globally. Since the start of the spread, there has been a dire need for quick and accurate Coronavirus tests. The main objective of this team was to support the service systems engineering program in the development of an indexing table and robot arm that will allow for a more efficient testing procedure. The system consists of a robot arm that facilitates vial and swab preparation for the eventual testing process. Additionally, an indexing table assists in the organization and flow of the arriving vials.

Organs for Everyone

Team: Harshit Agarwal, Hana Shen, Kelly Koehler, Matthew Rodgers, Vivek Anand
Mentor: Amol Kulkarni

Allocating and distributing organs from donors to patients is a difficult task with many subtle nuances. This project’s main objective is to create a mixed-integer optimization model to allocate these organs among donors and potential recipients. In contrast, the second optional objective is to port this model to a website using a suitable host and a complimentary iPhone app using an open-source framework. The team successfully developed a model that takes in the list of donors and potential recipients and the distances between them to return the maximal cardinality matching with the least net distance between the donors and the recipients.

Designing Sustainable Food Supply Chains

Team: Alexandra Maldonado, Andres Feuerberg, Karen Miller, Stephanie Vojtek
Mentor: Chintan Patil

The premise of this project is to improve the local food value chain because in general, the United States faces major problems with food insecurity. One in nine people struggles with hunger. Issue of food insecurity are also heightened by the global pandemic hitting the U.S. economy hard. The team’s objective was to create a mobile application where food donors and distribution volunteers are matched. The volunteers would transport the food to people’s homes, community shelters, food shelves, or other places that need food. This mobile application would not only provide people in need with more food but would also have a positive environmental impact by reducing food waste.



SSS encompasses the study, design, and implementation of new systems that improve the processes and efficiencies of the service sector. With origins dating back to 2003, our mission is to contribute to engineering the 21st century economy. As 80% of our country’s economy falls in the service sector, it is vital to expose students to the abundance of engineering opportunities in these labor-intensive industries.

Service Systems Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802