Lehigh ISE Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture Series

Time: Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Location: In person at Mohler Laboratory Room 453. Registration is required: Email skd220@lehigh.edu to register by April 20, 2022. If you cannot attend in person, please request the Zoom link and it will be emailed to you.

Speaker: Michael Pinedo, New York University

Title: Scheduling Applications in Industry - Steelmaking and Microelectronics



Efficient scheduling of industrial systems typically have a major impact on their productivity levels. In this presentation we focus on some scheduling applications in two different industries, both being of importance, namely steelmaking and microelectronics.   

In steel production the steelmaking-continuous casting (SCC) process is typically a bottleneck. Its scheduling has become more challenging over the years. We first describe the modeling of the essential features of an SCC process, such as unrelated parallel machine environments, stage skipping, and maximum waiting time limits in between successive stages. The objective is the minimization of the total weighted waiting time, total earliness, and total tardiness. The problem can be formulated as a mixed integer program and we present an iterated greedy matheuristic that solves its subproblems to find a near-optimal solution. Through numerical experiments, we show the effectiveness of such an algorithm.

The microelectronics industry is conceptually very different from the steel making industry. The manufacturing processes in a wafer fab can be modeled as flow shops with re-entry, which are special cases of job shops with recirculation. The re-entries of the orders make the associated scheduling problems conceptually very difficult. We discuss the properties of the optimal schedules for various different objective functions.  

We conclude this presentation with some other scheduling applications in industry that deserve research attention.  


Michael Pinedo is the Julius Schlesinger Professor of Operations Management at New York University's Stern School of Business.  He received an Ir. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology (in the Netherlands) in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978. He has taught at Columbia University from 1982 till 1997 and at New York University since 1997. His research focuses on the modeling of service systems, and in the development of planning and scheduling systems, as well as systems for measuring operational risk. Over the last decade his research has focused on operational risk in financial services. He is co-editor of Creating Value in Financial Services: Strategies, Operations, and Technologies (Kluwer), and co-editor of Global Asset Management: Strategies, Risks, Processes, and Technologies (Palgrave/McMillan). He has co-authored the book Operations in Financial Services - Processes, Technologies, and Risks (NOW Publishers) together with Yuqian Xu. Professor Pinedo has been actively involved in industrial system development. He supervised the development of systems at Goldman Sachs, Siemens, and at Merck. Professor Pinedo is Editor of the Journal of Scheduling (Springer), Associate Editor of the Journal of Operational Risk, Department Editor of Production and Operations Management and Associate Editor of Annals of Operations Research.  

This lecture series is endowed in the name of the late Spencer C. Schantz, who graduated from Lehigh in 1955 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Following progressive responsibilities with several electrical manufacturing companies, in 1969 he founded U.S. Controls Corporation and became its first CEO and President. The Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture Series was established by his wife Jerelyn as a valuable educational experience for faculty, students and friends of Lehigh’s Industrial and Systems Engineering department.


Lehigh ISE Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture Series


Location: In person only at Mohler Laboratory Room 355. Registration is required: Email skd220@lehigh.edu to register by April 28, 2022. 

Speaker: Tais O'Dwyer, Microsoft

Title: Technology as the Competitive Differentiator in Financial Services


An acceleration towards digital transformation in financial services is underway.  The pandemic proved to be a catalyst for change.  However, pressures to modernize the industry were growing for some time.  Companies that invested in cloud native technology are better able to compete.  They can differentiate with the customer experience, increase margin on products and services, and compete with new market entrants.  What are the factors that are driving the evolution in the financial services industry?  What does it take to define a successful digital transformation strategy?  What are some of the key changes happening in the industry? How do companies realize benefits?

In an industry that’s expected to grow spend on modern technology at a rate of 23% per year, how are companies taking advantage of technology to reimagine the next generation of financial services.  Hear how technology, financial services and other industries are blending to create a new competitive plane ripe with opportunity for growth.



Tais O’Dwyer is the Head of Financial Services Business Strategy at Microsoft.  Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft operates in 190 countries and is made up of 181,000 passionate employees worldwide.  In her role, she defines opportunities for Microsoft to create solutions that will support the digital transformation needs of the financial services industry as it continues to evolve.  She works with customers on developing new innovation strategies to create value for customers in their markets. 

Tais began her career in management consulting and transitioned into the financial services industry, in various leadership roles at Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and CIT Group.  During her tenure in the industry, she served as Chief Operating Officer in Technology and Operations leading functions such as strategy, investment management, financial management, operational risk, and service management.  She also led acquisitions and divestitures at several companies. 

Tais transition to the technology industry taking on a role at Google as the Global Director of Strategy and Solutions for financial services where she worked on scaling the cloud business globally, leading innovation with customers, and working with global regulatory agencies on oversight policies. 

She is passionate about women in technology and finance and has been a member of the Women’s Bond Club since 2007, where she was the Rising Star for Bank of America in 2008.  Recently, Tais has taken an active role in racial equity and mental health and wellbeing issues at Microsoft. 

Tais earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, with a minor in Economics, from Lehigh University.  She is an avid traveler, enjoys reading and yoga.  She lives in New Jersey with her three children.

Past Schantz Lectures:
David Burdakin
President, JBT Aero Tech
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Hall
"Great Businesses...How do they do it?" (Public)
Jorge Nocedal
Northwestern University
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Mohler Laboratory, Room 453
"Constrained Optimization in the Presence of Noise" (Technical)
Yurii Nesterov
University of Louvain
Monday, August 2, 2021
Zoom Presentation
"Inexact High-Order Proximal-Point Methods with Auxiliary Search Procedure" (Technical)
Stacey Cunningham '96
President, NYSE Group
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Neville Auditorium
"Engineering the 21st Century Stock Exchange" (Public)
Dr. R. Tyrrell Rockafellar
Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Mohler Laboratory, Room 451
"Risk and Reliability in Optimization Under Uncertainty" (Technical)
Mikell Groover
Professor Emeritus, Lehigh University
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Hall
“The Evolution of Lehigh University’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department” (Public)
William J. Cook
University of Waterloo
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Sinclair Laboratory Auditorium
“In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation” (Public)
William J. Cook
University of Waterloo
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Mohler Lab, Room 453
“Guiding the Cutting-Plane Method” (Technical)
Sunil A. Misser '88G
CEO, Accountability
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Sinclair Auditorium
“Responsible Business – Rebuilding Trust and Creating Value” (Public)
Alain Haurie
Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Mohler Lab, Room 453
“Modeling Energy Transition to Sustainability in a Smart Grid/Smart City Environment” (Technical)
Richard R. Verma '90
U.S. Ambassador to India
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Neville Hall, Room 001
“Technology, Innovation, and American Diplomacy in the 21st Century” (Public)
Dr. Ronald G. Askin '75
Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Mohler Lab, Room 451
"Industrial Engineering: Key Principles and Paradigms Developed to Date and the Opportunities and Challenges for the Future" (Technical)
Dr. Robert Bixby
Noah Harding Professor Emeritus of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University and visiting Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Universitat Erlangen
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Sinclair Auditorium
“Computational Progress in Linear and Mixed Integer Programming” (Public)
Dr. Radhika Kulkarni
Vice President of Advanced Analytics R&D at SAS Institute Inc
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Sinclair Auditorium
"Succeeding with Business Analytics - Key Challenges" (Public)
"Big Data and Big Analytics - Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Innovation" (Technical)
Brenda Dietrich
IBM Fellow and VP, IBM Watson Group
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Lewis Laboratory, Room 270
"Cognitive Computing: Behind and Beyond Jeopardy!" (Public)
"Business Analytics: Making Operations Research Ubiquitous" (Technical)
Ralph E. Gomory
Research Professor, New York University
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Sinclair Auditorium
"New Goals for American Corporations" (Public)
"Problems Create Mathematics" (Technical)
Arthur F. Veinott Jr. ’56
Professor Emeritus of Operations Research, Stanford University
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Neville Auditorium 001
"Optimal and Near Optimal Supply Policy for Deterministic Multiperiod Supply Networks" (Public)
"Polytime Computation of Strong and n-Present-Value Optimal Policies in Markov Decision Chains" (Technical)
Leon F. McGinnis, Ph.D.
Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems and Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Sinclair Auditorium
"Industrial Engineering - Quo Vadis? One Man’s Idiosyncratic View of His Profession" (Public)
"Model Based Industrial Engineering" (Technical)
Irwin Young ’50
DuArt Films Laboratories
Friday, March 18, 2011
Sinclair Auditorium
"How an Engineering Education Affected My Career" (Public)
Dr. Stephen P. Boyd
Stanford University
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Perella Auditorium, Rauch Business Center
"The Role of Embedded Optimization in Smart Systems and Products" (Public)
"Real-Time Embedded Convex Optimization" (Technical)
Dr. John T. Betts
Boeing Company
Friday, April 16, 2010
Perella Auditorium, Rauch Business Center
"What Does a Rocket Scientist Really Do?" (Public)
"Algorithmic Choices When Solving an Optimal Control Problem" (Technical)
Dr. Cynthia Barnhart
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Friday, August 8, 2008
Perella Auditorium, Rauch Business Center
“Unraveling the Mysteries of the Airline Industry"