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UT Center Expanding Reach Internationally

Rupy Sawhney Works with Grad Student in Factory Floor Lab.

Having a project make a real-world impact is the dream of many engineering students.

For Samuel Trevino Martinez, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), that opportunity has come even before his PhD.

Martinez did his dissertation on methods to optimize energy consumption through better scheduling, and his work has garnered attention and accolades from the state government in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Guanajuato’s government will be using his research and modelling to improve energy usage at national and local parks in Mexico, and presented Martinez with a certificate for his presentation at the Third Meeting of Innovation and Creativity for Internationalization that it recently hosted.

“I am grateful and flattered to have been honored by them,” Martinez said. “Much of engineering is focused on improving lives, so any time someone sees your work as being worthy of using in a real-world setting, it feels very validating.”

Martinez’s idea is centered around the idea that businesses can save money through reduced power bills, while at the same time helping the environment through a lessened carbon footprint.

Leon, with roughly 1.6 million people, is the largest city in Guanajuato. A delegation from the city, led Director of Urban Parks German Enriquez, visited UT in early December, along with students Monterrey Tech.

It’s just the latest sign of growing international collaborations for UT’s Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education (CASRE), housed in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and an indication of the role the center hopes to play in the coming years.

“Our mission as a center is to help our partners better optimize production and process and improve outcomes for business and employ alike,” said UT’s Heath Fellow in Business and Engineering and CASRE director Rupy Sawhney. “Collaborations with other educational institutions are a great way to increase ideas and viewpoints. Our relationship with Monterrey Tech is important to both institutions.”

Martinez himself is a graduate of Monterrey Tech, having earned his bachelor’s degree there and later serving as their head of undergraduate programs in industrial and systems engineering, highlighting the degree to which the two universities are aligned.

While CASRE has a long-standing partnership with Monterrey Tech, it has also established or initiated mutually beneficial agreements with universities, government entities, and businesses in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

The center routinely hosts seminars and symposiums that draw from around the world, something Sawhney said shows both CASRE’s growing importance as well as the fact that there is room for the group to take on even more challenges and partners.