College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

IMSE’s Davarnia honored with Harvey J. Greenberg Research Award


Danial Davarnia, an assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at Iowa State University, was recently honored with a prestigious award from a top professional society in the area of operations research.

Davarnia, along with Willem-Jan van Hoeve, a professor and associate dean at Carnegie Mellon University, were recipients of the Harvey J. Greenberg Research Award, bestowed by the INFORMS Computing Society.

“I was very pleased,” said Davarnia. “It is a great honor to be selected as the first recipient of this prestigious award.”

Davarnia and van Hoeve were selected for this award because of their paper titled “Outer Approximation for Integer Nonlinear Programs via Decision Diagrams” which is forthcoming in the journal Mathematical Programming.

The authors developed a novel methodology based on the concept of decision diagrams to solve optimization problems that involve integer variables. Through computational experiments conducted on certain synthetic and benchmark instances, they found that the proposed framework can significantly outperform modern solvers in terms of solution time and quality. The findings from this research can have a wide range of applications from healthcare to supply chain management to finance.

“I am currently working on an extension of this framework that can be used to solve challenging optimization problems that appear in the energy market. The goal is to obtain high quality solutions for power generation problems more efficiently, which can in turn lead to reducing energy cost for the end consumers,” said Davarnia.

Davarnia is now applying some of the findings from this research to a current project, supported by the Iowa Energy Center, which involves expanding the applicability domain of the framework to include a broader array of different problem classes.