By Sherry Dibari

A multidisciplinary team of researchers, led by ODU's Andrew Collins, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE), won an Information Technology Excellence Workforce Award from the Department of the Navy for their development of a series of courses aimed at making data management more efficient.

The DON IT (Department of the Navy Information Technology) awards are presented to individuals and teams who help to improve Navy information management and information technology.

The team worked in conjunction with the Ship Maintenance Performance Group (SMPG) of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), to develop a series of week-long graduate-level bootcamps on data analytics, predictive analytics, data modeling, data management, enterprise architecture and modeling and simulation.

The courses, designed for ship maintenance domain experts at all four naval shipyards, provide a "detailed introduction to the science, tools, and processes required to effectively manage and analyze data," according to an article in CHIPS, the Department of the Navy's information technology magazine.

The Navy hosts an incredible amount of digital information: everything from personnel and scheduling records to ship's maintenance logs, explained Collins. "Using AI and data modeling, that information could be parsed, analyzed and modeled to create more efficient workflows," he said.

The project began in 2018 with a $2.5 million NAVSEA grant. Another $2.5 million is expected to be awarded over the next three years. To date 15 courses have been delivered.

"Dr. Collins work on this project exemplifies the Batten College of Engineering and Technology's close military connections and success in working across disciplines," said Khan Iftekharuddin, interim dean of the College. "The award is a well-deserved honor."

The project team includes faculty from EMSE including Senior Lecturer T. Steven Cotter, Associate Professor Jingwei Huang, doctoral student Gayane Grigoryan and project manager Sol Sherfey. Other team members include Jim Leathrum, associate professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Chuck Cartledge, adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science, Wimarsha Jayanetti, a doctoral student in the Department of Mathematics and researchers from Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) including Anthony Barraco, Ross Gore, Craig Jordan, Chris Lynch, Katie Smith, and Jeanne Yates.