Meet Kaylie

Industrial Engineering (Operations Research) PhD


What did you like best about the program?

One of the main reasons I choose the program is the unique experience of the small community feel at a huge research institution. I know no matter what I have an academic family of students and faculty that would do anything to help me succeed. I always have someone who can help me with a class, a research question, or any life matter.

What did you think about your favorite instructor?

One of the best things about my instructor is his love of questions. I ask a lot of questions when I am learning, and he always encourages each one. I never feel shut down by him but encouraged by my curiosity.

How did or is this program preparing you for your goals? (academic, career, both)

Every class I have taken here, although they do teach you the material, focuses on making you question every method and topic you use. Why does it work? What could be better? These big questions not only help you grasp the material better but teach you how to think and improve the world ultimately leading you to make big changes in the industry or academia. 

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

School is all about the community you build. Everyone is going to struggle at one point. Those who succeed have people who are not afraid to work through the struggle and have people to rely on to help get them through it. This means do not be afraid to get to know those around you.

Why did you chose this program over other programs/types of programs?

The people. On many visits here and other places I met people who were in the tops of their fields. What made the difference is that each person I met at UB appreciated the contributions I might make to the UB and IE communities. I felt welcome and would soon realize I was surrounded by a group of the top intellectuals that would bend over backwards for me. 

Tell us more about yourself:

Where are you from (city, state, country)?

I am originally from Kalamazoo Michigan.

What is your degree/concentration? 

I am in the PhD program with a concentration in Operations Research (OR).

How did you find out about the program?

I was in the right place at the right time. I met a former student of my advisor while working an internship at Walt Disney World. The former student told me about my advisor’s current research and connected us by email because I was so intrigued. 

Where did you earn your bachelor’s degree? When did you graduate?

I graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with my B.A. in Industrial Engineering in 2019.