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PhD Spotlight — Afshin Kamyabniya

Afshin Kamyabniya

Afshin Kamyabniya began the PhD in Management program at Telfer in 2017 after receiving a master’s in industrial engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology. He is working with professors Jonathan Patrick and Antoine Sauré and specializing in health systems. We interviewed him to learn more about his research interests in healthcare operations, logistics, and disaster relief operations.

Why did you choose to study health systems? Any personal motivation behind your interest?

In 2003, when I was 16 years old, an earthquake hit the historic city of Bam, in my country, Iran. Many lives were lost due to lack of preparedness, slow response, few medical resources, etc. Such a tragedy inspired me to pursue research in the area of disaster relief operations, where I can apply business analytics to model real-world problems, such as humanitarian relief operations. A good disaster relief plan is crucial to saving as many people as possible with minimum response times and with limited relief supplies.

What is your research about and what will it contribute to academic literature?

The central theme of my research focuses on building optimization models under multiple sources of uncertainties (number of injuries, accessibility and availability of medical centers, demand and supply of medical resources and services) to determine policies for more effective disaster relief logistics, such as triage and evacuation of the injured, relief supply distribution, and treatment service allocation in medical centres. By developing such multifaceted and integrated relief networks, I will derive managerial and actionable insights that help relief departments form robust emergency plans for immediate response to the needs of an affected population.

You recently published a study in the Journal of Transportation Research.  What are some highlights from it?

I presented the highlights of this study at the 2021 INFORMS Healthcare Conference. In this work, we developed a robust integrated response model that helps blood transfusion organizations better collaborate to control and reduce the shortage and wastage of blood products. We demonstrated how the insights we derived could be applied using an earthquake case study that ultimately supports the diverse injury and seriousness of patients receiving the blood groups and products.

How can your thesis research improve the lives of Canadians?

The output of my thesis can improve how Canadians are served by relief agencies in terms of how medical resources and services are allocated. The insights derived from this thesis can guide practitioners in the Canadian government and private sectors to develop optimal policies and robust response plans for relief operations, such as mass casualty evacuations of Canadians during disasters.

About the Author

Rania Nasrallah a rejoint le bureau de recherche Telfer en 2019. Elle a obtenu son doctorat en médecine à l'Université d'Ottawa et apporte à ce rôle plus de deux décennies d'expérience en recherche. Rania participe à tous les aspects du mandat du Bureau de la recherche et est responsable de fournir un large éventail de services aux membres du corps professoral et aux étudiants de recherche de deuxième et troisième cycle. Elle gère les subventions internes et les bourses d'études, et participe à la stratégie de communication de la recherche. Elle fournit également un soutien aux chercheurs avant l'attribution des subventions afin de maximiser le succès du financement au niveau national et international. En outre, elle travaille en étroite collaboration avec le Vice-doyen à la recherche pour élaborer et mettre en œuvre des stratégies visant à améliorer le financement et la vélocité de la recherche à Telfer, conformément à notre vision pour créer un meilleur Canada et un meilleur monde pour tous.<br/><br/>Rania Nasrallah joined the Telfer Research Office in 2019. She completed her PhD in Medicine at the University of Ottawa and brings over two decades of research experience to this role. Rania is involved in all aspects of the mandate of the Research Office and is responsible for providing a wide range of services to faculty members and research based graduate students. She manages internal grants, student awards, and participates in the research communication strategy. She also provides pre-award support to researchers to optimize funding success nationally and internationally. In addition she works closely with the Vice Dean Research to develop and implement strategies to enhance research funding and intensity at Telfer following our vision to create a better Canada and a better world for all.

Profile Photo of Rania Nasrallah