The Watson Institute for Systems Excellence, WISE, is an internationally renowned, multi-faceted, customer-focused organization that assists industry in a cost-competitive manner while concurrently enhancing the competitiveness of industry.

Through WISE undergraduate and graduate students come together with federal and industry sponsors to conduct innovative industry-based research.

After we identify a sponsor’s problems that are in their critical path, WISE students and faculty develop customized solutions to those problems, starting from the conceptual framework to a comprehensive implementation and follow-up analyses. The skill sets used vary from traditional industrial and systems engineering tools to advanced methodologies, and greatly depend on the nature of the problem.

Regardless of the techniques used throughout the project, the student-faculty team develops academically rigorous models and ensures that those represent robust industry solutions that result in returns on investment that are up to the sponsor's standards. Follow-up analyses are conducted to ensure successful implementation of the proposed recommendations and solutions.

To facilitate student-faculty-sponsor interactions, we hold regular project review meetings which allows us to respond to dynamic industry changes and make mid-stream adjustments accordingly. With the student's office located at the customer's site, the sponsor is able to utilize an advanced level graduate student (MS or PhD) as a professional employee.

WISE is a part of the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering.

  • Testimonials

    We work hard to find cost-competitive ways to provide valuable research to businesses while offering graduate students a top-flight education.

    Krishnaswami Srihari, Dean and Distinguished Professor, Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, and WISE Director

    The Binghamton University WISE Program has been an extremely effective alliance for IBM Corporation. WISE gives us access to fresh, young talent with current and relevant skills who integrate well with our organization and provide a very favorable return on investment to our business. Michael Testani, MS ’02, IBM Learning Consultant and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

    "WISE provides a perfect blend of academic and business reality to prepare students well for their careers. It helps build a great network, and the experience adds significant credibility while applying for jobs. Corporations value such exposure, which is limited to few universities.

    Balakrishnan Iyer, '00, Director of Business Development GE Commercial Finance

    The 'Industry-based research model' which WISE provides its students, is extremely helpful for the overall growth of the student, both technical and personal. I'm confident that the experience I gained through the WISE program will help me succeed in any environment.

    Sreekanth Ramakrishnan, '08, Research sponsored by IBM Corporation, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

  • Our Vision

    To be an internationally renowned multi-faceted customer focused organization that assists industry in a cost-competitive manner while concurrently enhancing the competitiveness of industry.

  • Our Mission

    To Create and Sustain a Value-Driven Relationship Between Sponsors and Academia.

  • Ethics

    We are committed to the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior required to achieve our vision. We accept only those assignments that we are fully qualified to perform and deliver on the promises we make. We are aggressive, self-confident and maintain our independence, integrity, and objectivity at all times. We are honest and forthright in all our business dealings and uphold individual confidentiality. We are who we are, because we are a team.

  • Technology

    We provide research and development services to map nascent technology to the requirements of seamless global operations in the electronics packaging industry, the health care system and other manufacturing and service-related industries. We strive to capture our exponential learning in order to create the most advanced technological solutions. We work with the best companies and the best technology to take them both to higher levels of excellence. Our ideas are our lifeblood, and we are proud that we have the education, experience and research to take these ideas from concept to implementation.

  • Resources

    We focus on people, not tasks, because people create businesses and people make them grow. We are in constant touch with the industries and, therefore, get an opportunity to strike a delicate balance between theory and application. We have access to the most sophisticated equipment and laboratories, which enable us to elevate our technical expertise. We have a wide representation in the electronics packaging industry, the health care system, and other manufacturing and service-related industries.

  • Our History

    In 1990, the Electronics Manufacturing Research and Services (EMRS) group was established. It was later renamed in 2007 to the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE) to better reflect the group's work and make it easier to expand into other fields.

  • Fast Facts
    1. 81 research associates — including 41 doctoral, 36 master’s and four undergraduate students — placed at industry partner locations.
    2. Seven faculty members, three research scientists/managers and one staff assistant.
    3. Nearly 25 research partners across the United States, including UHS, the Mayo Clinic, GE Research Center, Solaria and IBM.
    4. More than 50 projects in industrial, medical and public service research areas including electronics manufacturing and packaging, healthcare systems, manufacturing engineering, systems simulation, productivity enhancement, small-scale systems and decision-support analysis.
    5. Several new projects and partners, including SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
    6. Research funding that topped $2.3 million in fiscal year 2011 and $2.9 million through June 2012.
    7. Overall funding record for WISE since first established in 1988/1989 exceeds 38 million dollars (with no federal/state earmarks).
  • WISE advantage

    What sets the Institute apart from other research groups is that before any project is initiated, WISE works with the sponsoring organization to find out what they need. Teams immerse themselves in the sponsor's industry to learn what its critical pathways are and where its technical roadmaps are headed. Then, members review any challenges or obstacles that might hinder the sponsor's success and show how WISE research can help.

    Once a project has been awarded, individual students are assigned to the project or, if warranted, a team of graduate students is pulled together. However, whether the research project has one WISE student or many, the project team always includes faculty, who serve as mentors, and personnel from the sponsoring organizations, who help guide the project. Most research projects the Institute undertakes are long-term, and multiple projects are usually performed concurrently for any given sponsor.

    The WISE team has an unusually broad skill set, including experts in facility layout, systems simulation, process optimization and improvement, workflow modeling, supply chain management and information systems. This enables the Institute to tackle projects in areas ranging from electronics manufacturing and productivity enhancement to healthcare management and food distribution. And, when needed, WISE collaborates with other Binghamton University departments, widening the skill set even further.

Our Research Locations

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Research Areas

This image describes the research areas of WISE

What Makes a Student WISE?

Do you know you can get an exceptional graduate education at Binghamton University without paying tuition? Sounds too good to be true, but it's not. If you're accepted into the Graduate School at Binghamton and plan to study engineering, computer or systems science, physics, chemistry, math or management, you could be selected for the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE) program.

Full-time students accepted into WISE receive complete funding, including graduate tuition, a stipend and medical insurance. In addition, the Institute provides students with whatever tools and materials they need to be successful.

Students participating in WISE work at sponsor locations and take courses at Binghamton, either on campus or online.

Although a few sponsors are located in the Greater Binghamton area, most are not, so Institute students are based throughout the United States. Students may soon have the chance to work with international sponsors as well. But whatever their location, WISE students enjoy working in world-class laboratories where they learn how to conduct themselves in a professional environment, making presentations to sponsors and sometimes even serving as team leaders on projects.

A dedicated support network helps Institute students succeed. Each student is assigned a mentor, typically a senior graduate student, who serves as a resource for the new student along with faculty and staff members. When it’s time for WISE students to embark on their professional careers, this support network will include Institute alumni and other friends of the program who work with the graduate students, helping them prepare for their future in academia, research or industry.

  • Pay no tuition for graduate school and earn money while studying
  • Participate in innovative research projects that have real-world application
  • Work closely with distinguished faculty
  • Become well prepared to enter academia or industry
  • Gain excellent references
  • Get ahead of the competition by being hired by a sponsor
  • Have tools and materials provided to you at no charge
  • Be mentored by a faculty member or industry leader
  • Enjoy the fellowship of other WISE students
  • Network with WISE alumni

Students must apply to and be accepted into the Graduate School to be eligible for WISE research opportunities.

Interested students should contact the WISE Director.

Students are typically selected among the following areas (must hold a bachelor’s degree in this discipline):

  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer science
  • Electrical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Systems engineering
  • Systems science


Sponsors work with WISE because it makes good business sense to do so. WISE has never lost a sponsor.

  • Alpha-Fry Technologies
  • Analog Devices
  • CAE
  • Continental
  • Cookson Semiconductor
  • Packaging Materials
  • DEK International
  • Endicott Interconnect Technologies
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • General Electric
  • Hidden Valley Electronics
  • IBM Corporation
  • Innovation Associates
  • New York State Senate
  • Montefiore Medical Center
  • MRC
  • Orion
  • Sandoz
  • Sanmina SCI
  • Smart Mobile Technologies
  • Texas Instruments
  • United Health Services
  • Unovis
  • Upstate University Hospital
  • Viking Interworks
  • Virtua Health
  • Vitronics Soltec
  • Department of Education
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NYS Senate

Past Projects

  • Analog Devices

    Project Name: MEMS Based Flow Sensor

    Graduate Student: Ali Shakir

    Description: The objective of the project was to develop a MEMS based flow sensor for fluidic applications. The flow sensor developed was based on differential pressure sensing principle. Pressure sensors developed in-house were utilized to meet this objective. A cap was fabricated with a restriction channel and bonded with the pressure sensors to realize a flow sensor. The flow sensor developed has multiple sensing capabilities in addition to the flow rate sensing. The uniqueness of the project includes: multiple sensing capabilities, bonding technology, fabrication process of the pressure sensors, fabrication process of the cap, and finally the sensing principle to increase the range of flow rate being sensed. Flow rates as low as 0.01 ml/hr have been successfully measured. Fluid type, fluid pressure, flow direction, and fluid presence, in addition to the flow rate, can also be sensed using this sensor.

  • Endicott Interconnect

    Project Name: Automation of the Product Code Set-Up Process

    Graduate Student: Gary Cheung

    Description: As orders are received, new product codes have to be set up taking into account cost and yield targets. Product codes are then assigned to different materials. The process to create these codes varies depending on the type of order. Consequently, as more and more orders arrive, it will be harder to stay on top of things. This project’s objectives are to standardize and streamline the set-up process. Through the use of automation software the ultimate goal is to have a stand-alone computer with the user inputting the material numbers of interest and then letting the computer create and assign the appropriate codes on its own.

  • IBM

    Project Name: Definition of Server Frame Process Flow through Simulation

    Graduate Student: Eduardo Koster

    Description: The comparison of different scenarios of Server Frame process flow through the use of simulation modeling. Using simulation, the process flow with the shortest cycle time and highest through-put will be identified. Will also define the best resource utilization in new flow while locating any potential bottleneck in the new process.

  • Innovation Associates

    Project Name: Low Volume usage Testing of ROBOTx Machine

    Graduate Student: Jayendran Subramanian

    Description: To simulate usage of low volume ROBOTx machines in-house using field data and to analyze the influence of volume on error rates.

    Project Name: Performance Testing of ROBOTx using Design of Experiments Concepts

    Graduate Student: Jitendran Subramanian

    Description: Using the various Design of Experiment (DOE) concepts, new designs are tested and results analyzed. Data analysis of the field data is performed to decide on the factors to be tested and also for determining sample sizes.

  • Sanmina-SCI

    Project Name: Implementation of a PCBA Quotation Model for a Global Application

    Graduate Student: Jing Li

    Description: The objective of this project is to develop a standard quotation model for Sanmina-SCI and implement this model to all global plants of Sanmina-SCI. This quotation tool is used to estimate the labor cost associated with manufacturing a printed circuit board assembly.

    Project Name: Improving Hole-Fill in Pb-Free Soldering of Thick PCB with OSP Finish

    Graduate Student: Jing Li

    Description: The scope of this research is to evaluate and characterize one alternative Pb-free surface finish, Organic Solderability Preservatives (OSP), for achieving sufficient hole-fill in wave soldering. OSP coating can be affected by exposure to elevated temperatures, especially under more severe conditions of Pb-free process. Degradation of OSP coating could adversely affect wetting and spreading of alloy, which can result in poor hole-fill penetration during wave soldering. The objective of this research is to investigate the effect of change in certain properties of OSP coating in order to improve its performance and obtain adequate hole-fill with thick board (95 mils) during wave soldering.

    Project Name: Nitrogen Application during the PCBA Assembly Process

    Graduate Student: Jing Li

    Description: The primary objective of this research is to comprehensively evaluate the benefits of using nitrogen in the SMT assembly process. The focus of this project is to investigate the effect of using nitrogen during assembly on joint reliability in the aspect of mechanical robustness and long-term thermal fatigue reliability.

  • United Health Services

    Project Name: Continuous Improvement in Healthcare

    Graduate Student: Nikita Solanki

    Description: Pharmacy departments at United Health Services Hospitals provide unit doses and Intravenous (IV) to the respective hospitals. The Pharmacy department at Wilson Hospital is planning for a redesign of their IV Room as per the USP 797 regulation which describes the procedure in which a sterile compound needs to be prepared and also standardizes the environment requirements in which the sterile compounds are prepared. As a part of Continuous Improvement, my project work deals with providing them with par levels for processing time and inventory for the new IV room. The processing time will suggest the amount of time the technicians require to work in the IV room and the inventory levels will suggest the amount of drug dosage that needs to be stored in the clean area and the semi-clean area or the Ante-room. Also, the digital human model, JACK, is being used to determine the movement of technicians and pharmacists in the IV Room and the stress that they encounter while working with the current design and how it will change with the new design.

  • Virtua Health
    Project Name: Device and Documentation Workflow Analysis

    Graduate Student: Ankush Bhagat

    Description: This is a system-wide project not restrained to a single unit or hospital. The hospitals are in the design phase of implementing EMR and updating the Clinical Information System (CIS). The biggest challenge is to implement it such that the front-liners using this tool will have fast and easy access to increase their utilization and allow more time for direct patient care. To appropriately use the new CIS we need to determine the right type of devices and optimum quantity required. The project includes forming a baseline model for each type of unit and then validating it using tools such as space assessment, utilization analysis and spaghetti maps. Finally, each unit will be tailored as per special requirements.

    Project Name: Endoscopy Workflow Assessment

    Graduate Student: Ankush Bhagat

    Description: This project deals with an in-depth assessment of patient flow in the endoscopy unit. It includes analyzing the utilization of resources in terms of OR room and beds for recovery and pre-op. The study identifies waste and then dwells on the possible causes using tools like Value stream mapping and cause and effect diagram. It also looks into the pre-op, procedure and recovery durations over the day of week and during a day to identify trends. This assessment will be finally provided to the nursing director.

    Project Name: Correlation Study for Patient Satisfaction

    Graduate Student: Ankush Bhagat

    Description: One of the very important medium of getting feedback from your treated patients is to conduct surveys. Taking it one step ahead, we are looking into identifying priority questions for each unit that has a high correlation to the mean score of patient satisfaction. This study includes getting individual hospital survey data and then finding the priority index for each question based on their average scores and correlation. In the end, we will produce a list of top 10 priority questions for each unit, which allows them to focus on certain required areas for improving patient satisfaction.

Faculty, Staff and Contact

Krishnaswami Srihari

Dean; Director; Executive Vice Provost for International Education and Global Affairs

Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science; Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE); Academic Affairs, Office of the Executive VP and Provost

Daryl Santos

Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusiveness; Professor

Academic Affairs, Office of the Executive VP and Provost; Systems Science and Industrial Engineering

Mohammad T. Khasawneh

Professor; Department Chair; Graduate Director; Professor; Associate Director

Systems Science and Industrial Engineering; Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE)

Bahgat G. Sammakia

Vice President of Research; Distinguished SUNY Professor; Director, S3IP

Research, Office of the Vice President for; Mechanical Engineering; Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging

Fax: (607) 777-4094

Mailing Address:
Watson Institute for Systems Excellence
Binghamton University
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, New York 13902-6000

WISE Alumni

Doctoral Alumni Students

Name Completion Date Title

S. Maniam Ramkumar

December 2007

‘A Novel Anisotropic Conductive Adhesive for Lead-Free Surface Mount Assembly'

Mukesh. Selvaraj

December 2007

‘Electromigration and the Reliability of Flip Chip Assemblies’

Guhan Subbarayan

December 2007

‘Manufacturing and Reliability Evaluation of Mixed Alloy Solder Joints'

Santosh. A. Kudtarkar

May 2008

'Investigation of Ball Bond Integrity for 0.8 mil (20 Microns) Diameter Gold Bonding Wire on Low k Die in Wire Bonding'


May 2008

‘Assembly, Reliability, and Rework of Stacked CSP Components'

Sreekanth Ramakrishnan

July 2008

'A Simulation-based Framework for Integrating Operational Models with Business Process Models in a Global Business Environment'

Masters Alumni Students



Completion Date


Joshua Bosier

October 2007

‘Designing an Integrated Surgical Care Delivery System'

Shashank Khandekar

November 2007

‘Heuristic Scheduling of Low Acuity Patients in the Emergency Department'

Siu-Lung Ng

December 2007

‘Reliability Assessment and Failure Analysis in Electronics Manufacturing’

G. Chennagiri

December 2007

‘Process Research and Reliability Assessment Over Multiple Rework Cycles For Flexible Substrates'

Jing Li

December 2007

‘Pad Cratering in the Reliability of Printed Circuit Boards'

Ashok Viswanathan

December 2007

‘Implementing An Efficient Quality Assessment System in an Automotive Environment'

Ambarish More

December 2007

‘Knowledge Transfer and Process Implementation for Global Stencil Manufacturing Organization'

Shantanu Mukherjee

December 2007

‘Process Research and Reliability Assessment for the Wave Soldering of ‘Thick’ Printed Circuit Boards’

Davide Fusco

December 2007

‘An Evaluation Procedure for a New Surface Mount Connector'

Maria Schneider

November 2008

'Simulation of a Complex Mix of Circuit Boards in a Drilling Environment'