Tsinghua University Wins Fourth Annual HSPI Student Simulation Competition
Improving healthcare systems is truly an international effort—even within the upcoming generation of engineers. For the first time in the four-year history of the HSPI Student Simulation Competition, all three finalist teams represented universities outside the United States.
On February 22, shortly after the student teams presented their solutions to a panel of judges, Tsinghua University’s IME Team was declared the winner of the competition and its $2,500 USD first prize. The victory from this internationally-renowned Chinese university also represents the first time that an institution located outside the United States has won the HSPI Student Simulation Competition.
Second place went to the IEPG – UNIFEI Team from Brazil’s Federal University of Itajubá, one of the top engineering schools in Brazil. And for the second year in a row, a team from the Philippines’ Bulacan State University made it to the finals of the competition—this year, Team Bulacan took third place.
The HSPI Student Simulation Competition features teams of students from around the world working to solve a “real-world” healthcare case study using simulation modeling techniques. This year’s case study revolved around Army field hospital operations in post-hurricane disaster conditions. Self-contained, mobile field hospitals could potentially provide better access to medical care following a hurricane. The simulation competition teams had the task of analyzing both current and future field hospital operations, with the goal of answering specific questions about processes, capacity, and performance.
This research is especially important in the wake of the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season—experts estimate that approximately 55% of Puerto Rico’s 1.87 million residents had little if any access to medical care two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck.