Project Director

Wigal, Cecelia

Department Examiner

Elliott, Louie; Weerasena, Lakmali


Dept. of Mechanical Engineering


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This paper evaluates the impact of using mechanical engineering and operations management principles to an inventory management system in Erlanger Hospital. Erlanger Hospital is a local, nonprofit hospital system in Chattanooga. Erlanger serves as a tertiary referral hospital and a Level I Trauma Center in the region. Therefore, they are heavily depended on during times of crisis or emergency [2]. This study focuses specifically on reducing the loss and ultimate waste of sutures across Erlanger’s surgery wing. A criteria for the appraisal of using mechanical and manufacturing engineering to improve the current system is established based on existing data regarding the stock of sutures in the surgery wing. The current system is analyzed and evaluated for potential opportunities to reduce the number sutures wasted, thus saving money and time for the hospital. The results of this study are summarized in a white paper for customer use.


There have been many people who have helped, taught, and supported me through this process. I am so grateful for the time, attention, and encouragement you have all given me. Thank you to Shawn Lowe who has always made time to teach, explain, and show me his world. I understand your time is not a luxury, but every minute you gave me has not only been vital in creating this thesis, but it has also opened my eyes to a field that I have grown very eager to pursue. I am so grateful for my thesis director, Dr. Cecelia Wigal’s, trust and patience through this process. Your guidance and how well you’ve handled the stress with me has been deeply appreciated. The hours I’ve poured into this would have exhausted me if it weren’t for my family and my best friends. This opportunity has shaped my future career, taught me things I would have never had in the classroom, and shown me the importance of loving what your do.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Hospitals -- Inventory control


Operations; Erlanger; Suture; Inventory


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



41 leaves




Under copyright.