Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Degree Level



Industrial Engineering


Milburn, Ashlea B

Committee Member/Reader

Root, Sarah E.


The purpose of this research is to develop decision support models that can be used by the American Red Cross (ARC) to schedule blood drives with improved shifts for the phlebotomists that staff them. Currently, phlebotomists work inconsistent hours and the ARC believes this is a leading cause of high turnover rates they are experiencing. For example, phlebotomists sometimes staff a blood drive until 11 PM one night and will have to work another at 8 AM the next morning. Assigning phlebotomists more consistent shifts in blocks of time will definitely improve their work schedule. Before switching to block scheduling, the ARC would like to see the potential improvements. Using mathematical optimization software and heuristics to model the scheduling scenarios, this research has evaluated the effectiveness of block scheduling, which was measured by the number of drives needed to be moved from their originally requested start time, etc. Ultimately, these models and results will help the ARC decide whether to switch to block scheduling for assigning phlebotomists to blood drives.