Union Pacific manages over 33,000 craft professionals including conductors and engineers who are managed through unions via collective bargaining agreements; when these agreements aren’t followed, claims are required to be submitted for review. The student team will redesign and deliver a fully electronic claims system to replace the current, outdated, paper based process that doesn’t meet current needs.
Union Pacific currently employs 37,000 employees across its vast network. About 90 percent of the workforce at Union Pacific is unionized, which includes our craft professionals, managed through collective bargaining agreements. This chunk of our workforce is made up of 15 unique Labor Unions, resulting in hundreds of contracts across our system. The Labor Relations department relies on a claim management system that presents many operational challenges:
(1) Predominately paper based (via US mail) claim intake which results in time delays, potential manual entry errors and a bottleneck at claim intake;
(2) Lacks adaptability to new logic and ColdFusion reporting edits; and
(3) Outdated system that cannot process basic, functional system upgrades (freezing rows, auto save, system time out, etc.)
The student team of data analysts and developers, supported by current expert UP users, will evaluate the existing system, its failure points in the business process and the Oracle data tables that it relies on, and capture the business team’s functional needs due to evolving processes. The ultimate goal is a complete system redesign, addressing:
- front end at claim intake
- workflow of the application system
- dashboard visualization with working notifications
- administrative UI to allow minimal reliance on IT developer coding
- security levels to include/restrict access for external Union leadership
- interconnectivity to existing UP systems
- report creation and form/letter/submission document capability
This team will develop a system for the Workforce Resources Labor Relations department, removing roadblocks for them complete simple tasks and successfully do their jobs.
The 2021 UP Cohort team will deliver a comprehensive business process and UI design, research the existing data structure and make adjustments where needed, as well as develop the components of the system.
UP Development Environment:
The new system will be developed using Oracle, Angular, and Java services. Students will be able to access the environment via virtual machines in the UP system.
Front End Programming / Design Implementation (1 – 2 students)
Specific Skills: General Programming (EECS 281 level) and implementation of UI/UX guidelines.
Likely Majors: CS, DATA, SI
Database Design (1 student)
Specific Skills: Advanced database skills (equivalent to EECS 484)
Likely Majors: CS, DATA
Back End Programming (1 – 2 students)
Specific Skills: Programming skills (EECS 281 level completed)
Likely Majors: CS
Business Process Design (1 – 2 students)
Specific Skills: Business process analysis – (must have some knowledge of programming)
Likely Majors: IOE, BBA (with CS Minor), CS (with BBA minor)
Addison Parker joined Union Pacific in 2016 in UP’s Corporate Systems Group supporting Financial Applications. In the past few years with the railroad, Addison has accumulated multiple IT responsibilities including software development and project management work on several systems. The systems are largely financial in nature and include predictive costing, invoicing, revenue, and real estate, which includes all of freight revenue totaling more than $20 billion per year. Prior to joining UP, Addison was a student at the University of Michigan in the College of Engineering. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a minor in Multidisciplinary Design. Addison was a member of the 2015 Union Pacific Multidisciplinary Design Team.
Bill is a Lecturer III in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. Most recently he has been teaching EECS 183: Elementary Programming Concepts. He previously worked in various roles in automotive manufacturing at Ford Motor Company and U.S. Manufacturing Corporation, and has mentored Union Pacific MDP projects before. (For more information, visit http://web.eecs.umich.edu/~warthur/)
Course Substitutions: Honors, ChE Elective, CS MDE/Capstone, CE MDE, Data Science Capstone, EE MDE, IOE Senior Design
Internship/Summer Opportunity: 2021 Summer Internships (in Omaha, NE) are required for students who participate on this team. Students will have one (1) week from offer to accept the project placement. By accepting a project offer, students are accepting an internship offer conditional of the criteria noted below.
- All project students must participate in the Union Pacific summer internship program. All students must:
– Cumulative University of Michigan GPA > 3.0 preferred
- Offer letters will include pay rates, dates, and conditions of the internship.
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to US Citizens or Permanent Residents only.
IP/NDA: Students will sign standard University of Michigan IP/NDA documents.
Meeting Time: This team will meet with faculty and industry sponsors on Fridays from 9 – 11 AM Eastern Time in Winter 2021.