Management Engineer, Andrea Disotell ‘12, Finds Value in Variety

Andrea Disotell with husband, ANdrewDisotel Family Photo byJessica Blazi Photography

If you’re looking for Andrea Disotell ‘12 (BS/BA) at Rady Children’s Hospital where she works as a management engineer, be prepared for a search. On any given workday, Disotell’s job has her doing many different things. “That’s one of the things I’ve loved about industrial engineering,” she says. “I’ve done a lot of finance related business projects, but I’ve also done business projects where I’m on the nursing floor observing nurses and patients, or in the ER looking at layout improvements. It keeps it really fun and different all the time.”

Disotell, 30, was employed by Northrop Grumman Corp and Cobham Advanced Electronics Systems, before joining Rady’s in 2016. As an industrial and systems engineering major, she’d done her senior design project at the hospital. And last year, she closed the circle in a very meaningful way, by mentoring another group of USD seniors. “I loved USD because of the low ratio of students to teachers. I felt very much like I was part of a family,” she says. “There were only 18 of us in my industrial engineering class. So we did everything together.” Taking that family vibe a step further, Disotell married one of those classmates, Andrew Disotell ’12 (BS/BA). “I would definitely say there’s a huge difference in terms of personal connection compared to the other schools,” she adds. “Yet from what I’ve seen being in the industry now and having friends who’ve gone to other schools, we had all of the opportunity, equipment and software that everyone else is learning.”

At Rady’s, Disotell has applied her expertise to a range of different projects. One involved improving access to healthcare providers by analyzing the systems in place and designing a more efficient scheduling model. In another, her team is determining how to optimize the emergency room layout, so staff can locate supplies more easily. She worked on a large, interdisciplinary team that brought a groundbreaking new leukemia treatment to Rady’s patients. Disotell also teaches classes on improvement methodologies to Rady’s managers and directors.

Disotell and her husband recently applied their combined talents to their newest challenge at home — a baby girl born just a few months ago. “Before she was born, we made a shared spreadsheet with all of the items our friends recommended, what was necessary, and at what level of importance. We included links to the best ones and calculated every cost,” she laughs. But they fell short of solving the most vexing of infant issues: a foolproof sleep schedule.“No, our skills haven’t helped with anything like that,” Disotell admits. “Although that would be awesome.”

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