Chelsea “Chip” C. White III Shares Parting Thoughts

Nov 1, 2010 | Atlanta, GA

I have been asked to share with you parting thoughts on having been chair of the Stewart School for the five-year period ending June 30, 2010.

 The thought that immediately comes to mind is how uniquely remarkable ISyE is as an academic unit in higher education in the United States and throughout the world. Rankings are not necessarily accurate indicators of quality.

However, having both our graduate and undergraduate programs consistently ranked first by U.S. News & World Report in industrial and manufacturing engineering is a source of great pride to us all. That our graduate program has been ranked first for twenty consecutive years is simply extraordinary. To paraphrase an external review of ISyE written three years ago: ISyE is the nation’s flagship academic unit in industrial engineering and operations research and plays a leading role in shaping the strategic directions of the discipline. Such recognition does not come without significant investments in time, effort, and money by Georgia Tech as an institution and the School’s alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends over a long period of time. Let me thank all of you for your many contributions that have made ISyE the premier academic unit that it is.

Over the last five years, we strived to ensure continued and increased strength of the School’s foundation disciplines (optimization, stochastics and simulation, and statistics) and to broaden the School’s applied research horizons through continued support of supply chain and logistics initiatives, efforts to revive traditional strengths in health, and new initiatives in health and humanitarian logistics, sustainability and natural systems, and systems informatics and control. ISyE also expanded its international activities beyond those in Singapore to include programs in Shanghai and Latin America. During this period, the faculty strove hard to continuously improve the quality of incoming students and faculty, the mentoring process for junior faculty, and the evaluation processes for faculty reappointment, promotion, and tenure.

In 2006, ISyE received a $20 million commitment from H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart that enabled, and will continue to enable, ISyE to have greater impact on its academic and research communities and on challenges of economic and societal importance. Overall, ISyE foundation accounts more than doubled from endowment gifts and commitments during the last five years, helping to ensure the School’s financial stability and health during the economic downturn and providing resources to help ISyE increase its dominance among its academic peers in the future. Let me end by expressing my appreciation for being given the opportunity to have served as ISyE chair and for the chance it gave me to get to know so many of the fine people—alumni, faculty, staff,students, and friends—who have contributed to ISyE.

Chelsea “Chip” White, the Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and former H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart Chair of Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, will be spending next year in Abu Dhabi helping to launch an industrial and systems engineering department at Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research (KUSTAR). In his new role, White will help establish the curriculum for KUSTAR’s systems engineering program and recruit systems engineering faculty members. He will also be providing leadership for the Logistics Institute, as well as support in the enrollment of personnel. He will be based at the university’s Abu Dhabi campus. Abu Dhabi, the richest and largest of the seven city-states in the United Arab Emirates, approached Georgia Tech to help them build the educational base Abu Dhabi needs to reduce its economy’s dependence on oil. White is not the only Georgia Tech professor at KUSTAR; professors in Tech’s biomedical engineering and aerospace engineering schools will also be spending the 2010-2011 school year helping KUSTAR build curricula and recruit faculty.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Industrial and Systems Engineering: the Alumni Magazine for the Stewart School of ISyE at Georgia Tech.

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  • Chelsea “Chip” C. White III

    Chelsea “Chip” C. White III

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
404.385.3102