Spring 2010 ISyE Advisory Board Meets to Discuss School Updates

May 18, 2010 | Atlanta, GA

The Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) hosted its spring advisory board meeting on April 22, 2010.  Stewart School Chair Chelsea C. White III and Advisory Board Chair Christopher B. Lofgren led the meeting.    

In his opening remarks, Lofgren discussed the search for ISyE’s new chair.  As many of you may know by now, Chip White announced his intention to step down as school chair at the end of his five-year term, effective June 30, 2010.  College of Engineering Dean Giddens has initiated a search for the new chair by establishing a search committee to actively solicit candidates, evaluate qualifications, and, through a screening and interview process, recommend finalists for the position.  An interim chair will be announced most likely by the end of May with the new chair expected to be on board within a year.

Lofgren also introduced the new advisory board member nominees and confirmed their appointments for the 2010 – 2014 term.  The new board members are: David Bailey (IE 1969), Robert "Bpb" Martin (IE 1969), Phillip J. Scott (IE 1969), John A. White III (IE 1992), and Charlene Zalesky (1977).  Ed Rogers (IE 1982, MS IL 2002) succeeds outgoing chair Chris Lofgren, who served from 2008 – 2010.

Lofgren expressed his gratitude for working with the board and for Georgia Tech in general.  “Georgia Tech is a special place,” he said.  “What makes it so special is the people.  For those new on the advisory board, you will develop great friendships that will be lasting and spectacular.  It has been an honor to work with so many phenomenal individuals.”

After Lofgren’s opening remarks, White updated the board on the Stewart School’s continuing successes and upcoming challenges as the nation’s largest and highest ranked industrial engineering program.  For an unprecedented twentieth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked ISyE as the number one graduate program for industrial and manufacturing engineering in the nation.  The undergraduate program has been ranked number one every year but one by U.S. News & World Report.  The National Research Council has ranked the faculty number one with ranking done once every ten years.  ISyE has the highest quality faculty at both the senior and junior levels, including five NAE members and eleven endowed chairs.

In discussing how ISyE is doing, White noted that budgets are tight and vigilance is required.  However, ISyE is using the economic downturn as an opportunity to renew and strengthen its programs and plans to exit the downturn stronger than when we entered it, relative to our peers.  ISyE has made excellent progress with the new emerging directions in areas of significant real-world importance as in health and humanitarian logistics; medical OR/biostats; energy, environment, and sustainability; as well as in finance and security.   Our current international presence is growing including our programs in Shanghai, Singapore, and Costa Rica with other international possibilities in the works.  

Nancy Sandlin, ISyE director of development, reported on ISyE’s fundraising efforts to date.  Some of the development needs discussed were support for faculty and students, ISyE Distinguished Lecture (naming gift), Senior Design program, Workforce Communications Lab, Humanitarian Logistics, Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy, external alumni events, and general unrestricted support.   She also reviewed a way to support the future of Georgia Tech by making a will provision to the Georgia Tech Foundation where you may leave a percentage of the remainder of your estate or a fixed amount to support the future of ISyE.

Professor Pinar Keskinocak presented the group with an update on the efforts of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics, which is housed in ISyE’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute.  The mission of the Center is to improve health and humanitarian logistics and ultimately the human condition by system transformation and organization effectiveness through education, outreach, and solutions.  The opportunities in humanitarian response and world health are vast.  Constrained recourses, uncertainty in demand and supply, and many other variables in these settings make quantitative analysis and mathematical modeling excellent tools for decision support.   Learn more about this important work at:http://www.scl.gatech.edu/research/humanitarian/.

Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Chen Zhou discussed the strengths of the undergraduate program.  He also presented a refinement in the academic tracks within the undergraduate curriculum.   They are moving from six tracks to five, consolidating the tracks to increase depth and breadth of studies.  The new tracks are Supply Chain Engineering, Economics and Financial Systems, Operations Research, Quality and Statistics, and General.

Professor Valerie Thomas presented an update on ISyE’s work in energy and sustainability.  Thomas stated that through this work ISyE faculty and student will develop new approaches to sustainability challenges, using and expanding the methods of industrial and systems engineering.   ISyE will contribute to the understanding of sustainability challenges at the national and international level and is the premier location for energy and sustainability training for industrial engineers.   ISyE also has as a goal to be the leading industrial engineering program for energy and sustainability education, at the undergraduate, masters, and PhD levels.   To learn more about Thomas and this vital work visit:  http://www2.isye.gatech.edu/people/faculty/Valerie_Thomas/index.php.

Harvey Donaldson, SCL managing director and associate chair of Industry and International Programs, brought the board up to date on the new proposed MS in Supply Chain Engineering.   This new MS in Supply Chain Engineering has been approved by Georgia Tech and is awaiting final approval by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. 

Jaymie Forrest, director of business development at the Supply Chain & Logistics Center, discussed the recent creation of the Integrated Food Chain Center (IFC).  IFC will focus on cold chain management of perishable goods, researching food safety (compliance), product quality (monitor & control), performance (analytics), and technology (showcase).   She also reported on our Latin American initiatives including TLI-Asia Pacific in Singapore, the Trade, Innovation & Productivity in Costa Rica, as well as other proposed centers throughout Latin America.  To learn more on these efforts visit: http://www.scl.gatech.edu/.

As the meeting drew to a close, Lofgren thanked Larry Bradner (former chair 2006-2008) for guiding him in his role as advisory board chair.  White then expressed his deep appreciation to Lofgren for serving as ISyE’s advisory board chair for the last four years.  Lofgren then passed the gavel to Ed Rogers, who will serve a one-year term as ISyE’s new advisory board chair.

Before concluding the meeting, Joe Mello (IE 1980) was presented the Hill Society Award for his leadership in the healthcare industry. Mello’s Hill Society Award citation read:

“Throughout his career, Joseph C. Mello, IE 1980, has been a leader in the healthcare industry. While a student at Georgia Tech, he worked as a paramedic at nearby Grady Hospital to help cover the costs of his education. Since then, he has gone on to an illustrious career, serving in key management positions at MedPartners Inc. and Vivra Asthma & Allergy Inc. In 2000, Mr. Mello was named chief operating officer of DaVita, the largest independent provider of dialysis services in the United States. Understanding the need for increased research and intellectual scholarship concerning the systems-based approach to healthcare delivery, Mr. and Mrs. Mello have generously supported initiatives at Georgia Tech. They have demonstrated their commitment to the Institute with the establishment of a professorship in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering in support of health systems. Their philanthropic investment will have an enormous impact on the Institute and its role in defining the technological future of the rapidly changing healthcare profession. A member of the College of Engineering’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, Mr. Mello also provides volunteer leadership and service to the Institute through his involvement with the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board.

 "As one of the nation’s premier research universities, Georgia Tech is educating the technological workforce of the twenty-first century and conducting research that drives innovation. Thanks to the support of principal benefactors like Mr. and Mrs. Mello, Georgia Tech continues to reach new heights, building upon academic strengths and addressing the challenges facing our region, our nation, and the world. It is with profound gratitude that the Georgia Institute of Technology honors Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello as members of the exceptional fellowship of The Hill Society. “

The fall advisory board meeting will be held in October; dates to be announced.

Related Media

Click on image(s) to view larger version(s)

  • Chip White presents Joe Mello (IE 1980) with the Hill Society Award for his leadership in the healthcare industry

  • Chris Lofgren (Chair 2008 – 2010) thanks Larry Bradner (former Chair 2006-2008) for guiding him in his role as advisory board chair.

  • Chris Lofgren passes the gavel to Ed Rogers who will serve a one-year term as ISyE’s new advisory board chair

For More Information Contact

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering