Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

December 2011    |    Volume: 43    |    Number: 12

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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A less taxing ballot 


Keeping pace with IIE in the December 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer

A less taxing ballot

IIE members can soon pick new representatives for four slots on IIE’s 13-person board of trustees, along with a vice president of technical operations for IIE’s technical operations board. Don’t worry – no screaming cable TV hosts, gotcha questions or seedy revelations await. Expect a good, clean, honest campaign from people who want to help IIE serve its members, societies and divisions to the best of its ability.

The board of trustees positions up for grabs are president-elect, senior vice president at large for academics, senior vice president for regional operations and senior vice president for continuing education.

Eight people are seeking those posts, while two are vying to join IIE’s technical operations board. All terms are three years. The president-elect transitions into the job of president during the second year and serves as immediate past president during the third year.

Professional IIE members will be emailed an election-specific password, known as an e-signature, Dec. 15, along with instructions for casting an electronic ballot. IIE must have members’ current email addresses for this process. To make sure IIE has your correct email address, go to, select “Manage your Membership” under the Membership tab and click on “Update your member record.”

The electronic ballot includes biographical information for all candidates, along with the lineup of regional vice president nominees for the North and South Central regions, the only regions electing RVPs this year.

Members who want to vote with a paper ballot must request that IIE mail or fax them a ballot. Contact IIE Member and Customer Support by phone at (770) 449-0460; by fax at (770) 441-3295; or by mail at IIE, 3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200, Norcross, GA 30092.

Web polls open Dec. 15. The deadline for submitting votes is midnight Eastern time, Feb. 7, 2012.

NOMINEES WERE ASKED THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: If you are elected, how will you make things better for industrial engineers through your position?

Candidates for President-elect

John R. English 

John R. English
Dean and the LeRoy C. and Aileen H. Paslay Chair, College of Engineering
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kan.

We, as members, accept the responsibility for the advancement and impact of our profession. Along with all engineers, we strive daily to develop a more efficient and safe world. The IIE board of trustees always must ask itself when pursuing strategic action, “Will this decision better serve the members of IIE?” I will remain true to this question. The board of trustees is responsible for what will best represent the interests of our membership base, which spans from industry to academia. I believe my background offers evidence of my desire and ability to advocate for our great profession and institution.

Kim LaScola Needy 

Kim LaScola Needy
Department head and 21st Century Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Ark.

As president, I will continue the positive trajectory of IIE and uphold its vision to be the premier organization that advances, promotes and unites industrial engineering professionals worldwide and to be recognized as a leading professional organization. I lead by example and will challenge all members to make a commitment to their profession by contributing their time and talent to the institute. I will work toward breaking through the boundaries that divide us to ensure that IIE is not only relevant, but necessary to industrial engineers at all stages of their career and in all specializations within the discipline.


Candidates for Senior Vice President at Large, Academics

P. Simin Pulat 

P. Simin Pulat
Associate dean for undergraduate education, College of Engineering
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Okla.

As the elected chair of CIEADH, I planned joint meetings with CIE, hosted INCOSE in CIEADH meetings, and worked with the IIE board. IIE strives hard at serving its members’ needs and always has been receptive to new ideas. As senior vice president, academics, I will serve as the liaison between the academic community, other professional organizations, ABET and IIE. I will look for opportunities to further strengthen the partnership between the institute and the academic community as well as between the nonacademic and academic members of the institute, work with ABET to improve the accreditation process, and work on topics related to professional registration.

Janet M. Twomey 

Janet M. Twomey
Professor, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Wichita State University
Wichita, Kan.

The senior vice president at large acts as the principal liaison between the board and the academic community. I am well-suited for this post because of my prior experience as a program officer at the National Science Foundation, where I was a principal liaison between the national funding agency and the IE academic community. I will work with the IIE board of trustees to assist our academic community to develop a strategy for success. I also will communicate to the board in a clear, transparent fashion CIEADH’s agenda, the communities’ ABET accreditation needs, accreditation requirements for new IE-related programs (systems engineering) and strategies for increasing professional membership.


Candidates for Senior Vice President, Regional Operations

Gary Altman 

Gary Altman
Region director
Premier Healthcare Alliance
Charlotte, N.C.

I will help IIE members through best-practice sharing among chapters and enabling region members to better use their industrial engineering skill set with improved exposure and tools. Industrial engineers need to be viewed as indispensable engineers by the business community and as the go-to professional to improve and sustain successful organizations. My goals will be to improve best practice sharing between professional and student chapters to draw on the talents of all levels of IE professionals. I will work with region leaders to develop programs that are accessible to all members so that remote IEs are provided the same value from IIE membership as those with a strong local chapter.

Michael D. Foss 

Michael D. Foss
Senior manager, Operations engineering and labor planning

In this position, I would continue to support and grow the Young Professionals network. I would work closely with the U.S. and international professional and academic regional vice presidents to improve regional and chapter operations, together creating initiatives that will further strengthen the value of IIE for today’s and tomorrow’s industrial engineer. Through my recent and current work leading the Professional Chapters Model Evaluation project, the team has identified several areas of opportunity to further strengthen the value proposition of IIE membership and improve chapter operations and performance. It would be my objective to see these recommendations become reality.


Candidates for Senior Vice President, Continuing Education

John W. Fowler 

John W. Fowler
Motorola Professor and Chair of Supply Chain Management, Professor of industrial engineering
Arizona State University
Tempe, Ariz.

Over the last several years, IIE has expanded conference and continuing education offerings to provide members with a rich set of knowledge enhancement opportunities. I will work closely with IIE leadership, staff, industrial and academic volunteers, and other members of the board of trustees to plan and promote the best possible set of conferences and continuing education opportunities for all IIE members. Previous activities that have prepared me for this position include serving twice as co-program chair of the Industrial Engineering Research Conference, general chair of three other conferences and program chair of five additional conferences, as well as teaching numerous industrial short courses worldwide.

Ariela Sofer 

Ariela Sofer
Professor and chair, Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research
George Mason University
Fairfax, Va.

Continuing education is an important service that IIE provides to support the growing educational requirements of members’ careers and enhance their professional development. I will strive to provide increased and improved continuing education opportunities to benefit the membership. In doing so, I will draw upon my past experience in education in a rapidly changing field and also seek out membership input and advice. I believe that my experience in education, including distance and short courses, will help me serve effectively. My prior experience on the board of a large professional society will enhance my service as a responsible and contributing member of the board of trustees.


Candidates for Vice President - Technical Operations Board

Eileen M. Van Aken 

Eileen M. Van Aken
Professor and associate department head, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va.

My experience as board member and president for SEMS has helped me see the obstacles as well as the opportunities and benefits in working to provide increased value to members. I truly have enjoyed working with my volunteer colleagues and getting to know IIE staff as we defined and documented our core processes, defined our “value-added” to SEMS members, listened and learned what members want via a member survey, and offered new services (such as webinars and a newsletter) to better attract and retain members. I look forward to the possibility of working more broadly within IIE and to working with societies and divisions to better serve members.

MD Sarder 

MD Sarder
Assistant professor and graduate advisor
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Miss.

Providing the best value to the IIE membership through its divisional and regional operations will be my key goal. I will facilitate IIE divisions in creating a body of knowledge, networking opportunities, recognitions and educational programs for their members to stay competitive in the global market. As a vice president of technical networking, my focus will be on improving divisional operations through standardizing operations, sharing best practices, performance evaluations and fostering communication between IIE and division leadership. I will serve as a facilitator to division presidents and regional presidents to assist them in supporting technical interests of their members.