SEMS Says ... Greetings from new president-elect, board member

By the Society for Engineering and Management Systems Board

Pittsburgh conference was a winner; how to get involved

What a great conference we had in Pittsburgh!

I hope you were able to attend and that you are making plans for joining us next year in Orlando, Florida. I have been involved with SEMS going on 10 years now, and the IISE Annual Conference always has been a treat for me professionally, largely because of the opportunity to visit face to face and catch up with the great members of the SEMS community and hear the presentations of state-of-the-art research in engineering management.

The conference in Pittsburgh was very special for me, as I officially became part of your SEMS executive board for 2017 through 2020. I am extremely honored by you voting me in as president-elect. I look forward to giving back to the society that has given so much to me. I am sure that many of you share my sentiments of what a great organization SEMS is and how much value we as members get from the society.

SEMS is a volunteer-run society within IISE, and it is the work of volunteers that enables the society to thrive and provide value to the membership. There are many opportunities to serve SEMS. We are guided by an executive board and a board of directors. The executive board consists of the president-elect, president and past president. Members vote annually for president-elect, and that person serves three years on the executive board, transitioning from president-elect to president to past president, holding associated responsibilities for one year each.

The members of the board of directors are also elected annually to three-year terms. Directors have one or more specific areas of service to the society, such as the IISE Annual Conference, communications and international membership, among others. There are also numerous opportunities to serve without running for a director position, with one of the most important being serving as a co-chair for the Engineering Management track at the IISE Annual Conference. I have served in many roles for SEMS, including a term on the SEMS board of directors and four years as a co-chair of the Engineering Management track. The work can be busy at times, but it is well worth the reward.

If you attended the SEMS Town Hall meeting during the conference in Pittsburgh, you heard a call for volunteers. We still need you. At the time of this writing, we have one co-chair lined up for the conference next year in Orlando; we need at least two more. I can think of no better way to interact personally with so many members in our field. SEMS President Sreekanth Ramakrishnan will be laying out other opportunities to volunteer as he begins his term if you wish to serve in some other fashion.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss opportunities to serve within SEMS or if you have ideas for how the society may better add value to your membership. Again, I am honored to be president-elect for the 2017-2018 year, and I look forward to working with you all to continue improving the value SEMS provides for its members.

— SEMS President-elect Brian K. Smith is an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Mississippi State University. His research interests include data analytics applications within engineering management. He has more than 10 years of industry experience in quality engineering and engineering management.

Three new faces join the SEMS board of directors

By Charles Sturt University lecturer Andrea M. Goncher

Thank you for electing me to the SEMS board of directors. I will be joining the board along with two other newcomers: Gene Dixon, an associate professor at East Carolina University, and Kira Hansen, an engineer in the Technical Excellence Program for Harley-Davidson.

I am excited to be able to offer additional opportunities to our members. Since last June, I have served as a clinical professor and program director for systems engineering and engineering management at Drexel University after eight years at Western New England University, where I was an associate professor and interim chair. Prior to that, I spent 12 years in industry and decided in 2004 that academia was where I could envision myself effecting greater change, so I changed paths and completed my Ph.D. in industrial engineering at Lehigh University in 2008.

While I still am somewhat new to the SEMS community, I previously served as the secretary for the Hartford Chapter of IISE and was the faculty advisor for seven years. I feel strongly about bringing global perspectives into practice and academia and thus have been serving as the chair for the International Committee of SEMS since fall 2016.

At 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time July 13, SEMS will present a webinar about the impact of regulatory initiatives on the pharmaceutical industry titled "Regulatory-Driven Initiatives: The Burdens and Opportunities." Find the webinar at If you miss it, you can find the presentation archived under "Engineering Management" at

My main goal for this year is to increase our collaborations with our global partners. This can be in the form of research projects, co-taught classes, professional development and developing a repository of connections and expertise for our members to use when they are looking for assistance with their endeavors. This year, ASEM and IISE have partnered with other organizations to co-host an international conference whose motto is "New Global Perspectives on Industrial Engineering and Management" ( I would like to increase these types of collaborations on any scale, so I welcome suggestions and input from all of you. Please feel free to contact me at I look forward to creating new opportunities.

— Julie Drzymalski is a clinical professor and program director for systems engineering and engineering management at Drexel University and works in the areas of predictive human behavior models as well as building robust supply chains. She has been in academia for nine years and has 12 years of industrial experience in quality, project and program management.