Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers, renowned experts in industrial engineering and management, set the tone for various sections of the annual conference.

Sunday, November 1

Pooja Dewan, Ph.D. Pooja Dewan, Ph.D.

Vice President & Chief Data & Analytics Officer

Pooja Dewan is the vice president and chief data & analytics officer for Otis Elevator Company. In this critical role she leads the company’s data science and analytics capabilities, identifying opportunities to accelerate growth and efficiency.

She is responsible for driving the data and analytics vision, strategy, and execution, and she owns the data management roadmap driving sustainable business growth and profitability, internal efficiencies through improved data structures, constant data cleanliness and insight, and efficient data governance and process.

Pooja brings more than 20 years of experience at BNSF Railway. There she served as the Chief Data Scientist, where she led the Operations Research and Advanced Analytics group for 16 years. Her team was awarded with international recognition of best Advanced Analytics team in 2019 - INFORMS prize.

Pooja holds a master's and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She is also an author of several research publications in various scientific journals.

Monday, November 2

Ola Harrysson, Ph.D.Ola Harrysson, Ph.D.

Edward P. Fitts Distinguished Professor
North Carolina State University

Dr. Ola L. A. Harrysson joined the ISE Department at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2002 after receiving his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. He has been conducting research in rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing for over 25 years. His main areas of research are medical application of additive manufacturing technologies, custom design and fabrication of  orthopedic implants, medical device development, and materials development for the Metal Powder Bed Fusion Systems. He has been part of a research team that has developed a software solution for automation of sequential hybrid manufacturing using additive and subtractive processes in an automated fashion. Dr. Harrysson is the Edward P. Fitts Distinguished Professor and the Director of the Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics in the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State University. He also holds faculty positions in the Departments of Material Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Harrysson is teaching courses in additive manufacturing and product development. He is part of a faculty team that is offering a graduate level course in product development that involves students from three different colleges, Engineering, Industrial Design and the College of Management. This multidisciplinary course provides the students with a real-life opportunity to work on a team with members with different backgrounds, while developing a real product.

Tuesday, November 3

James A. Tompkins, Ph.D. James A. Tompkins, Ph.D.

Tompkins International

Dr. James A. Tompkins is an international authority on designing and implementing end-to-end supply chains. As the founder of Tompkins International, his focus over the last several years has been in the areas of digital commerce, unichannel and supply chain reinvention, helping companies connect supply chain processes with the customer journey to increase long-term profitable growth. Jim coined the phrase ‘Sell Everywhere,’ which is the strat­egy of selling through a wide range of online and offline channels where consumers shop, buy and enjoy products, offering a seamless, end-to-end customer experience.

Jim received the prestigious Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award from the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) on June 1, 2015. The award is an attribute that recognizes Dr. Tompkins through the contributions he has provided to the welfare of mankind in the field of industrial engineering. In addition, Jim has served as President of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (now IISE), the Materials Management Society and the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education and has been named a Distinguished Engineering Alum by Purdue University. He has also received more than 50 additional awards for his service to his profession.

Over the last 40 years, Tompkins International has evolved from a supply chain consulting firm into an end-to-end supply chain consulting and solutions company, with business units focusing on supply chain consulting services, material handling integration and two recent entrepreneurial ventures: MonarchFx and Tompkins Robotics, which together with Etail Solutions, form a true end-to-end digital commerce ecosystem. His 40-plus years as CEO of Tompkins International and his focus on helping companies achieve profitable growth give him an insider’s view into what makes great companies even better. As a high-level business and supply chain strategy advisor, his unique perspective prepares corporations and executives for the future.

Jim is a thought leader, sharing insights on business strategy through his presentations and videos, including his most recent, Anti-Brittle: Succeeding and Flourishing in these Uncertain and Volatile Times. Jim also shares his knowledge and provides up-to-date information on supply chain and business trends via Linkedin and Twitter.

He has written or contributed to more than 30 books, been quoted in hundreds of business and industry magazines such as The Journal of Commerce, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, DC Velocity and FORTUNE, and has spoken at thousands of international engagements.

Jim received his bachelor of science in industrial engineering in 1969, his master of science in industrial engineering in 1970 and his Ph.D. in 1972, all from Purdue University.