SEMS Says ... Seeks stuTown hall highlights goals for the year ahead; #Lean6Data2021 keynote speakers

By the Society for Engineering and Management Systems Board

July/August 2021

Members of the Society for Engineering and Management Systems discussed the past year’s challenges and accomplishments and goals for the future in a virtual town hall meeting held at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo 2021 in May.

SEMS President Henry Lester led the discussion by offering data on membership trends and a list of objectives for the society to strive for in 2021-2022.

He began by recognizing the SEMS Board of Directors, including three new members and their terms: Casey Spansel (2021-2024); Sandra Furterer (2021-2024); and Joseph Michels (2021-2024). The other members are Lester (2020-2022); President-elect Christina Rinaudo (2020-2022); Michael Testani (2019-2022); Lizzette Lespier (2020- 2023); Michael Graul (2020-2023); and Ruel Ellis (2020-2023).

Lester also restated the SEMS mission: To research, develop and promote engineering and management systems and processes that support organizational transformation, increase competitiveness, improve sustainability and social responsibility. The society’s vision was also noted as “To be the premier organization that advances, promotes and unites the industrial and systems engineering profession worldwide regarding engineering management systems and processes.”

The society’s strategic plan consists of the following initiatives:

  • Collaborate with IISE to support the mission of the institute, to advance the adoption of IISE participation in engineering management-related activities.
  • Promote and facilitate the continuing education of SEMS members and engineering management stakeholders through programs and conferences.
  • Provide a forum for members to share information on state-of-the-art engineering management practices, technologies, research and development (R&D) tools, techniques, and theories for improving productivity and quality.
  • Sustain/increase SEMS membership by offering activities in demand for each category of its membership.
  • Educate and inform the public on how ISE can improve engineering management processes and systems, resulting in greater cost-effectiveness, better quality and higher levels of stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Promote engineering management research, innovation and technology development to improve productivity and quality in research and industry practices.

Lester then listed several goals for the year ahead:

  • Lead the Engineering Management Track at the IISE Annual Conference.
  • Recognize best practices through awards such as the Management Award, Best Practice Award, Best Paper Competition and Best Student Paper Competition.
  • Maintain a board with a healthy representation of industry and academia.
  • Offer various educational and informational programs such as webinars, workshops, etc., for members.
  • Publish the Industrial Management magazine and a newsletter with SEMS-related program announcements, research and industry practice articles for its members.
  • Continue growing social media forum members (LinkedIn) to promote networking, idea generation and sharing solutions for engineering management research, development and practice.
  • Develop a database or registry of members’ areas of expertise to facilitate access by the membership at large or by other individuals and organizations.
  • Actively participate in IISE functions, including educational offerings and publications and nominating SEMS members for IISE honors and awards.

SEMS also acknowledged its student paper awards announced at the Annual Conference. The winner was Kimberly Harry of Virginia Tech for her paper, “Systematic Literature Review of Kaizen Event Use in Hospitals Assessment of the Maturity of Research on Kaizen Events in Hospitals.” The runner-up was Mohammed S. Alrezq of Virginia Tech for “Bibliometric Analysis of Lean Production Applications within Local Government Organizations.”

Expert speakers set for IISE Lean Six Sigma & Data Science Conference Sept. 20-22

Registration is underway for the Lean Six Sigma & Data Science Conference Sept. 20-22 at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, Atlanta. Presented by IISE’s Operational Excellence Division, #Lean6Data2021 is the institute’s first scheduled in-person conference since early 2020 and will include dozens of presentations on multiple tracks, along with panel discussions and networking sessions.

Three keynote speakers will highlight topics featuring data analytics and geostatistics, high risk environments and healthcare. They include: Morgan Smith, retired president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security; Michael J. Pyrcz, an associate professor in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering and the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin; and Joyce T. Siegele, director of productivity management at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.

To learn more, including program updates and registration information, visit