IISE Member Spotlight

IISE Member Spotlight - Nightingale

Deborah J. Nightingale

Principal of Nightingale Associates; university distinguished professor at the University of Central Florida; former professor of practice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; worked with more than 100 organizations; co-authored three books; and was awarded IISE’s Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award in 2020

What made you want to join IISE and what has it meant for you?

Becoming an IISE member was one of the best career and personal decisions I have made. As a result, I now have colleagues and friends from all over the world. … The networking has paid back in so many ways. When I moved to Boston for family reasons many years ago, it was my IISE network that put me in touch with numerous job contacts, ultimately landing me my position at MIT. I have hired countless employees, postdocs and Ph.D. students as a result of my IISE connections.

What are some of the biggest advantages of IISE membership?

Learning – IISE provides an incredible opportunity to further advance your knowledge through the many conferences, short courses, publications, etc. Leadership – getting involved in volunteering (both at the local and national level) affords opportunities to develop your leadership skills, a critical element for career advancement. Networking – for potential job opportunities, for technical interactions around contemporary problems and for hiring resources. A lifetime of colleagues – the relationships you build transcend where you are employed.

Any advice for young industrial and systems engineers?

Get involved! Participate in IISE and other professional activities related to your job. Use your ISE skills to give back to your community, to more junior members of your organization. Network, network, network! Don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility in your job; take some risks. Take a systems perspective in your approach to problem solving and remember people are the most important element of the system.

What does winning the Gilbreth award mean to you?

This was the greatest honor of my life … It was a testament by my peers to my lifetime of contributions to industry, government and academia as well as service to the Institute and society in general. Many of the previous Gilbreth Award members have been my mentors and close colleagues. I have had the privilege to work with and get to know personally every one of the winners for the past 30 years and I feel really privileged to add my name to theirs on the list of Gilbreth Award winners.

Previous IISE Member Spotlights