Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

December 2016    |    Volume: 48    |    Number: 12

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Keeping pace with IIE in the April 2012 issue of Industrial Engineer

Social networking, IE style

New president-elect to champion value of connecting
Kim LaScola Needy’s social network is much different than Mark Zuckerberg’s.

While Zuckerberg is known for co-creating the Facebook social networking website, Needy, IIE’s new president-elect, has built an industry and academic career that has spanned decades. Her involvement with IIE has played a part every step of the way.

“IIE to me at one point was really about what I could get out of it through training and education,” Neely said in a February visit to headquarters in Norcross, Ga.

“But really, to me, it’s become kind of my social network. I go to the [Annual] Conference to network with all of my industrial engineering buddies, and then, ‘Oh by the way, there’s also a technical program going on where I can learn some new things.’”

The networking aspect has been on display since she joined IIE in 1981, becoming president of the University of Pittsburgh chapter two years later. Her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees are in industrial engineering. Her work for PPG Industries, Boeing, the University of Pittsburgh and now as industrial engineering department chair for the University of Arkansas has necessitated a few moves.

With each move, IIE has allowed her to connect quickly with the industrial engineering community. Needy, whose term as president-elect started in April, will serve as president next year and past-president in 2014. Citing the increase of industrial engineering in other countries, she wants to continue IIE’s global expansion and make sure the institute is relevant and necessary to the lives of members, practicing IEs and those who have an industrial engineering education. She challenges all of them to become ambassadors for the institute.

Many, if not most, IE grads aren’t labeled IEs in the workplace. But, Needy said, they are doing industrial engineering because they are thinking about continuous improvement, eliminating waste from projects, doing things more cost effectively and more efficiently.

“It’s just kind of in your DNA,” she said. “And although you might be a CFO or you might be the director of quality or you might be the production manager, you, at the core, are using those basic fundamental industrial engineering skill sets that you learned in order to be successful in your career.

“When I sit down and talk to people they can see it,” Needy continued. “I worked in industry for nine years, and I never worked as an industrial engineer. But I always knew I was doing industrial engineering work. So I hope to get people to see that.”

Admittedly, it’s difficult just to blast the message to the masses. Needy said that works best through personal connections and networking. In particular, people in academia have influence on students, so they need to make sure graduates understand and appreciate their IE training.

Joining Needy as new members on the board of trustees are Janet Twomey, senior vice president at large, academics; Michael Foss, senior vice president, regional operations; and John Fowler, senior vice president, continuing education.

Other new officers are:

  • Technical vice president, technical operations: Eileen Van Aken
  • Region vice president, North Central Region: Daniel Thury
  • Region vice president, South Central Region: Kyle Grabill

Lead and learn

May 9 is deadline to nominate for BOT, other positions
In many ways, IIE is, first and foremost, in the learning and information business. And the institute has plenty of leadership spots open next year on its board of trustees, along with non-BOT and regional vice president positions.

The BOT has three slots opening up for election. Non-BOT positions open include the vice president for technical operations and three regional vice presidents.

Board of trustees members serve for three years and must attend four face-to-face meetings per year: one meeting at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo, along with the spring, summer and fall meetings at IIE headquarters in Norcross, Ga. (metro Atlanta). The BOT also has conference calls every month.

To nominate yourself or a colleague, email a brief biography or resumé and contact information to, or mail the information to Donna Calvert, IIE, 3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200, Norcross, GA 30092. IIE must receive nominations by May 9.

Address any inquires to Donna Calvert, IIE’s chief operating officer, at (770) 349-1108. The election is scheduled for December. Winners take office in April 2013.

The following positions will be open this year:

Board of Trustees positions

The president-elect transitions from president-elect to president to past president during his or her three years. The president-elect is responsible for long-range organizational planning for IIE, sponsorship activities, financial affairs and acting as IIE’s chief financial officer. The winner assists the president as required, serves in the absence of the president, and ultimately assumes the duties of the president during the second year.

The senior vice president-at-large, industry helps in the overall administration of IIE with a focus on the industry or practitioner member constituency. The winner monitors trends in the workplace to assess the needs of industrial engineering professionals so the institute represents and fully meets those member needs. The senior vice president, industry also helps the president in the overall administration of IIE and acts for the president in all relations with institute officers, directors and others reporting to them.

The senior vice president, international helps administrate IIE with a focus on international. He or she is responsible for managing international relationships, staying abreast of issues affecting IIE chapters and members outside of the U.S., monitoring industrial engineering trends worldwide, and recommending programs to meet the member needs. The senior vice president, international assists the president in the overall administration of IIE and acts for the president in all relations with institute officers, directors, and others reporting to them.

Other leadership positions

The vice president, technical operations is part of the Technical Operations Board, which reports through the senior vice president technical operations. During the three-year term, he or she is responsible for representing a subset of societies and divisions, providing support for volunteer leaders and working closely with them to foster strong relationships between the societies, divisions, members and IIE as a whole.

Region vice presidents are part of the Regional Operations Board or International Council. Region vice presidents serve three-year terms and represent the needs of the members in their region by supporting chapters and regional communities. They are responsible for providing support for chapter and region leaders and working closely with them to foster strong relationships between the chapters, regions, members and IIE as a whole. Region vice presidents report directly to the senior vice president of regional operations.

IIE will be electing three region vice presidents this year:

  1. The region vice president, Mexico
  2. The region vice president, Asia
  3. The Central and South America region vice president

Goodies from start to finish

SHS conference broadened appeal with ramped-up content
The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2012 was a winner for healthcare engineering beginners and veterans – from the pre-conference workshops to the final keynote speaker.

Conference Chair Mary Ellen Skeens, senior manager of solutions consulting at Philips Healthcare, said the Society for Health Systems has been adding educational sessions with more advanced material that focuses on actual application. Sometimes the sessions pair academic presentations with practitioners, for example, to detail how an advanced data analysis technique or technology yielded results.

“Really what we’re trying do with that initiative is to cater to people who have been in the profession for more than five years,” Skeens said. “We have a lot of SHS members who have now moved into leadership roles, for instance, in their organization.”

She cited Leonard Perry’s “Finding the True Root Cause in the Initial Nursing Assessment using PDCA” as a great example of an advanced topic.

For the first time this year, SHS showcased invited or featured speakers instead of picking them from submitted abstracts. Pam Arllotto’s “Journey to High Value Healthcare” and Doris Quinn’s “My Travels with Dr. W. Edwards Deming” were very well-attended and had a lot of audience interaction, Skeens said.

“Those were two of my favorite sessions,” she said.

Also well-received was Steve Markovich’s opening keynote session, which was centered around transformation leadership.

“And I thought that the presentation was very much geared toward our SHS audience – how to provide value to your executive group and really help them with transformation activities.”

The final session on the final day in Las Vegas brought a pleasant surprise for everyone, validating SHS’ hard work in recruiting. Skeens said David Roberts, the vice president of HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), packed the house.

“Typically that’s a tough keynote session because we have a declining audience,” Skeens explained. “I heard several comments about ‘Wow, I’ve never seen a roomful of people for what’s the last session in our conference.’ Typically half of the people stick around.”

She credited a large part of that to Roberts. But SHS also invited members of HIMSS’ Management Engineering Performance Improvement group to a joint reception right after the presentation.

“That was just a big success,” Skeens said. “I think it was just another opportunity for networking, which continues to be something that we get feedback on, that SHS members are really getting a lot of value and attending the conference for that purpose, just to network.”


IIE’s Society for Health Systems handed out the following awards during February’s Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference and Expo 2012:

  • 2012 SHS President’s Award: Bart Sellers of Intermountain Health
  • 2012 SHS scholarship winner: Kendall Sanderson from Northeastern University
  • 2012 SHS/HIMSS Excellence in Healthcare Management Engineering/Process Improvement Award: Jim Benneyan of Northeastern University
  • 2012 undergraduate student paper winner: Eulisa Rivera from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • 2012 graduate student paper winner: Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg from the University of Toronto

From the past to the future

Annual conference keynoter says it's an exciting time to be an IE
Russell Barton sees nothing but excitement in the moment and opportunity on the horizon for industrial engineers, and that’s what he plans to share in his keynote presentation at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo in May.

Barton has a fine vantage point from which to assess the profession. As program director of manufacturing enterprise systems and service enterprise systems at the National Science Foundation, he is privy to all the latest research that IEs could and are impacting.

“They’re stepping up to the plate. … Two of the most significant national issues right now are manufacturing and healthcare, and the issues related to them are actually issues that relate to the kinds of things that industrial engineers do,” said Barton.

Barton also targets energy manufacturing and sustainability issues, particularly the growing of biofuels through biomanufacturing, as having great potential. He asserts that the IE’s focus on operational efficiency is related directly to certain types of jobs coming back to the United States from abroad.

“Why return jobs to the U.S.? Well, you have to understand the economic models to make that decision wise, and you have to have efficient operations to make it worthwhile to move things back to the U.S. So I think there IEs have a really strong role to play, and they’re doing it.”

Barton will share how IEs are fulfilling those roles in his keynote address on May 20. More specifically, he plans to discuss the past, present and future of industrial engineering research based on NSF-sponsored research initiatives.

“The thing that I know is what’s been going on at the NSF in terms of funding that IEs have been receiving. I’ll probably expand that a little bit because it’s very interesting to me to look at some of the history of industrial engineering.”

Despite all his impressions of the profession, Barton wanted to point out how singular his observations are and how there are many sides to a story.

“One of my favorite life lessons is the six blind men and the elephant. They each walk up to an elephant on the trail, and they each detect something different. Somebody thinks they’ve found a rope; somebody else feels a wall; somebody else feels the trunk of a tree; and somebody else thinks there’s a snake there. So every perspective is valid, but incomplete. So that’s a lesson I hope people will remember. [I’m] giving them a valid but incomplete picture.”

Go to to find out more about Barton and his presentation. The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012 will be held May 19-23 in Orlando, Fla., at the Hilton Bonnet Creek hotel. For more information about the conference, go to

Slowing the flood

We’ve got some good news for you. At least we hope so. And if it’s not so good, let us know how to improve it.

IIE faces the challenge of keeping our members aware of upcoming conferences, training, webinars and other events that serve their interests while balancing the number of communications that hit your inboxes each week. And we want to do that in the most efficient, effective way.

To serve your needs while limiting the volume of messages, IIE has adopted a weekly update format in lieu of individual emails for about 90 percent of the activities we try to let you know about each week. Now, instead of a single email promoting a single event or activity, new news about activities and conferences is consolidated in the weekly email message, which includes links to more in-depth information about the events.

We hope you find this informative and that you will peruse the weekly email to stay up to date on what is happening at IIE.

Please share any comments or concerns you have about this new communications policy at

Healthcare journal solicits papers

IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering debuted last year
IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering has issued a call for papers.

The refereed journal, which debuted last year, publishes original papers for researchers who want to stay abreast of new ways to meet challenges in healthcare systems. Papers should have a strong methodological focus. The quarterly journal is composed of six departments: Healthcare Operations Management, Medical Decision Making, Socio- Technical Systems Analysis, Healthcare Quality Engineering, Healthcare Informatics and Healthcare Public Policy.

The journal also reviews papers and articles covering new methodologies, state-of-the-art surveys, technical notes and book reviews. John Fowler, the Avnet Professor of Supply Networks at Arizona State University, is editor-in-chief.

Manuscripts can be submitted electronically at

Through the journal’s accepted manuscripts online initiative, accepted but uncorrected versions of manuscripts, fully citable and assigned a DOI, are available online within seven days of receipt. For more information on IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering and to view a free online sample copy, visit

Unleash your inner editor

IIE Transactions looking for a new leader
IIE Transactions, the flagship journal of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, is looking for a new editor-in-chief to take over on Jan. 1, 2013. This position is a four-year, non-renewable term.

IIE Transactions is a refereed journal that publishes original, high-quality papers on a wide range of topics of interest to industrial engineers. Submissions should have a strong methodological focus motivated by real problems that impact engineering practice and research. Papers that integrate industrial engineering with other disciplines are accepted. The monthly journal is composed of the following four focus issues:

  • Design and manufacturing
  • Operations engineering and analysis
  • Quality and reliability engineering
  • Scheduling and logistics

The editor-in-chief is responsible for the technical content and direction of IIE Transactions, oversight of the publication process of the journal, management of the IIE Transactions best papers awards, and enhancing the visibility and prestige of the journal. Responsibilities include overall coordination and processing of submissions, reviews and final copy for the journal’s focused issues; tracking manuscripts from final copy to publication; coordination and notification of the awardees for best papers in IIE Transactions each year; and preparation and writing of the monthly executive summaries for the Research department of Industrial Engineer magazine.

The editor-in-chief will be assisted by focused-issue editors, special-issue editors and department editors. This is a volunteer, nonsalaried position; however, the publisher provides a stipend to carry out editorial functions.

The editor-in-chief must be an IIE member and have a demonstrated interest in the broad topics covered by the focused issues; a demonstrated record of research, scholarship and application in one or more of the topical areas covered by the journal; prior editorial experience, dedication and enthusiasm for IIE and its journals; and an ability to manage the editorial process effectively and efficiently.

Nominations should include a resumé of individual qualifications with experience that includes industrial engineering research and research administration. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 1. Send nominations to Donna Calvert, Chief Operating Officer, Institute of Industrial Engineers, 3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200, Norcross, GA 30092; or email them to

Further information is available at the IIE Transactions home page: