Penn State honored for excellence at national industrial engineering conference

ORLANDO, Fla. — Faculty, graduate students and alumni from the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State were recognized for their accomplishments at the 2018 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida. 

Professor and Dean’s Fellow Jose Ventura was presented with the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, which recognizes outstanding research in the profession. Ventura came to Penn State in 1989 and has brought in more than $7 million in sponsored grants and contracts. He has received a number of awards for his research, most recently the Research Recognition Award from the Mexican Society of Operations Research in October 2017. An IISE Fellow, Ventura’s research has focused on operations research and production, supply chain and service engineering. 

Professor Vittal Prabhu, a member of the Marcus department faculty since 2006, was honored as a co-recipient of the 2018 Manufacturing and Design Division Outstanding Service Award. Prabhu was recognized for demonstrating leadership and making significant contributions to public and community matters related to the manufacturing engineering profession.

Zimbabwe native Matenga Zvikomborero, a doctoral candidate in industrial engineering and operations research with a minor in statistics, earned the Best Student Paper Award in the IISE Engineering Economy Division. His paper, titled “Pricing Dynamics of Electricity in Privatized Markets with Underdeveloped Networks,” was co-authored by Janis Terpenny, professor and Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Department Head and Chair of the Marcus department, and Johannes Fedderke, professor in the Penn State School of International Affairs and with Wits Business School at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Bárbara Venegas, a doctoral candidate originally from Chile, won the Best Student Paper Award in IISE Logistics and Supply Chain Division. Ventura, along with fellow industrial engineering doctoral candidate Lisha Duan and recent doctoral graduate Xin Li, who is now a research scientist at Amazon, co-authored the paper “Supply Chain Coordination with Profit Sharing Agreements.”

Three alumni of the Marcus department also were honored at the event: Susan Schall, Paul Lynch and Sang Jin Kweon. 

Schall, founder and operations leader of SOS Consulting LLC in Front Royal, Virginia, was presented with the Medallion Award, which recognizes individuals that have made a notable impact on the industrial engineering profession. The award celebrates those who have made significant contributions through exceptional leadership as an adviser in developing and promoting young engineers; creating a body of knowledge for the practice of industrial engineering; innovation in organizing educational materials that advances the development of industrial engineers; and significant impact on the productivity of a company through applications of industrial engineering methods.

Lynch, who is an assistant professor of industrial engineering at Penn State Behrend, was named the IISE Engineering Economy Teaching Award Winner. Lynch was a beloved lecturer and adviser in the Marcus department for five years before heading to Erie in 2015. He has won numerous awards for teaching and advising over his career from IISE and Penn State. 

Kweon, now a postdoctoral scholar in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, received third place in the IISE Pritsker Doctoral Dissertation Award for his paper titled “Application of the Yen's Algorithm to the Continuous Single Refueling Station Location Problem on a Circuit Network.”

The IISE conference began May 19 and concludes today.

Photos from the event can be found on Flickr.


Pamela Krewson Wertz

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