The 2016-17 academic year so far has been tremendous for the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering! As you’ll read about in this edition of the ISE Connection, we continue to have excellent new faculty join the Department (Drs. Bansal, Duncan, and Fraticelli) and we continue to have excellent cohorts of new sophomores and first-year graduate students coming into ISE. Sadly, we have also said goodbye to some long-standing members of the ISE community. For example, Dr. Joel Nachlas - who taught Statistical Quality Control for so many years followed by Theoretical Statistics - retired last spring. Fortunately, he hasn’t gone too far – we see him every Wednesday at the weekly seminar organized by the INFORMS student chapter which he continues to advise. We look forward to the possibilities that new faculty will bring to the Department. And we are excited about the possibilities for new faculty, as we conduct searches for three full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty members.
The academic programs within the Department continue to be ranked very favorably by U.S. News and World Report – the undergraduate program came in again at 5th this year, and the graduate program is currently ranked 9th. The reputation we enjoy due to these rankings enables us to attract high-quality talent - both students and faculty.
This past year has been one of transition for us in the Department, including Dr. Don Taylor moving to the role of Interim Dean for the College of Engineering and my transition to Interim Department Head for ISE. I greatly appreciate the support, enthusiasm, and energy from the ISE community that I’ve experienced these last few months – it has been a truly rewarding and exciting time. The upcoming year will continue to bring many more changes for the College of Engineering and Virginia Tech overall as we work with colleagues around the university to achieve the vision of Beyond Boundaries (www.beyondboundaries.vt.edu). Stay tuned to learn more about what’s going on around campus as we seek to transform how we achieve our education, research, and outreach mission as a global 21st century land-grant university.
On behalf of the students, staff, and faculty of the ISE Department, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year!
With warm Hokie regards,
Eileen Van Aken
Interim Department Head