ON THE ROAD WITH IISE’s CEO: From CIEADH on the West Coast to CISE in the Southeast

By Don Greene posted 11 days ago


From CIEADH on the West Coast to CISE in the Southeast


Late October was filled with travel as I joined our esteemed colleagues at the Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads (CIEADH) meeting Oct. 20 in Seattle, Washington. That event was followed by the fall meeting Oct. 22-25 of CISE – the Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering. The CISE meeting began in Atlanta, Georgia, at Emory Healthcare and the Chick-fil-A headquarters before moving to the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.


Chaired by Linda Ng Boyle, professor and chair at the University of Washington, the CIEADH meeting was truly a historic gathering. For the first time, the chair, chair-elect and past chair positions of CIEADH are all held by women. Alongside Linda, Eileen Van Aken, professor and chair at Virginia Tech, holds the chair-elect role and Janis Terpenny, the Wayne T. Davis Chair and Dean of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, serves as past chair.  Janis is also IISE’s senior vice president of academics on the Institute’s Board of Trustees (BOT) and is an IISE Fellow.  Eileen served recently as senior vice president - international on IISE’s BOT and is also an IISE Fellow.

From left, CIEADH Past Chair Janis Terpenny, Chair-elect Eileen Van Aken and Chair Linda Ng Boyle strike a momentous pose with all three CIEADH chair positions held by women for the first time in the organization’s history.

The meeting featured discussion of a nationwide ISE survey, a roundtable on graduate student recruitment, a thought-provoking panel on alumni engagement, a review of the budget and consideration of a proposed undergraduate colloquium. The meeting ended on a fun note – we gathered for a reception in the CIEADH meeting room, followed by a larger reception sponsored by six universities – Auburn, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Buffalo and Illinois.   
Once again, our academic community leaders held a productive meeting of department chairs in the U.S. and around the world to encourage interest in the field; to sponsor activities and meetings for benchmarking and best practice sharing; to discuss ISE education, curriculum, accreditation, student activities, research and faculty development; and to partner with IISE to support the profession.
As IISE’s staff representative, I always feel privileged and proud to be a part of this annual gathering of educators who dedicate their life’s work to ensuring that the current and future pipeline of engineers are well-schooled and ready to advance the field, and take on the challenges our profession faces today and tomorrow.
Not long after saying my goodbyes to CIEADH and its members, I was back on a plane headed east for another meeting – this one with corporate leaders in the ISE field. The 20+ executive leaders that form the Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering were having their fall meeting at two locations in Atlanta as well as Auburn University in Alabama. CISE describes itself as “advocates of the ISE profession … focused on sharing best practices and learning from each other to benefit our companies.” The leaders of CISE are from industries and have accountability for the ISE (or similar) function in their companies. Members of CISE are IISE members.
The CISE meeting was organized and hosted by one of its members, Victoria Jordan, the Vice President of Quality for Emory Healthcare, an IISE Fellow and an Auburn alumnus. 
Led by CISE Chair David Poirier of The Poirier Group in Toronto, who is the current president-elect on IISE’s BOT and also an IISE Fellow, the meeting was jam-packed with fascinating, insightful tours of Emory University Hospital, Chick-fil-A headquarters (called the “Support Center”), the Auburn ISE department and the Lego Lab at Auburn that focuses on automotive manufacturing.
IISE Fellow Scott Sink, director of the Integrated LeanSigma Certification Program at The Ohio State University, and a key organizer of the CISE meeting, described the experience of seeing empowerment at work and the tier huddles at Emory as “awesome, really valuable for me and others.” Sink noted in an email that “David Reid and his team did an outstanding job introducing us to Chick-fil-A. His work deploying ISEs to improve throughput capacity via technology and method innovation is a great example of the power of ISE when focused properly.”
I was struck by two remarks made by presenters at Chick-fil-A. The first was when David said that at Chick-fil-A they “strive to be relational, not transactional.” The second was that “people don’t hate change; they hate being changed.” I thought about how both these statements are so applicable at IISE as well as at every company that employs industrial and systems engineers. 

Tours highlighted the CISE meeting, including this one at Emory University Hospital.

Say “chicken:” Here we are for a CISE group pose at Chick-fil-A HQ.

As we moved to Auburn University on the second day, members of the Auburn faculty highlighted the exciting initiatives they have ongoing in the areas of research, manufacturing and other key areas that prepare the students to thrive in the ISE community. We heard from students about their studies and projects in Europe. We also toured the university and marveled at the beautiful campus. 
The CISE event wrapped with our business meeting where we covered a lot of ground from membership issues and challenges, status of the ISE Handbook Project, to an update on the Performance Excellence Track for the IISE Annual Conference & Expo 2020, May 30-June 2, in New Orleans, Louisiana. We talked about the CISE agenda in New Orleans on May 30 and discussed the location of next fall’s CISE meeting.
Now that I’m back home in metro-Atlanta and reflecting back on the two groups and their fall meetups, I am still energized and excited. These council volunteers are filled with passion for industrial and systems engineering. The important work that they do for ISEs through these groups is admirable and spurs all of us on to continue to reach higher each year to put an ISE stamp of efficiency and effectiveness on every project we’re involved with in our day-to-day work in the university and corporate realms.
Many thanks to all those involved in CISE and CIEADH. Certainly, both groups are an integral part of IISE’s mission to “serve those who solve the complex and critical problems of the world,” with an unstoppable vision of IISE as “a widely recognized, inclusive organization that advances, promotes, and unites the industrial and systems engineering profession worldwide.”

By Don Greene, IISE CEO and 2019 IISE Fellow



9 days ago

Excellent work and progress for the profession.