New Name for an Evolving Era

Starting April 1, the Institute of Industrial Engineers will have new officers and, more significantly, a new name. IIE is becoming IISE the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering Based on a membership vote.

The name change is the institute’s first since 1981, when it dropped “American” from the American Institute of Industrial Engineers to reflect the growing international range of its membership.

Joseph C. Hartman, dean of the James B. Francis College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, is IISE’s new president-elect. He will transition to president his second year and then immediate past president his third year. Also serving three-year terms on the board of trustees are Rick Wilkinson, the new senior vice president-at-large, industry, and Eileen Van Aken, the new senior vice president, international.

Wilkinson is the senior director of engineering services for Walmart Inc., while Van Aken is professor and associate department head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Members selected Iris Rivero, associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State, and Michele Dekelbaum, senior manager, lean optimization for Ricoh Americas Corp., as vice presidents of technical operations.

In addition, six IISE regions picked new region vice presidents: Kerri Beiswenger in the Northeast Region, Robert Kantor in the Southeast, Ray Doctora in the Western, George Huang in Asia, Diogenes Alvarez in Central and South America, and Margarita Ponce in Mexico.


Possibly sparked by the vote on the name change, this year’s election saw a 26 percent increase in member participation rate.

The name change aligns IISE with the changing scope of the profession that, while keeping its industrial base, has seen more industrial and systems engineers (ISEs) working with large-scale, integrated systems in a variety of sectors. The change also is consistent with department names in many universities, as two-thirds of the top 65 schools ranked in U.S. News & World Report have incorporated systems into their department names.