20:48 PM

Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering Announces Search for Next Chair of Industrial Engineering

As the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, faculty, professional staff, and alumni are preparing for the next chapter in its history. James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, announced that the school will engage in an international search for the department’s next Chair of Industrial Engineering.

The new chair will succeed Bopaya Bidanda, the Ernest Roth Professor, who served as Department Chair for the past two decades.

“As we look toward the future of engineering and what skills may be demanded for the engineer of 2040, we envision industrial engineering as being a human-driven pathway to socioeconomic innovation,” Martin said. “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on supply chains, patient care, safety, and more has shown us that the industrial engineer of the 21st century will have an even more critical role in the global marketplace.

“Our Industrial Engineering program is one of the oldest in the world, and since 2000 has grown under Bopaya’s leadership,” Martin continued. “I am grateful to his service and dedication in in helping the department expand in areas including manufacturing, nanomaterials, and community and international engagement.”

Initial development of the search was grounded in the Swanson School’s strategic plan with an exploration committee of internal and external representatives. Martin then engaged this group to establish the framework for a formal search committee through a SWOT analysis utilizing the school’s planning framework of Now, Next, and Beyond. This framework included: Now: developing the immediate plan and resources for the search; Next: engaging in an international candidate review and developing a transition plan; and (Beyond), after the new chair is named, revisiting the SWOT analysis and strategic plan to implement a new direction with renewed focus.

The search committee members appointed by Martin include:

  • Alan George, Committee Chair: Department Chair, R&H Mickle Endowed Chair, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson School
  • Mostafa Bedewy: Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering
  • Karen Bursic: Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Industrial Engineering
  • George Harvey: Department Administrator, Industrial Engineering
  • Jayant Rajgopal: Professor and Graduate Program Director, Industrial Engineering
  • Mark S. Roberts, MD, MPP: Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public Health
  • Robert K. Cunningham: Vice Chancellor for Research Infrastructure, Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Amanda J. Godley: Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Office of the Provost
  • Kevin Braun BSIE ’90: Vice President, Global Industrial Coatings, PPG Industries, Inc.

“Our strategic plan notes that tomorrow’s engineer will require global problem-solving skills and be adaptive, collaborative, and human-focused. I believe the industrial engineer of the mid- to late-21st century will be most valuable in that realm, and who better to establish that trajectory than the next Chair of Industrial Engineering at Pitt,” Martin said. “Key to the department’s next 100 years will be a focus on emphasizing the value of people; building strong collaborative partnerships with industry, government and communities; and translating research into a new paradigm of success.

“These are grand challenges for the next chair, and so I look forward to meeting the forward-thinking individuals who are ready to accept.”