Welcome from the Department Head

Emily Liu, Professor and Department Head
Emily Liu, Professor and Department Head

Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), previously named Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems (DSES), became a department at Rensselaer in 1987 (the precursor program, Management Engineering, started much earlier in 1933). The world has changed a great deal since then. Breathtaking technological advances are accompanied by new natural and human-made challenges — extreme weather, energy sustainability, skyrocketing health care costs, income inequality, disinformation, terrorism, and a slew of others. In this increasingly complex and cacophonous world, ISE’s grounding in evidence-based, data-driven reasoning and decision making is more relevant and critical than ever before.

Industrial and systems engineers today address highly interconnected societal systems consisting of engineered and human components, with distributed decision making based on huge amounts of disparate data. ISE faculty are at the forefront of the field — conducting innovative and impactful research, and at the same time bringing their insight and discovery into the classroom. To note just a few examples:

  • Prof. Jennifer Pazour received the NSF CAREER Award, Johnson and Johnson Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing, and Design (STEM2D) Award, was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, and recently just started as PI for a NSF project “A New Platform for Optimizing and Catalyzing Resource Sharing and Collaboration in Nonprofit Ecosystems.” She is also promoted to Full Professor since July 2023.
  • Prof. William Wallace and Prof. Martha Grabowski work with Clemson University, University of Alaska, NC State, and University of Minnesota in National Science Foundation grants: “Emergency Response in the Arctic (ERA): Investments for Global Capabilities and Local Benefits” and “Modeling Operations of Human Trafficking Networks for Effective Interdiction.”
  • Dr. Diana Ramirez-Rios and Prof. William Wallace receive support from Natural Hazards Center in “Exploring how transportation access to health care impacts social vulnerability in Puerto Rico.”

We are welcoming two faculty members this Fall – Dr. Bahar Çavdar and Dr. Diego Moran. They bring great experiences and vision in Operations Research. Stay tuned!

Faculty members in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering are active in research and scholarship in the following areas:

  • Esra Agca Aktunc – Mathematical programming, combinatorial optimization, humanitarian logistics, transportation, health care operations management.
  • Nima Ahmadi – Training inventions, behavior and performance evaluation using eye tracking and wearable technologies, usability assessments, and UX design.
  • James Bailey - Advancing knowledge and solution methodologies in optimization, data analytics, machine learning, and social choice through the use of interdisciplinary techniques.
  • Bahar Çavdar – Vehicle routing, logistics and transportation, supply chain management, Markov decision processes, behavioral models.
  • Azita Hirsa – Engineering and emerging technology ethics, management, professional development, organizational behavior, cultural analysis and ethnography.
  • Rostyslav Korolov – Social media analytics, social network analysis, data science, network science, human behavior modeling.
  • Emily Liu – Energy materials and systems, condensed matter physics, emergency communications, preparedness, and response, engineering education.
  • Diego Moran – Optimization and business analytics: Mathematical properties of mixed integer programs, applications to real-world business and engineering problems.
  • Jennifer Pazour – Developing and use mathematical models to guide decision making for logistics and supply chain challenges.
  • Yinan Wang – Engineering-driven machine learning for modeling, prediction, uncertainty quantification for complex physical systems.

ISE graduate students have been garnering multiple awards, from the Department of Defense Fellowship to scholarships in professional societies to best paper awards at conferences.

We will also continue close engagement with the ISE Advisory Council, many of whom are our alumni, for internship/co-op opportunities, capstone design project sponsorship, research collaboration, and curriculum input.

To broaden our outreach, we have updated our website and have an ISE YouTube channel. Please check them out and let us know what you think!

Thanks for your interest in our department and visiting ISE's web site. This is a great time for the field of Industrial and Systems Engineering!

We hope to have more opportunity to work with wonderful students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Let’s collectively harness the idealism and actively strive for a better department, university, and society.


Emily L.

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