November 2013

Presidents' message 

Dear SEMS members, 

As the year draws to a close, many of us reflect on the prior year - what went well, what we need to improve (we're IEs after all!) and what is coming up in the New Year. As we reflect back on the year at SEMS, we have many accomplishments to be proud of, and the one in particular we would like to highlight in this issue is our second annual virtual conference on Continuous Improvement, brought to you by SEMS and IIE.


More from the presidents 


SEMS news
Did you know about this SEMS Web page? 

The rapid advancements in technology, global economy and social life currently taking place throughout the world suggest that future engineering management (EM) practitioners are going to experience a world very different from the one we live today. This creates an urgent need for research to discover necessary advancements in the way EM practitioners analyze data, develop strategies, lead change, and/or execute projects. As a result, the Society for Engineering and Management Systems (SEMS) aims to become your preferred source for information to help you advance your career as a student, an academic, or a practitioner.Please visit the SEMS Website and go to the "Tools and Resources" tab to find information related to your EM topic of interests. 

SEMS blog


We have posted 34 blogs on the SEMS website to inform you about recent developments in engineering management practice and research. For example, we have Dr. Dhirendra Kumar, who has more than 30 years of technical, management, teaching, and research experience with major U.S. corporations and universities. Also he has published books such as Six-Sigma Best Practices and Enterprise Growth Strategy. For SEMS, he has posted a series of blogs related to enterprise transformation. Dr. Alison Schroeder and Dr. Sara McComb provided insights about collective cognition and its importance on team performance. Dr. Carla G. Machado, Dr. Edson Pinheiro de Lima and Dr. Sergio E. Gouvea da Costa provided a summary of recent developments in innovating for sustainability based on articles published in the 2012 Summer Edition of MIT Sloan Management Review.


Please check out our blogs by going to We recommend that you not only visit our website, but encourage you to comment on blogs to challenge our topic leaders to develop materials that can help you perpetuate to the 21st century!


ISERC Conference Paper Competition 2013 results  

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC), part of the IIE Annual Conference and Expo, is a forum for exchanging knowledge and discoveries in the industrial and systems engineering research community. Each year, a paper competition is held within the Engineering Management track. Two of the five finalist papers were:


Correction: The September 2013 SEMS newsletter contained a misprint in this section. The second paper listed was "Partnering for Solutions: Applied Research in Engineering Management," which was actually submitted by Craig Downing, Ph.D. The Editor regrets this error.

SEMS Management Award
Nominations are now being accepted for the SEMS Management Award to be presented during the SEMS Town Hall Meeting at the IIE Annual Conference. The award recognizes an IIE member who has distinguished himself or herself in the practice of management and industrial engineering. To nominate an IIE member, send a testimonial (one-page maximum) explaining why this person should be honored plus a detailed bio or resume of the nominee to Jennifer Farris.
Nominations are requested by Jan. 31. Nomination form


Upcoming events

Virtual Conference on Continuous Improvement

This conference will be held on Nov. 20! If you haven't yet signed up for it, there is still time! Register now! The presentations will also be available after the conference for you to review at your convenience. Register and learn about successful improvement practices from world-class organizations such as:
  • Michael Ballé, Best-Selling Author and Executive Lean Coach
  • Patricia Gabow, CEO of Denver Health 1992-2012
  • Geert Letens, Royal Military Academy, Belgium
  • Srikanth Sankaran, United Airlines
  • Scott Sink, The Ohio State University
  • Kurt Verweire, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Brussels  
Call for abstracts  
It is our pleasure to invite you to present in the Engineering Management Track at the IIE Annual Conference & Expo 2014. The conference will be held May 31 - June 3, 2014, at the Palais des Congrés de Montréal, Montreal, Canada. We're looking for a few good practitioners from diverse fields willing to share their experiences and lessons learned in the application of engineering management tools, methods, and philosophies. Whether it's an approach that's never been done before or an effective execution of the basics, share what you've learned.
IIE is accepting abstracts through Nov. 22 from management thought leaders for the 2014 Engineering Management Track. The abstract submission link is found at ( Presenters will give 35- or 70-minute talks on how engineering management techniques are applied in a real-world environment. PowerPoint slides of your presentation are necessary; however, papers accompanying the presentation material are not required.



SEMS is proud to sponsor webinars as a forum for providing our members with educational opportunities and reference resources.


On Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. Eastern U.S. time, Dhirendra Kumar will be presenting on the Application of Enterprise Excellence with Case Studies. Additional information and registration


Six exciting webinars were conducted since you received our last newsletter.

Your SEMS membership entitles you to access these and all other previously recorded SEMS-sponsored webinars. Click here to access
  1. Deployment of a Successful Closed Loop Productivity Improvement System
  2. Developing a Material Flow Organization - The Why and How
  3. Accelerating Business Improvement - the power of effective interactions
  4. Applying Project Management Principles and IE techniques in planning a regional conference
  5. Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Process Development: A Challenging Honor
  6. Smart Maintenance Decision Support Systems (SMDSS)

Student view 

SEMS Student Paper Competition  

The SEMS 2014 Student Paper Competition is underway! Please consider thisBooks  wonderful opportunity to be recognized for your academic work. This year, the winners' works will be submitted - depending on the paper topic - to either Industrial Engineer or Industrial Management
magazine. All undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit applications. Don't miss this opportunity! Abstracts and applications must be submitted by Nov. 22, so don't delay! 

Check the Student Paper Competition webpage for detailed information and to apply.

We look forward to many exciting opportunities to engage students in our SEMS community, and hope to see you at the 2014 IIE Annual Conference & Expo in Montreal, Canada!
Call for papers

Engineering Management Journal
- Special issue on Healthcare Systems

Special Issue Editors: Elizabeth (Beth) A. Cudney, Missouri University of Science and Technology, EMJ Associate Editor; Jamison (Jami) V. Kovach, University of Houston, EMJ Associate Editor.

Manuscript Submission: May 30, 2014

Tentative Publication: September 2015

Member spotlight

In this section, we highlight a SEMS member for outstanding leadership in IIE and for exceptional service to the Society. This month, we honor Sara McComb 

Sara has been researching communication and cognition among team members for more than 15 years. She has garnered more than 2 million in research funding to conduct this research from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense. Her research in this area is published in both scholarly journals such as Human Factors Decision Sciences and the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management as well as practitioner-focused journals including The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Industrial Management
and Organizational Dynamics. Her research has been presented at multiple conferences including ISERC, where her paper in 2012 was selected as one of the five Best Paper finalists for the Engineering Management Track. 


Read more about Sara


Member news 


Congratulations to a member of our Student Initiatives Committee, Arsalan Safari, who completed his Ph.D. in September and began in a new role at MIT! Arsalan received his Ph.D. in management of technology at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and was appointed as a postdoctoral associated in Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC) at MIT.
Arsalan also holds a master's degree in engineering, design & manufacturing from Western University, Ontario, Canada, and a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He is an ASQ-certified Six Sigma black belt. Prior to joining SSRC, he was a manager on the Enhanced Performance Management team at RBC Financial Group in Canada. Arsalan has been an active member of the SEMS Students Initiatives since 2011.
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