Eileen Van Aken, professor and department head in the College of Engineering’s Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, is president-elect for the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).

After joining IISE as an undergraduate student, Van Aken said she experienced an immediate sense of community as well as a profound impact on her professional development and learning. She has been a member and volunteer leader for over 36 years.

During her tenure as president, she would like to see the industrial and systems engineering community leverage the extraordinary resources that are available through membership. “IISE provides so many opportunities for members to learn, network, and advance in their careers,” said Van Aken. “I would like to see more of our members take advantage of these resources and would like to see more industrial and systems engineers join IISE.” 

Van Aken believes that industrial and systems engineers have an exciting role to play in addressing many of the complex challenges and opportunities facing society, including the data and decision analytics revolution, Industry 4.0, autonomous systems, and supply chain resilience. “IISE has to remain relevant in a changing world and serve the needs of a diverse membership,” said Van Aken. “I look forward to serving the institute and its members as president-elect.”

Van Aken is a fellow of the IISE and has served in several leadership roles, including on its board as senior vice president, international. She was the 2021-22 chair of the Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads. She is a fellow of both the American Society for Engineering Management and the World Academy of Productivity Science, and she  is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Van Aken is a three-time Hokie, earning her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering in 1988, 1991, and 1995, respectively.

The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, according to its website, is the world’s largest professional society dedicated solely to the support of the industrial engineering profession and individuals involved with improving quality and productivity. Founded in 1948, IISE is an international, nonprofit association that provides knowledge, training, networking opportunities and recognition to enhance the skills and effectiveness of its members, customers, and the profession. 


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