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Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor that the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering can bestow upon any alumnus. It's given to department alumni whose contributions to their profession, community, and the department, college and/or university are notable and merit special recognition. There are very specific criteria for the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Class of 2014 Class of 2013 Class of 2012
Class of 2011 Class of 2010 Class of 2009
Class of 2008 Class of 2007 Class of 2006

Criteria for the Distinguished Alumnus Award

  1. The nominee must have graduated from the department with at least one of its designated degrees, which include: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (BSIE), Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, Furniture Manufacturing (BSIE, FM), Bachelor of Science in Furniture Manufacturing and management (BSFMM), Master of Industrial Engineering (MIE), Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
  2. The nominee must have graduated more than 20 years prior to the award year; must not be currently employed in the department, college or university; and must possess a continuous record of exceptional integrity and sound character. Noteworthy community and/or public service should be identified as well as meritorious service to the industrial engineering profession, including service to their Alma Mater.

Nominations of an alumnus may be made at any time. Award winners will be selected by the faculty at the first faculty meeting of the school year each August. An annual event will be held recognizing the new award winners.

To nominate an alumnus, e-mail or write to:

Dr. Paul H. Cohen
Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial Engineering
400 Daniels Hall, Campus Box 7906
Raleigh, NC 27695

Current Distinguished Alumni Class of 2014

Arup K. Mallik retired in 2004 from Quincy University. As the Engineering Program Director, he initiated the engineering program within the College of Science and Technology. Dr. Mallik received his Master of Science in Operations Research (M.S.O.R.) in 1970 and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering in 1972 from NC State.

Before joining Quincy University, Dr. Mallik was a professor of Industrial Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. During his eighteen year tenure, he served as the department head for over seven years. Dr. Mallik was also part of the IE Department faculty at West Virginia University for over eleven years.

Throughout his career, Dr. Mallik helped establish the Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Center and the Center for Energy Research and Training. Both Centers are part of the U.S. Department of Energy. For his 30 years of work in the field, Dr. Mallik has received the Institute of Industrial Engineers Award of Excellence and Special Citation Award. His commitment to industrial engineering has earned him the title of Fellow from the Institute.

Dr. Mallik has two children, both engineering graduates from NC State.

Penni McLean-Conner is the Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President of Customer Group for Northeast Utilities. She received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from NC State in 1986 and is a registered Professional Engineer.

Before her position at Northeast Utilities, McLean-Conner was Vice President of the customer care team at NSTAR Electric & Gas. She also served as Director of Customer Service for Tampa Electric in Florida and worked at Duke Power for 12 years in Electric Operations and Customer Service.

PennWell books published her first book, “Customer Service: Utility Style” in 2006. This book offers proven strategies for improving customer service and reducing customer care costs. In the spring of 2009, her newest book, “Energy Efficiency: Principles and Practices”. This book is a primer for the many stakeholders interested in energy efficiency solutions.

Tiffany A. Sargent received her M.S.I.E. from NC State in 1994. She also has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Sargent began her career at Intel Corporation as a manufacturing systems engineer. She then rotated through five different business groups taking on various leadership and management roles. She has led complex technical endeavors across different fields. Her engineering education has enabled her to span both technical and business areas at Intel. Tiffany has received Intel's highest award, the Intel Achievement Award, for innovative cyber-security solutions. Currently, she is a senior technical contributor within Intel Federal LLC.

The Phoenix Junior League recognized her as a 75th Anniversary Outstanding Women Honoree. They also awarded her the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award. The Phoenix Business Journal inducted her as a member of the Forty under 40 Class. In 2014, Connected World Magazine named her as one of the Women of M2M (IoT).

Sargent has volunteered her technical and business expertise with non-profits, academia, and government.

Clarence L. Smith is a professor emeritus in the ISE Department here at NC State. He received his bachelor of science in industrial engineering from NC State in 1969 and his master of science in industrial engineering in 1983.

Smith began his career as a staff industrial engineer with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He returned to NC State in 1978, as the inaugural ISE extension specialist. He joined the ISE department full time in 1984 as the first-ever assistant department head. He held that position until his retirement in 2010. During his tenure, he advised for over 4,000 graduates or approximately 80% of all BSIE graduates from the program since its start in 1931.

NC State University recognized Smith with the NCSU Outstanding Extension Award in 1984. He also received the Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professorship in 1985 and the NCSU Outstanding Faculty Advising Award in 2005. At the time of these awards, they represented the University's most prestigious recognition in their respective areas. The Institute of Industrial Engineers awarded Smith the title of Fellow in 2005. His public service to the State of North Carolina includes 20+ years as Board Member with the State Board of Refrigeration.