North Carolina State’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Welcomes First Female Department Head

Rachel Hollar
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North Carolina State’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Welcomes First Female Department Head

The Industrial & Systems Engineering department at NC State is thrilled to welcome Dr. Julie Swann who will serve as the new department head – the first female to hold the position. Dr. Swann previously served as the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

With more than $3 million in research funding from a variety of sources, her research focuses on mathematical modeling to enable supply chain systems and healthcare to become more efficient, effective or equitable. In her career, Dr. Swann has served as president of two sections of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences.

Dr. Swann is eager to lead the ISE department at NC State, especially with its wide breadth of research from advanced manufacturing to healthcare and from human-systems to systems analysis and optimization research. “I am excited about exploring this new role, including working with students and faculty to build tomorrow’s future, while engaging with alumni and learning from their experiences,” said Dr. Swann.

The department recently finished the accreditation review for its undergraduate program, so this year Dr. Swann is looking forward to working with the faculty to examine the span of the graduate program from initial application and recruitment to job placement and career success.

When it comes to women in ISE, Dr. Swann acknowledges the field has attracted many women partly because of the balance of methods with exciting application areas. She added she would love to see more women continuing graduate work in engineering.

Dr. Swann has held industry appointments with IBM, General Motors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “I really like working to provide solutions that have an impact on others,” she said. “It is exciting to see how engineering methods like simulation or optimization can be applied to engineering processes for problem-solving to address problems important to the health of the population.”

Collaborations across disciplines and organizations are critical to Dr. Swann and she appreciates NC State’s attention to these opportunities. A problem solver at heart, Dr. Swann is thrilled to work with students and faculty to continue discovering innovative methods to enhance our quality of life.

About NC State ISE:

NC State University’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering is among the top-ranked programs in the country. The department brings together industry professionals and academic leaders across innovative and cutting-edge curriculum and technology development, including smart manufacturing, regenerative medicine, health systems, 3D printing and more.

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