Liaison Committee

photo of 2019 liaison committee

The Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering (AAIE) jointly with the Department Head organizes a liaison committee that serves in the capacity of an advisory board to the department. The committee is comprised of accomplished professionals from business, industry and academia who bring both an applied perspective and an independent assessment to the industrial engineering program at the University of Arkansas.

The members of the 2019 Liaison Committee are:

Photo of G. Kent BurnetKent Burnett

Mr. Burnett is the recently retired Senior Vice President of IT & ECommerce at Dillard's. He served with the company for 37 years. Prior to Dillard's, Mr. Burnett was employed with IBM. In addition to his professional activities he is also involved in many civic activities including serving on the University of Arizona Business School Board of Advisors and on the Brigham Young business school board of advisors.  While a student at the University of Arkansas he was President of the Blue Key Leadership Society, President of Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity, President of Sigma Pi social fraternity, and Vice President of the Student Body. Mr. Burnett is a 1968 BSIE graduate of the University of Arkansas and is an avid golfer, photographer, and traveler.


Photo of Vance ClementVance Clement

Mr. Clement is CEO of Lineus Medical, a start-up medical device manufacturer in Fayetteville, AR. Lineus Medical's flagship product, SafeBreak® Vascular, is designed to prevent IV lines from being dislodged. Mr. Clement has been in the medical device space for over 25 years serving in various leadership positions. He holds a BSIE from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville (1992) and an MBA from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN (1996).  He was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers and is currently serving as President. Mr. Clement also serves on the Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas.

David Humphrey PhotoDavid Humphrey

Mr. Humphrey is the Vice President of Investor Relations for ArcBest in Fort Smith, AR.  ArcBest is a transportation company that delivers integrated logistics solutions for a variety of supply chain challenges.  David has worked at ArcBest for 34 years and in the Investor Relations Department for 19 years. He was appointed to his current position in January 2010. Mr. Humphrey holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas.


photo of Dr. KlimackBill Klimack

Dr. Klimack is Chevron’s Decision Analysis Functional Manager.  A retired U.S. Army Colonel, he was the Director of the Operations Research and Systems Engineering Programs, the Operations Research Center of Excellence, and served as interim Head of the Department of Systems Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Following his Army career, he worked as a consultant supporting the federal government, oil and gas, and the pharmaceutical sectors.  He began working at Chevron in 2012.  He has a BS in chemical engineering from Lehigh University, a MS in applied mathematics from Johns Hopkins University, a MMAS from the US Army Command and Staff College, and PhD in operations research from the US Air Force Institute of Technology.  He is a Certified System Engineering Professional, a licensed Professional Engineer, and a Fellow of the Society of Decision Professionals, the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club.  He is a recipient of the Decision Analysis Society Practice Award and an employee when Chevron received the Raiffa-Howard Award for Organizational Decision Quality and the INFORMS Prize.  He is a past President of the Society of Decision Professionals and a former Vice President of Meetings for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS).  He was Co-Chair of the INFORMS Analytics Certification Task Force which developed the Certified Analytics Professional credential. He also served on the board of the National Speleological Society.


photo of Jenn PazourJen Pazour

Jennifer Pazour, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).  Jen’s research and teaching interests focus on the development and use of analytical models to guide decision making for logistics and supply chain challenges.   She holds three degrees in Industrial Engineering (a B.S. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas), and was previously on the faculty at the University of Central Florida.   She is a recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, a National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowship, a Research Start Up grant from the Material Handling Institute, and a Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Project from the National Science Foundation.  She serves on the executive board of the Warehousing Education and Research Council and is involved in a number of programs to encourage youth to pursue engineering and logistics careers.


Edwin Romeijn PhotoEdwin Romeijn

Edwin Romeijn serves as the H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair at the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech.  As chair, Dr. Romeijn is responsible for overseeing the nation’s largest industrial engineering program, which has consistently been ranked No. 1 in both graduate and undergraduate education by the U.S. News & World Reports.
He is a member of the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS), Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).


Photo of Ami SpiveyAmi Spivey

For 24 years, Ami Spivey has been developing future leaders, while increasing efficiency in business operations around the world. Since retiring from Walmart , she has been leveraging those skills, in not only investing and consulting efforts in the U.S., but also in the mission work that her family is leading in coastal Ecuador. 
Prior to leaving Walmart, Ami served as Senior Vice President, Next Generation Supply Chain, helping to lead the transformation and simplification of logistics technology. She also served as Senior Vice President of International Business Processes, leading teams that facilitated process and systems improvements in 28 countries for Walmart’s International Division. Previously, Ami served as Vice President of Sam’s Club Innovations where she led engineering teams responsible for identifying process and system improvement, including checkout transformation and club pickup/ e-commerce front-end integration.
In her years with the Walmart, Ami held many roles leading Sam’s Club, Distribution Center and Transportation Operations, in addition to Engineering. She also had the opportunity to play a part in Walmart’s emergency response and assistance efforts, including the 9/11 Salvation Army DC, Hurricane Katrina transportation efforts and Gulf Oil Spill vessel tracking. Ami has received numerous awards for performance in her field.  Most notably, her Brooksville, FL team received the Helen Robson Walton Community Involvement Award, one of Walmart’s highest honors. Ami actively supports many of the University of Arkansas’ undergraduate programs, including senior design sponsorships, and has been a corporate mentor for the Women in Logistics Program. In 2011, she was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers and served as a Board Member, Global Studies Chair and AAIE President (2017-2018). In 2015, she received the U of A College of Engineering’s Early Career Award. At Walmart, she was an active member of the Women Officer Caucus, Women in Leadership, Women’s Resource Council and led mentoring programs.

Photo of Tarek TahaTarek Taha

Mr. Taha began his career in 1993 with ABF Freight System, working in engineering and economic analysis roles. He transitioned to J.B. Hunt Transport in 2004 as an Engineering Manager, providing leadership for a corporate-wide initiative to improve the quote to cash process. In 2008, he was promoted to Director of Rail Carrier Relations where he managed commercial relationships with the Norfolk Southern and Kansas City Southern railroads. He is currently leading process and technology change for J.B. Hunt’s intermodal division as Sr. Director Engineering & Technology. Tarek is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with bachelor's and master's degrees in Industrial Engineering. He is past president of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering and is currently serving on the AAIE Board of Directors.


Photo of Eileen Van AkenEileen Van Aken

Dr. Van Aken is a Professor and Department Head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is also the founder and director of the Enterprise Engineering Research Lab, conducting research with organizations on performance measurement, organizational improvement methods, lean work systems, and team-based work systems. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society for Quality, and is a member of American Society for Engineering Management and the American Society for Engineering Education. She has been recognized by being named a Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science and of the American Society for Engineering Management.