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 2018 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.


Ken Gaines PhotoKen Gaines

Mr. Gaines is the President and CEO of The Steco Corporation in Little Rock, AR as well as being a member of its Board of Directors. Before coming to The Steco Corporation, Mr. Gaines held engineering and management positions at a variety of manufacturing and distribution organizations as well as consulting independently in the Supply Chain arena. He holds a BSIE from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1992) and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (1999). He was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering in 2010 and will serve as president of that organization in 2016-2017. Mr. Gaines is active in his community, serving as deacon at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant, AR and volunteering at various events in Saline and Pulaski Counties. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Arkansas and a Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB).


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 assistant 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 Young-Jun Son

Young-Jun Son

Young-Jun Son is a Professor and Department Head of Systems and Industrial Engineering at University of Arizona. His research focuses on a data-driven, multi-scale, simulation and decision model needed for design and control in various applications, including extended manufacturing enterprise, renewable energy and storage network, homeland security, transportation, and social network. He has authored/co-authored over 75 journal papers and 100 conference papers. He is a Fellow of Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), and has received the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) 2004 Outstanding Young ME Award, the IIE 2005 Outstanding Young IE Award, the IISE Annual Meeting Best Paper Awards (2005, 2008, 2009, 2016), and Best Paper of the Year Award in 2007 from International Journal of IE. His research activities have been funded by NSF, AFOSR, DOT/FHWA, US Department of Energy/AZ Commerce Authority, USDA, NIST, Sandia National Lab, Science Foundation of Arizona, Boeing, Samsung, Motorola, Raytheon, Tucson Electric Power, Microsoft, and several application software companies. He is a Department Editor for IISE Transactions, on the editorial board for seven additional journals, and the vice chair and secretary for the SISO Core Manufacturing Simulation Data (CMSD) Standard Product Development Group. He has served as co-Program Chair for ISERC 2007, and will serve as the General Chair for INFORMS Annual Meeting 2018 and the General Chair for Winter Simulation Conference 2019.


Photo of Ami SpiveyAmi Spivey

Ami Spivey is Sr. Vice President of Walmart’s Next Generation Supply Chain. Previously, working with Walmart’s International Business Processes and was part of the Walmart Global Business Processes Team. She has also served as VP of Sam’s Club Innovations where she led an Engineering Team responsible for identifying processes and system improvements for Sam’s Clubs.
She is an active member in numerous professional organizations including the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE),  Women in Trucking (WIT), STEM support (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Organizations, Women in Supply Excellence (WISE), and Walmart Women’s Office Caucus (WOC).
Ms. Spivey earned her BSIE from the University of Arkansas.  She was recognized with the Engineering Young Alumni Award by the College of Engineering in 2015 and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.  Ms. Spivey actively supports many of the University of Arkansas programs including being a corporate mentor for their Women in Logistics Program.  In addition, Ms. Spivey is serving on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers.

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.