Dr. Kim LaScola Needy to Lead International Engineering Society

Dr. Kim LaScola Needy to Lead Institute of Industrial Engineers

 Kim Needy, head of the department of industrial engineering and a 21st Century Professor, was recently elected as president-elect of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, a year-long position she will officially assume in April and serve before becoming president of the institute in 2013.

Needy is recognized for her passion as a professor and her dedication to the Institute of Industrial Engineers, a professional society that helps advance and promote the industrial engineering profession. She began her leadership in the organization in 1983, when she became president of University of Pittsburgh’s student chapter. Since then, she has continued her involvement with the professional society,.

“This brings a lot of visibility to the industrial engineering department, showing that we have somebody that can lead the profession from the University of Arkansas,” Needy said. “People will be looking at our program saying, ‘This is a great program with strong leadership and people committed to the profession.’”

Needy ran on a platform promising “to serve the profession by breaking boundaries that divide us to ensure that the institute is not only relevant, but necessary to industrial engineers of all ages and stages of their career.” By increasing the appeal of the society, Needy hopes to provide services to all members, regardless of their career status.

Needy’s goal this year is to build a new strategic plan for the society since the current one is five years old. The strategic plan focuses on six areas: the image of the industrial engineering profession, academic involvement, industry participation, education training and knowledge, international presence and a network of effective volunteers.

Needy stressed the importance of remembering her roots as an industrial engineer and supporting the professional society.

“I want to make it a two-way street where industrial engineers support their professional society, but the professional society also supports the career progression and career development of its members,” she said.

In addition to teaching and service, University of Arkansas professors are also involved in research related to their fields. Needy’s research focuses on sustainable engineering in the built environment. She examines how sustainability can be implemented in buildings to provide healthy environments for its occupants. She has recently worked on the design of green children’s hospitals and green public libraries by studying issues related to health and safety, productivity of the workforce in those areas and indoor environmental quality. Needy’s research has led to 120 publications throughout her career.

Last year, Needy was also named a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the highest level of membership in the society. Her role as president will require three years of duty as president-elect, president and past president. She will officially assume the role of president-elect on April 1, and will also serve as chief financial officer for the society during that year.

Release date: 3/6/2012