Rising Teaching Award for Sullivan

photo of kelly sullivanThe College of Engineering has honored five faculty members for their achievements in teaching, research and service during the 2019-20 academic year. Kelly Sullivan, associate professor, was the recipient of the College of Engineering Rising Teaching Award.

Sullivan effectively and innovatively delivers a variety of industrial engineering courses, is a leader in the development and implementation of the Industrial Engineering Honors Research Experience, and is an outstanding mentor of graduate and undergraduate students.

From the time he was an undergraduate in the department, Sullivan has consistently demonstrated an appreciation of academic rigor and compassion for others. He has high expectations of his students, but he has high expectations of himself for doing what he needs to do to help the students meet those expectations.

He is a leader in the development and implementation of the department’s three‐course, three‐year Honors Research Experience that has created a structured path for honors students to maintain steady progress toward completion of the honors thesis. In both undergraduate and graduate courses, he has developed novel approaches to facilitate students’ abilities to meet desired outcomes. Sullivan’s teaching has been recognized by the industrial engineering student body and the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering.

He is the 2019-2020 holder John L. Imhoff Chair in Industrial Engineering. This title, established in 1983, honors the memory of John L. Imhoff, founding head of the University of Arkansas Department of Industrial Engineering.

He received his doctorate in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida, after receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas.

Sullivan’s research focuses on complex systems—such as infrastructure networks, distribution networks, and wireless sensor networks—whose performance degrades when some of its components fail.  By advancing theory and computational methodology in network optimization and system reliability, Sullivan seeks to understand how complex systems fail and to determine how those systems can be designed, maintained, or improved at a reasonable cost in order to limit the system's potential for failure. 

In 2018 Sullivan received a $500,000 grant through the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program, known as a CAREER award. The grant supports the creation of a methodology to design, maintain, and reconfigure wireless sensor networks to ensure reliable performance over space and time.

Teaching courses in probability and statistics, operations research, and network optimization, he joined the faculty of the Department of Industrial Engineering in 2012.

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May 13, 2020