April 2011 Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture Series

Leon F. McGinnis
Leon F. McGinnis, Ph.D. PE
Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems and Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Date and Time: 

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:00pm

Event Location: 

Sinclair Auditorium
Mohler Lab room 453

Public Lecture - "Industrial Engineering - Quo Vadis? One Man’s Idiosyncratic View of His Profession"

Industrial engineering was born in the work of F. W. Taylor at the Midvale Steel Company, and grew under the moniker of “scientific management.” Peter Drucker famously ascribed much of modern economic prosperity to the success of Taylor and those who followed. Today, IE is a rapidly growing profession in the developing world, but there are troubling signs of professional decline here in the US. This talk will sketch a history of IE, an assessment of where we are today, and some conjectures about our future. Running through the talk is an attempt to answer the question: “What is it that we, as IEs, really do?” A successful and sustainable profession must have a clear and shared answer to that question. I will suggest an answer, and identify some challenges the answer implies.

To see slides from the public lecture, please click here

Technical Talk - "Model Based Industrial Engineering"

Contemporary IE education certainly could be said to be “model centric”, given our emphasis on mathematics, optimization, statistics, and simulation. Yet compared to software engineers, we are relatively immature users and creators of models, modeling languages, and modeling tools. This talk will describe the opportunity that I think we are missing, how we might capture that opportunity, and what doing so might mean for our profession. I will give some examples of what can be accomplished when we first focus our modeling work on describing the thing we are engineering, in its own terms, and then use that model as a platform for accessing the wide variety of analysis and synthesis tools already at our disposal.

To see slides from the technical talk, please click here.

Bio Sketch: 

Leon McGinnis holds the Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems at Georgia Tech. He received the BSIE from Auburn University, and the MSIE and PhD from North Carolina State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia.

Dr. McGinnis is a leader in developing and administering industry-focused and interdisciplinary education and research programs at Georgia Tech. He helped to establish the Material Handling Research Center in 1982. He also helped to establish the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems (CIMS) Program, which received a LEAD Award from ASME for excellence in graduate-level interdisciplinary manufacturing education. He served as CIMS Director from 1988 to 1998. Dr. McGinnis is the founding Director of the Keck Virtual Factory Lab, serves as Associate Director of the Manufacturing Research Center (MRC), and was instrumental in the establishment of the Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute within the MRC.

In his research, Dr. McGinnis investigates the problems arising in the description, analysis, and design of discrete event logistics systems, which include, for example, warehouses, factories, and global supply networks. His work always involves the integration of computational tools for description and analysis, and the creation of formal models of system structure and behavior. Dr. McGinnis has authored over 20 books, co-authored 17 book chapters, has 70 referred archival publications, and has written hundreds of conference papers.

The Institute of Industrial Engineers has recognized Dr. McGinnis with the Outstanding Publication Award, the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, and the Fellow Award. He has also received the Reed-Apple Award from the Material Handling Education Foundation.