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Department of Industrial Engineering 
4207 Bell Engineering Center
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701 
Phone: (479) 575-3156 
Fax: (479) 575-8431


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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 2014 Liaison Committee are:

Kent Burnett

Mr. Burnett is the Senior Vice President of IT at Dillard's. He has been with the company for more than 30 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 he is the current President of the Blue Key Leadership Society. Mr. Burnett is a 1968 BSIE graduate of the University of Arkansas and is an avid golfer.
Bryan Grimsley

Mr. Grimsley is a Project Leader at Goodman Manufacturing in Houston, Texas. He was previously with the Whirlpool Corporation for more than twenty years in various engineering and management positions in manufacturing and product development. Prior to his Whirlpool experience, Mr. Grimsley spent eight years with General Electric. He completed his BSIE in 1982 at the University of Arkansas and his MSIE at the University of Illinois in 1987. A licensed Professional Engineer, Mr. Grimsley served as President for the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering for the 2012-2013 term.
Mike Gross

Mr. Gross, FACHE, is the founder and current President/Owner of Elder Independence. Mike is a lifelong resident of Arkansas and has worked in healthcare since 1985. Mike serves on the board of the local Senior Adult Center and Rotary Club, is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is active in his Church and Community. He earned his Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1984. He was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering in 2007 and is currently serving as President-Elect.
Sunderesh S. Heragu

Dr. Heragu is Professor and Head of the School of Industrial Engineering and Management at Oklahoma State University where he holds the Donald and Cathey Humphreys Chair. Previously, he was the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Chair in Engineering Logistics in the Industrial Engineering department and Director of the Logistics and Distribution Institute (LoDI) at the University of Louisville. He has also served as Professor of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Assistant Professor in State University of New York, Plattsburgh and held visiting appointments at State University of New York, Buffalo, Technical University of Eindhoven and University of Twente, in the Netherlands, and IBM's Thomas J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.


He is author of a book titled Facilities Design (currently in its third edition) and has authored or co-authored over two hundred articles many of which have appeared in journals, magazines, books and conference proceedings. He has served as Principal investigator or co-investigator on research projects totaling over $20 million funded by federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, National Science Foundation, Defense Logistics Agency and private companies such as General Electric. Dr. Heragu is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). He has received IIE's David F Baker Distinguished Research award, Award for Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering the IIE Transactions on Design and Manufacturing Award and IIE Transactions Award for Best Paper published in "Feature Applications" for a paper co-authored with his student, and the Gold Award of Excellence for leadership in Facilities Planning and Design.
Roman Hlutkowsky

Mr. Hlutkowsky is the Founder and Principal at The Hlutkowsky Group, a consultancy that specializes in Business Process, Technology & Automation, and Enterprise Transformation. He has more than 27 years of experience in the transportation industry, mostly focused on applying technology to improve operations. Roman is a former officer of FedEx Ground. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Roman earned his BSIE from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 and his MSIE in 1983. He was recognized as the Outstanding IE Alumnus by the University of Pittsburgh in 2003.
David Humphrey

Mr. Humphrey is the Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Arkansas Best Corporation in Fort Smith, AR. Arkansas Best Corporation is a freight transportation services and solutions provider whose largest subsidiary is ABF Freight System, Inc. David has worked at Arkansas Best for 29 years and in the Investor Relations Department for 14 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.
Tarek 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. In December 2012, he accepted the position of Director of Intermodal Engineering to provide leadership for process and systems changes within the Intermodal division. Tarek is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with bachelor's and master's degrees in Industrial Engineering. He is a member of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering and is currently serving as President.
Eileen M. Van Aken

Dr. Van Aken is a Professor and Associate Department Head in 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. Dr. Van Aken has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and has led more than $3 million dollars in externally-funded research. 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.
Gary Whicker

Mr. Whicker is the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Enterprise Services at J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. The engineering team is focused in three major areas: process improvement, management science and sales engineering. He also leads the corporate information technology functions for project management, enterprise architecture, data modeling, business intelligence and quality assurance. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Mr. Whicker has worked most of his career in the information technology and the transportation and logistics fields with several companies but has been with J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. for more than 20 years.
Rick Wilkinson

Mr. Wilkinson is Senior Director of Logistics Engineering for Walmart. In this role, he sets direction and vision for the Logistics Engineering team. Prior to Walmart, Mr. Wilkinson worked with the Neiman Marcus Group, most recently as Vice President – Fulfillment Operations / Supply Chain Engineering. Additionally, in the role of internal consultant, he implemented operational and systems solutions to current and emerging Supply Chain challenges across all channels. He has also worked as a Senior Supply Chain Management Consultant with Cleveland Consulting Associates, managing process reengineering, operations improvement and network optimization projects in retail and manufacturing industries. Mr. Wilkinson has a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.