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 SEMS Town Hall Meeting | IIE annual conference roundup

The Society for Engineering and Management Systems held its annual Town Hall meeting on June 2 at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014 in Montréal, Canada. The meeting was well-attended by SEMS members, board and guests. Michele Dekelbaum, SEMS president 2013-2014, introduced the Town Hall with a summary of SEMS’ vision and mission to be the premier society to advance the state of engineering management research and practice. The board was introduced, including past, current and future board members. Outgoing board members, Mark Jannone, director 2010-2014, Suzanna Long, director 2011-2013, and Lukasz Mazur, director 2011-2014, received certificates of appreciation for their service and leadership. Jennifer Farris, SEMS president 2012-2013, was honored for her continuing leadership and dedication to SEMS. Our newest board members for 2014-2017, Chinweike Eseonu, Edward Pohl and Helmut Welke, were warmly welcomed along with our incoming president-elect, Suzie Long, who is transitioning from being a board director.

The meeting agenda focused on the key activities and accomplishments of SEMS over the past year, which includes Industrial Management, SEMS Says, the SEMS Newsletter, conference achievements, blogs, content topic leaders, webinars and student activities. Industrial Management and SEMS Says continue to be the voice of SEMS with active participation from the board. Brian Smith and Craig Downing presented the impressive results of the ISERC Engineering Management track sessions, including 108 abstracts submitted and 97 accepted presentations. This is the largest track at the annual conference both for number of presentations and number of full papers submitted, with 66 [ercent of presentations having an associated paper. Equally so for the Engineering Management track at the Applied Solutions Conference as Mark Jannone described, including 11 double slots for presenters (Solutions slots are 35 minutes total so double slots are highly prized!). The SEMS featured speaker for the Engineering Management track, Warren Boldrin from IBM, presented “Enterprise Transformation Foundational Critical Success Factors,” generating good attendance and discussion among attendees.

Jennifer Farris presented the results of SEMS's second annual virtual conference on Best Practices in Managing Continuous Improvement and the SEMS plans for the third virtual conference, to be held Nov. 12.

Webinars continue to grow with a total of nine webinars over the past year, up from five the prior year, including topics in lean, sustainability, material flow and work measurement and others. The SEMS Newsletter, now in its third year, continues to increase readership with an average open rate of 33 percent for the year and reaching 39 percent and 40 percent for the latest issues. Cecilia Martinez, chair of the Student Committee, discussed the many activities undertaken by this active group, including webinars, blogs, a networking event at the annual conference and the Student Best Paper Competition.

The first place winner of the Student Paper Completion was Yasser Shaban from École Polytechnique de Montréal for “Optimal Replacement of Tool During Turning Titanium Metal Matrix Composites.” Other awards included the ISERC Engineering Management Best Paper, for which the first place prize went to Wilawan Onkham from the University of Central Florida for “A Framework for Operational Innovation Selection Using Real Option Dynamic Decision.” Finally, Gloria Bender of TransSolutions LLC was awarded the 2014 SEMS Management Award, given for distinguished excellence in management and industrial engineering.

The Content Committee accomplishments, presented by Lukasz Mazur, are on a steadily improving trajectory, with 29 expert topic leaders within 12 domains reaching 127 countries worldwide. The committee instituted self-posting this year to streamline the posting process for new and updated materials as well as other improvements. SEMS’s two newest committees are the International Committee, led by Edson Pinheiro de Lima, and the Social Media Committee, led by Roberto Martins. Edson and Roberto laid out their plans for the upcoming year for their respective committees.

The state of the society concluded with incoming President Wiljeana Glover discussing the strategic goals for the upcoming year and a membership survey planned for the July-August timeframe.