Eileen Van Aken, professor of industrial and systems engineering, has been named interim head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Van Aken will serve in this role in place of G. Don Taylor, Charles O. Gordon Professor, who will serve as interim dean for the College of Engineering as of July 1.
“As the associate department head and undergraduate program director, Eileen has been an outstanding leader and passionate educator,” said Taylor, who is currently acting dean of the College of Engineering. “I have great confidence that the department will continue to excel under her leadership.”
Van Aken’s research focuses on enterprise performance measurement systems, lean work systems, and organizational improvement practices. She has received approximately $3.5 million in external funding for her research with a personal share of more than $2.3 million.
The Enterprise Engineering Research Laboratory, directed by Van Aken, is dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge about the analysis, design, implementation, and improvement of integrated enterprise systems. The lab seeks to develop and apply engineering and analysis methods to design or redesign more effective enterprise systems consisting of value-adding production processes and management processes.
A Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Management, and the World Academy of Productivity Sciences, Van Aken is also a member of both the American Society for Quality and the American Society for Engineering Education.
Van Aken joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1996, after working with the university’s Center for Organizational Performance Improvement and AT&T Microelectronics in Richmond, Virginia.
She is a three-time graduate of Virginia Tech, earning her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering in 1988, 1991, and 1995, respectively.