Zhenyu "James" Kong, professor in Virginia Tech’s Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering within the College of Engineering, has received one of his profession’s highest honors, the Fellow Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.

The award “recognizes outstanding leaders of the profession who have made significant, nationally recognized contributions to industrial engineering,” according to the institute, also known as IISE. Fellows hold the highest classification of the institute’s membership.

“I am thrilled and so very honored to receive this recognition both on a personal and professional level,” said Kong. “This award represents the accumulation of my many years of work and dedication in teaching, research, and service, as well as all of the collaborations and relationships that I have built with the industrial and systems engineering department and beyond. I am honored to contribute to my field and Virginia Tech and this award will no doubt motivate me to continually improve upon my efforts in the future.”

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2013, Kong focuses his research on sensing and data analytics for smart manufacturing, with additional focus on manufacturing processes, quality control, and reliability engineering. Given the advances in analytics and sensors, as well as the advent of Industry 4.0, his research is of particular relevance to industry and to the future of the profession.  

Kong is active in his field, serving in several leadership positions, including program co-chair for the 2016 annual IISE conference (with over 1,400 abstracts submitted) and associate chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2016 North American Manufacturing Research Institute annual conference. He has also previously served as president of the IISE Quality Control and Reliability Engineering Division. 

Currently, Kong serves as associate editor for the Quality and Reliability Engineering focus area and department editor for the Design and Manufacturing focus area for IISE Transactions. He previously served six years on the editorial board for the Journal of Manufacturing Systems.

Kong has published 51 papers in refereed journals and 21 full papers in refereed conference proceedings. His research has appeared in top manufacturing journals, such as ASME Transactions Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, IISE Transactions, and IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. 

“I believe his contributions to research, practice, and education of students are of the highest quality and he is very deserving of this honor,” said Eileen Van Aken, head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “I strongly believe that he has not only contributed greatly to advance our discipline, but also to our professional society.”

Kong received his bachelor's and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and his doctorate in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

— Written by Linda Hazelwood