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Ellis wins Sporn Award for Teaching Engineering Subjects at Virginia Tech


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 30, 2005 – Kimberly Ellis, of Blacksburg, associate professor in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at Virginia Tech, has won a 2005 Sporn Award for Teaching Engineering Subjects.

The Sporn Awards, made possible by gifts from Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Sporn and the alumni of the university, are presented to a teacher of undergraduate engineering subjects (a college award) and a teacher of introductory subjects (a university award). Students from the freshman and sophomore classes and students in undergraduate engineering subjects nominate possible recipients. Committees of students and faculty make final selections and recommend them to the appropriate deans and the president.

Ellis's research program focuses on operational planning problems that arise in manufacturing and service systems. This research has resulted in new mathematical models and specialized solution approaches for large-scale planning problems in the areas of production planning, material logistics, process planning, and supply-chain management. In addition, this research has provided insights on improved operational strategies for manufacturing and service systems. The areas of application have included electronic assembly systems, semiconductor-manufacturing facilities, and freight transportation systems. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Ericsson, Lucent Technologies, Kollmorgen, and Averitt Express. Ellis co-directs the Dover Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Integration in the Grado Department of ISE, and she is also an associate director in the Center for High Performance Manufacturing.

Ellis came to Virginia Tech in 1996 after receiving her doctoral degree from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also has professional experience in various engineering roles with industry. Ellis has won numerous awards, including the Ralph R. Teetor Award for Young Educators from the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Outstanding Faculty Award from ISE undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, and the Dean's List for Teaching Excellence from the College of Engineering. She is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Educators, and Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, and Alpha Pi Mu honor societies.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.