January 18, 2013

Professor takes reins as editor of leading engineering research journal

Posted: January 18, 2013
Ron Askin IEE Transactions editor
Through his editorship of the journal IIE Transactions, professor Ronald Askin hopes to increase public awareness of how industrial engineering is helping to solve a wide range of society’s challenges.
Photo by: Jessica Slater/ASU
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Arizona State University professor Ronald Askin is the new editor -in-chief of the premier international industrial engineering research journal.

Askin is the director of the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Along with that job, for the next four years he will oversee IIE Transactions, the flagship journal of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE).

The institute is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated solely to supporting and improving the industrial engineering profession.

IIE Transactions includes Focused Issues on Scheduling & Logistics, Design & Manufacturing, Operations Engineering & Analysis and Quality & Reliability Engineering.

Askin says his primary mission as the monthly journal’s leader will be to “promote and disseminate excellence in industrial engineering research.”

Beyond reporting on new research in the field, he wants the publication to tell how the advances enabled by the work “are helping to solve a broad range of societal problems,” and he hopes the journal will heighten public understanding of the breadth and importance of this branch of engineering.

“People too often equate industrial engineering with manufacturing and its support systems, and fail to realize all the ways it impacts our daily lives,” Askin says. The field is critical for ensuring the function, safety and affordability of all the products and services with which we interact, he explains.

Some of the fastest-growing applications of modern industrial engineering are in health care, financial services, homeland security, logistics and transportation systems, Askin says. Modern industrial engineering also includes the expanding field of ergonomics, which focuses on ensuring the health, safety and productivity of people in their interactions with technology, work environments and living spaces, he adds.

Askin notes that industrial engineering and its offshoots today also go by the names systems engineering, information engineering, operations analysis, modeling and simulation and quality engineering, all of which reflect the field’s breadth of tools and applicability.

For ASU, he says, his editorship of IIE Transactions will mean more recognition “that we are a major player in industrial engineering,” with faculty who are working on the leading edge of the latest advances in the field.

In a news release from the Institute of Industrial Engineering, the journal’s previous editor, Rutgers University professor Susan Albin, cited Askin’s reputation as an industrial engineering research leader “for over 30 years, with a broad perspective and experience in many aspects of our field.”

Askin has won two best research paper awards for articles published in IIE Transactions on Design and Manufacturing, as well as the IIE Transactions Development and Applications Award, the Eugene L. Grant Award from The Engineering Economist journal, and the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research for a paper published in IIE Transactions.

Askin has twice won the IIE Joint Publishers Book of the Year Award for books on production systems. He has also previously served as editor of the IIE Transactions Focused Issue on Design and Manufacturing.

“He has been involved in research spanning almost the entire breadth” of the types of advances on which IIE Transactions focuses, says ASU colleague John Fowler, who nominated Askin for the editorship.

Fowler is a professor of industrial engineering and chair of the Supply Chain Management Department in ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. He is also editor of another IIE journal, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering.

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Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering