Industrial Engineering Graduates Win Best Dissertation Awards

From left to right: Heather Nachtmann, Jingjing Tong, Kim Needy and Ed Pohl
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From left to right: Heather Nachtmann, Jingjing Tong, Kim Needy and Ed Pohl

University of Arkansas graduate student alumnae took home top honors at the recent American Society for Engineering Management conference in Indianapolis. Rufaidah AlMaian won the 2015 Best Dissertation Award, and Jingjing Tong was named first runner up in the same category.

AlMaian's dissertation, "A Strategic Approach to Effectively Manage Supplier Quality within the Construction Industry," was chaired by Kim Needy, dean of the Graduate School and International Education and professor of industrial engineering. Along with the recognition, AlMaian received a $1,000 cash prize.

"It is an honor to receive this award," AlMaian said. "I am grateful to my dissertation committee for their support and guidance. I would also like to congratulate Jingjing Tong for her award. This is a great achievement for the Department of Industrial Engineering."

Tong's dissertation, "Disruption Response Support for Inland Waterway Transportation," was chaired by Heather Nachtmann, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering and professor of industrial engineering.

Ed Pohl, head of the Department of Industrial Engineering, was delighted with the University of Arkansas' success at the conference.

"The fact that our students won top awards in a category with a record number of submissions is a testament to both the quality of work our graduate students produce and the mentorship they receive from our faculty," he said.

AlMaian and Tong both completed doctoral degrees in industrial engineering at the University of Arkansas in 2014. AlMaian was a sponsored student and attended the university on a scholarship awarded by Kuwait University and administered by the Embassy of the State of the Kuwait. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at Kuwait University. Tong is an assistant professor in the Department of Polytechnic Studies at Southeast Missouri State University.



Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education

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