Industrial Engineering Annual Student Awards Banquet

Seniors in the Department of Industrial Engineering.
Photo Submitted

Seniors in the Department of Industrial Engineering.

The annual Industrial Engineering Annual Student Awards Banquet held on April 11 at the Fayetteville Town Center was well attended by students, faculty, staff, donors and corporate sponsors. Fifty-one students received scholarships at the banquet.

The Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering Scholarships provided scholarship funding in the amount $60,000. An additional $29,000 was awarded from individual AAIE members, bringing the total scholarship funds from AAIE and AAIE-related accounts to $89,000. The department provided an additional $12,500 in other scholarships for a combined scholarship allocation of $101,500.

Corporate sponsor Hytrol Conveyors presented the annual Hytrol Challenge Award. This award is awarded each year to the best team in a competition in Tish Pohl’s Facility Logistics course. Brandy Lloyd from Hytrol was on hand to present the award to the team made up of Salma Boudhoum and Liz Luzcando.

Sponsored by the ArcBest Corporation, formerly known as ABF Freight Systems, the Outstanding Freshman Award is presented annually to one freshman engineering student that has declared industrial engineering as a major. The recipient of this award is selected by the faculty and staff of the Freshman Engineering Program. Brad Owens from ArcBest was in attendance to present the award to Nathan Clark.

The banquet features many awards from both the department and the students. Student-sponsored awards, are voted on by the students. Recipients include:

  • Sophomore Scholar Award — Morgan Hartsell
  • John L. Imhoff Distinguished Service Award — Grace McGee
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award — Alireza Sheikh-Zadeh
  • Backbreaker Award — Shared this year: Richard Cassady, professor, and Manuel Rossetti, professor
  • Best Teacher Award — Manuel Rossetti, professor
  • Resident Raconteur Award — John White, professor
  • Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award —Manuel Rossetti, professor

Department-sponsored awards include:

Outstanding Senior – David Cox

Photo of David Cox
David Cox

The Outstanding Senior award is intended to recognize the most outstanding undergraduate industrial engineering student who graduated in Fall 2016 or is graduating in either Spring or Summer of 2017. The nominations are sought from faculty to identify students who excel in academic performance, leadership, service, collegiality, ethics and dedication.

As a member of the University Arkansas band, David participated in Marching Band, Concert Band and the HogWild band. The program requires on average, a twenty-hour commitment. In 2016 he was selected as Head Drum Major, the highest leadership position in the Razorback Marching Band. Initiated into the band’s honor society in 2015, David went on to serve as the sergeant-at-arms and the secretary/treasurer of the Southwest District. On top of all of this, he also excelled in his academic studies. He was selected as the Industrial Engineering ArcBest Corporation Outstanding Freshman in 2014, and was inducted into the industrial engineering honor society, Alpha Pi Mu where he served as social chair. He has completed three summer internships with three different companies, resulting in a full-time job offer from each company. In addition he has been working on an honor’s thesis with professor, Manuel Rossetti, which he plans to complete this spring.

Rachel Holmer – Undergraduate Research Award

Photo of Rachel Holmer
Rachel Holmer

Each year one undergraduate student is recognized for their valuable contributions to departmental research efforts. Nominations are sought from faculty describing the student’s research contributions, and the recipient is determined by faculty vote.

Rachel has been assisting with  a funded project on dynamic decision modeling for inland waterway disruption. She presented this work five times this year, at three research conferences in the United States, at a conference in India and also at the Arkansas State Capitol. She was recently awarded a State Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF Award) for her honors thesis research on HPV risk prediction.

Graduate Research Award — Mohammadhossein Heydari

Photo of Mohammadhossein Heydari
Mohammadhossein Heydari

The Graduate Research Award is intended to recognize the graduate student who made the most valuable contributions to departmental research efforts. As with the undergraduate research competition, nominations from faculty describing the graduate student’s research contributions are sought for this award, and then the recipient is determined by faculty vote.

Mohammadhossein has been working on a defense-funded grant aimed at improving reliability systems by allocating testing resources efficiently. His efforts led to the submission of three research papers to academic journals in 2016 and the receipt of a “review” decision from another. Three of these papers are related to his primary research area. The fourth has resulted from collaboration outside his primary area, related to over diagnosis in cancer screening. In 2016, he also presented his work at two research conferences.

Outstanding Graduate Students

The Outstanding Graduate Student award is intended to recognize the most outstanding IE graduate student who is graduating. Nominations for this award are sought from faculty to identify students who excel in academic performance, leadership, service, collegiality, ethics, and dedication. The winner is then selected from among the nominees by faculty vote. Two students were selected to receive this award this year. Even a second runoff vote resulted in a tie!

Forough Enayaty Ahangar

Photo of Forough Enayaty Ahangar
Forough Enayaty Ahangar

Forough has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her doctoral program while also balancing her research, teaching and service responsibilities. Her dissertation focuses on exact solution approaches for a dynamic interdiction problem. Thus far, this work has been submitted in a publication to the European Journal of Operational Research. With respect to teaching, she has served as a TA for three different classes and sole instructor for one class, Engineering Economics. She was pleased with students’ regular attendance to her office hours, and her excellent teaching evaluation scores. With respect to service, Forough has held many leadership positions on campus. She has been an officer with the Iranian Student Association and secretary and vice-president of the INFORMS student chapter in industrial engineering. She is also working to improve the department by collecting feedback from students to determine ways in which we can better support their graduate experience.

Alireza Sheikh-Zadeh

Photo of Alireza Sheikh-Zadeh
Alireza Sheikh-Zadeh

Alireza has been a Teaching Assistant for three different courses, including Senior Design. In this particular course, he has worked with 60 seniors, 6 faculty members, and 15 research sponsors. It is a very demanding position. He has also served as sole instructor for one undergraduate course. In addition to his teaching and instructor duties, he has maintained an active research portfolio. In the last two years, he has coauthored two journal papers and two peer-reviewed conference papers. He has two additional papers in preparation for submission this spring. Additionally, Alireza is active in professional societies, presenting his research at annual meetings. Next fall, he will start his career as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Information Systems at Texas Tech University.


Tamara Ellenbecker, website developer
Department of Industrial Engineering


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