Department of Industrial Engineering Appoints Two New Professors

The Department of Industrial Engineering added two faculty members this fall, Sarah Nurre and Haitao Liao.

The department's newest assistant professor is Sarah Nurre. She received a doctorate in decision sciences and engineering systems, a Master of Engineering in industrial and management engineering and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Her current research interests are in applying network optimization, scheduling, integer programming, and optimization algorithms to relevant applications such as infrastructure restoration, multi-layer interdependent network protection, vehicle routing for the military and public sectors, and the integration of electric vehicles with a smart grid.

Before coming to the University of Arkansas, Nurre was an assistant professor in the Department of Operational Sciences at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Nurre's research interests are in network science, scheduling, heuristics, optimization algorithms, and combinatorial optimization. She applies these concepts to the integration of electric vehicles with a smart grid, infrastructure restoration and humanitarian logistics after an extreme event, and military aircraft routing and refueling.

Haitao Liao was selected as the James M. and Marie G. Hefley Professor of Logistics and Entrepreneurship. Liao received a master's degree and doctorate in industrial and systems engineering, as well as a master's degree in statistics from Rutgers University. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology.

Liao has held faculty positions at Wichita State University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Arizona. He also served as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Science Foundation Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems.

In his research, Liao focuses on reliability engineering, applied probability and statistics, applied operations research, probabilistic risk analysis and sensors and signal processing.

Liao's research interests include reliability models, maintenance and service logistics, prognostics, data analytics, and probabilistic risk assessment. His research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and industry.

He currently serves as associate editor of the Journal of Quality Technology, Quality Technology and Quantitative Management, and the Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering.

He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2010, the winner of the IIE 2010 & 2013 William A.J. Golomski Award, and the winner of the 2015 Stan Ofsthun Award. He is the immediate past Chair of INFORMS Quality, Statistics and Reliability (QSR) Section, and the President of IIE Quality Control and Reliability Engineering (QCRE) Division.


Tamara Ellenbecker,
Industrial Engineering


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