Zhang Announced as John L. Imhoff Endowed Chair 2021-22

Shengfan Zhang
University Relations

Shengfan Zhang

Shengfan Zhang, associate professor of industrial engineering, has been announced as the 2021-22 John L. Imhoff Endowed Chair of Industrial Engineering.

The John L. Imhoff Endowed Chair in Industrial Engineering was established in 1989 through the generous donations of Dr. Imhoff's family, former students, friends and colleagues. Imhoff was the founding head of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the U of A and a role model to many. Imhoff's vision for global cooperation and understanding, excellence in teaching and research, and a commitment to the success of students are all traits found in the recipients of this named chair.

Zhang joined the industrial engineering faculty in August 2011 as an assistant professor. She was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2019. Her research interests include mathematical modeling of stochastic systems with an emphasis on statistical and decision analysis as applied to health care, manufacturing and service environments. Her current research focuses on developing methodologies and solution approaches in data analytics and medical decision making, especially advancing predictive and prescriptive analytics for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. She teaches courses in the areas of probability and statistics, stochastic processes, decision analysis in health care, quality engineering and management, and predictive analytics.

Zhang has been recently awarded a $600,000 grant through the National Science Foundation to establish a Research Experience for Teachers site to provide mathematics, computer science and pre-engineering teachers in Northwest Arkansas with transformative research experiences thematically centered on data analytics, especially engineering application towards smart and connected health, infrastructure and community.

Zhang serves as the faculty adviser to the department's student chapter of INFORMS, was the past president of the Public Sector OR Section of INFORMS, and is currently serving on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of INFORMS. Zhang currently serves as an associate editor for IISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, and an area editor for Health Systems. Zhang was the recipient of the 2018 INFORMS Moving Spirit Award for Fora. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Volunteer Service Award, from INFORMS. She received the best paper award in track from IISE annual conference as co-author with John A. White and Hueon Lee in 2016, and was recognized for outstanding service to students by the College of Engineering that same year. In 2014 she was the outstanding faculty adviser, selected by the graduate students of the industrial engineering department.

Shengfan received her doctoral degree in industrial engineering with a minor in statistics and a master's degree from North Carolina State University and her bachelor degree in management science from Fudan University, China.


Tamara O. Ellenbecker, media specialist
Department of Industrial Engineering
479-575-3157, tellenbe@uark.edu


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