Needy Honored as Distinguished Alumna of University of Pittsburgh Engineering College

U of A College of Engineering Dean Kim Needy (center) accepts her distinguished alumni award from Lisa Maillart, interim chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering (left), and Sanjeev Shroff, interim U.S. Steel Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.
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U of A College of Engineering Dean Kim Needy (center) accepts her distinguished alumni award from Lisa Maillart, interim chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering (left), and Sanjeev Shroff, interim U.S. Steel Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

College of Engineering Dean Kim Needy was among seven alumni honored in April as part of the 2024 Class of Distinguished Alumni for the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

The school celebrated the new class of honorees at a dinner and awards ceremony April 10 at the campus' University Club.

A native of Pittsburgh, Needy earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in industrial engineering from the Swanson School of Engineering in 1984 and 1987, respectively. She earned her Ph.D. at Wichita State University.

"In industrial engineering and engineering education far and wide, Dr. Kim Needy is well known and highly regarded, especially here at her alma mater," said Lisa Maillart, interim department chair of industrial engineering. "Kim is a Pittsburgh homer ... She is also a valued mentor and role model for women engineers throughout academia."

Prior to her academic career, Needy gained industry experience working at PPG Industries and The Boeing Company. She taught at the University of Pittsburgh 1993-2008 before joining the U of A in 2008 as the head of the Department of Industrial Engineering, a post she held through 2014. She served as dean of the Graduate School and International Education 2014-2020.

She was named dean of the College of Engineering in November 2020 and holds the Irma F. and Raymond F. Giffels Endowed Chair in Engineering.

The Swanson School of Engineering's recognition comes immediately before Needy will lead festivities honoring 20 early career and distinguished alumni of the U of A College of Engineering this Saturday, April 20. In addition, Needy will announce her choices for the college's highest honor, induction into its Hall of Fame.

"Honoring our alumni takes on even more meaning for me this year because it's been so fun and rewarding to be recognized by my own alma mater," Needy said. "It's important to pause sometimes and look at our accomplishments and those of others to see how far we've come and dream about where this foundation can lead us."

Needy was joined by her husband, Bill; her father, John LaScola; and her sister and brother-in-law, Kathy Feehan and Rob Feehan, for the Pittsburgh alumni banquet.

Other recent honors for Needy include being named among the U of A Chancellor's Commission on Women's 2021-2022 Extraordinary Woman Faculty. In 2023, she was selected as among the Top 100 Women of Impact in Arkansas and Ones to Watch in 2023 for Celebrate Arkansas Magazine.


From left, Rob Feehan and Kathy Feehan, John LaScola, Kim Needy and Bill Needy.

 

Contacts

Jennifer P. Cook, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, jpc022@uark.edu

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