Rapinder Sawhney, PhD

Session: The Path to Mission Delivery: A Workforce Discussion

Dr. Rupy Sawhney is a Distinguished Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is also a Heath Fellow in Business and Engineering. He was a Weston Fulton Professor and Department Head during 2010-2013. He is the Executive Director of Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education (CASRE) and has a joint appointment with the Y-12 National Security Complex. He is also a faculty for the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE) in Energy. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Engineering Asset Management (ISEAM), and a visiting Professor in the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK as well as Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.

His research group consists of over 30 staff and students who are working on the development of the next generation of operational excellence that is focused on aligning productivity demands with employees or more general societal well-being. The group focuses on four initiatives. Research initiatives are driven by long-term, steady partnerships with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Defense (DOD). The group engages with ORNL and Y-12, two federal institutions of excellence, each year on strategic research partnerships. They have multiple ongoing projects with the Defense Logistics Agencey (DLA), which is a component of DOD. The research group is on target to publish ten strategic papers on the Next Generation Sustainable Operational Excellence Model and graduates an average of three PhD students each year. Industry partnerships are forged by the center which Dr. Sawhney founded and lead as Executive Director – CASRE. The center provides industry a platform to network and learn from each other by way of training sessions and an annual symposium on Operational Excellence. CASRE industry members are our partners in testing and validating our model at their facilities. Educational programs innovatively inculcate systems thinking into the minds of undergraduate and graduate students from around the world, who are our next generation of Operational Excellence leaders. Professional programs founded by Dr. Sawhney have awarded onsite MS degrees in Industrial Engineering. The graduates have gone on to key positions in Operational Excellence within their organization. International Collaborations are strong, resulting in visiting scholars, academic publications, and educational training partnerships with universities in Brazil, China, Colombia, and Mexico.