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Corliss named chair of IISE Council of Fellows

Photo of John Corliss and Hamid Parsaei
Purdue IE alum and newly-appointed Chair of the IISE Council of Fellows John M. Corliss, Jr. (l), succeeded Outgoing Chair Dr. Hamid Parsaei (r).
A Purdue IE alum became the Chair of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Council of Fellows in May.

John M. Corliss, Jr. (MSIE 1980), was elected to the position during the 2016 annual meeting, then served as the 2016-2017 Scribe and 2017-2018 Chair-Elect before assuming the chairmanship this year at the annual meeting.

“It was an honor to be selected as one of now 567 Fellows (starting with Purdue’s own Lillian Gilbreth in 1950) of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. It is both an honor and a challenge to now be elected to chair this group of the most accomplished industrial and systems engineers,” said Corliss. “This is a unique group within IISE that brings together the top minds in both academia and industry, and my goal for the year is to make this combined expertise more accessible to support the Institute’s leadership and the profession.”

Corliss has more than 30 years of domestic and international management and consulting experience. He worked for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority for 11 years, including seven years heading the wastewater planning program. He led hurricane recovery efforts in Louisiana and consulted on major African- and Caribbean-based business development and consulting initiatives. He began his career in Washington, DC, leading the development of the National Energy Plan projections for the U.S. Secretary of Energy. He also has over 15 years of university information technology teaching and consulting experience. In addition to his Purdue MSIE, he earned two other Purdue degrees, an MS in Public Policy and Public Administration in 1980, and a Bachelor's in Urban Systems Engineering (then part of the Interdisciplinary Engineering program) in 1978.

While at Purdue, Corliss was inspired by the University's efforts to encourage science, engineering and math students to apply their expertise to pressing public sector issues. "This shaped my career choices," he said. "This is reflected in my founding of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers' Sustainable Development Division, and my being a leading advocate for industrial and systems engineers taking on leadership roles in sustainability in both the public and private sectors."

The IISE Council of Fellows members are individuals who have distinguished themselves through research, leadership and service to the profession of industrial and systems engineering. Its mission is to assist IISE through counsel and development of new ideas that advance the impact and prestige of the profession, and to advocate for the profession to outside constituencies. The Fellow Award was established in 1950 to serve as the highest grade of membership in IISE and recognizes outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions nationally and/or internationally to the profession.