Search for the Next
James J. Solberg Head
School of Industrial Engineering

The School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University is seeking an accomplished, dynamic, and innovative leader to serve as the James J. Solberg Head and Professor of the School of Industrial Engineering. The School of Industrial Engineering is consistently ranked as one of the top industrial engineering programs in the nation and recognized as an international pioneer and leader in the quality of its educational and research programs. The School currently has more than 750 undergraduate students, 200 graduate students, and 30 faculty members. Purdue Engineering takes pride in being at the pinnacle of excellence at scale. The successful candidate must possess the vision and qualities to further advance the School’s impact, recognition, national and international standings through a strong commitment to excel in discovery, learning, and engagement. The Head we seek will lead the School in continuing to define the evolution of IE and IE Frontier Areas, including Next Generation Products/Services, Complex Systems and Networks, Cognition and Decision Making, and Information Engineering. Additional information about the School of IE may be found at

Candidates must demonstrate a clear understanding of the current needs and future direction of the rapidly evolving industrial engineering profession; possess a commitment to diversity and collaboration; be skilled in administration and communication, student relations, and mentoring; and be talented at developing strong stakeholder relations, particularly with other units within the College of Engineering, alumni, and industry partners. Successful candidates must hold a PhD in industrial engineering or related discipline and must meet the qualification of a full professor in Industrial Engineering with tenure, based on an outstanding record of independent and impactful research, graduate and undergraduate teaching, and professional service at national and international levels.

Submit the following documents to

  1. a curriculum vitae;
  2. a bullet-point summary of key accomplishments in any leadership roles held;
  3. a personal statement, not to exceed three pages, addressing the applicant’s vision, leadership and mentoring philosophy, experience, and qualifications; and
  4. names and contact information for at least four references, who will not be called without express permission. For information/questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of Academic Affairs, College of Engineering, at Review of applications will begin on June 1, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. A background check is required for employment in this position.

The Search Committee is chaired by Prof. Rao Govindaraju, Bowen Engineering Head of the School of Civil Engineering. Purdue University has retained Education Executives to assist with this search. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be sent via e-mail to:

Purdue is an ADVANCE institution. Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including discovery, instruction, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in a separate Diversity and Inclusion Statement, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Purdue's main campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, a rapidly-growing, welcoming, and diverse community with a wide variety of cultural activities, events, and industries. Purdue and the College of Engineering have a Concierge Program that provides dual career assistance and relocation services.

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

About the School of Industrial Engineering

Since its founding in 1955, Purdue's School of Industrial Engineering (IE) has played a critical role in the history of the industrial engineering profession. The trailblazing work of Lillian Gilbreth in human factors, Alan Pritsker in discrete event simulations, Moshe Barash in manufacturing processes, W. Dale Compton in healthcare systems, and James Solberg in intelligent manufacturing systems, among many others, set the foundations for Purdue IE’s international preeminence.

Today, Purdue IE is actively finding ways to have a continuous transformative impact on the discipline and society through its revolutionary “ReThink IE” initiative. ReThink IE builds on our legacy of depth and breadth in the traditional IE areas of operations research, manufacturing, systems, and human factors, and redefines them for the 21st century. Our frontier areas include Next Generation Products and Services, Complex Systems and Networks, Cognition and Decision Making, and Computational IE. Faculty in the School serve in key leadership or core roles in major campus-wide centers and institutes, such as the Purdue Systems Collaboratory, USAID funded LASER PULSE, NASA funded Indiana Space Grant Consortium, and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE).

Founded 66 years ago, one of the first in the world

Second largest undergraduate program in the country

30 faculty

More than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students

More than $18 million in research awards, and $13 million in research expenditures in FY20, among the largest research expenditures per faculty in Purdue Engineering

Home of first NSF Engineering Research Center

#2 ranked undergraduate program (2021)

Top 10 graduate program (2022)

#1 ranked online master's program (2021)

More than 10,000 alumni

11 IISE Presidents, 11 Gilbreth Award winners, 48 IISE fellows, 10 NAE members from Purdue IE community

Lillian Gilbreth, former faculty, first woman to be elected to the NAE


Noted for their contributions in Next Generation Products & Services (nanostructured materials, laser-based 3-D manufacturing, flexible electronics, wearable sensors, soft/medical/collaborative robotics, rehabilitation engineering, sustainable urban systems), Complex Systems and Networks (complex system metrics, networked systems design, policy analysis, risk and resilient systems, global healthcare delivery, environmental impact of emerging technologies), Cognition and Decision Making (autonomy, human-automation interaction, team/group cognition, computational neuroscience, digital human), to Computational IE (distributed optimization, reinforcement learning, algorithmic game theory, automated inferencing, stochastic optimization, simulation optimization), and much more.

  • 10 NSF CAREER, 3 DoD Young Investigator Program awardees among current faculty
  • 5 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineering Award recipients, 3 IISE fellows, 2 Fulbright scholars, 2 NAE Frontiers of Engineering alumni, 2 Jefferson Science Fellows among current faculty, 1 IEEE fellow
  • 10 National Academy of Engineering members from Purdue IE community


  • One of the highest research expenditures per faculty in FY20 among all Purdue Engineering schools.
  • Birthplace of discrete event simulation, intelligent manufacturing, and robo-nurse.
  • Current research awards exceeding $1M each with IE faculty as PIs/co-PIs: Long-term assistance and services for research (LASER, USAID); Cognitive Autonomy for Human CPS: Turning Novices into Experts (NSF); Designing Future Reality today: Physical-reality simulation platform for future factories (NSF); Identifying Sustainability Solutions through Global-Local-Global Analysis of a Coupled Water-Agriculture-Bioenergy System (NSF); Fingers See Things Differently: A Robotic Explosive Ordnance Disposal based on Augmented Tactile Imaging (NSF); A Fundamental Theory for Dexterous Surgical Skills Transfer to Medical Robots (DoD).


  • Nearly 10% of our 10,000+ alumni reach the C-suite, and their ongoing engagement leads to unique networking opportunities for the Purdue IE community.
  • More than 250 top domestic and international companies recruit Purdue IE graduates annually, with an undergraduate job placement rate of 95.5%
  • Our Senior Design capstone course comprises 60+ projects with 35+ companies annually, providing “real-world” experiences before graduation.
  • Nearly half of our dedicated staff have been recognized for their service at the College and University levels.


  • Charles B. Armstrong, former President, Seattle Mariners
  • Major General Theresa Carter (USAF Retired), Purdue Trustee
  • Bob Dittus, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President, Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, Senior Associate Dean for Population Health Sciences, Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Juan Ernesto de Bedout, former group President of Latin American Operations, Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • John Edwardson, former President, United Airlines, former EVP/CFO, Northwest Airlines, former CEO, CDW Corporation
  • Susan J. Ellsperman, President, Ivy Tech Community College, and former Lieutenant Governor, State of Indiana
  • Michael Eskew, former Chairman and CEO, UPS (NAE member)
  • Jorge Haddock, President, University of Puerto Rico
  • Keith Krach, former Under Secretary of State, former CEO of DocuSign, Co-founder Ariba Inc., VP of General Motors
  • Joe Mize, former Vice President of Research at HKUST, Professor Emeritus, Oklahoma State University (NAE member)
  • Gerry Nadler, former Professor and IE Department Chair, University of Wisconsin and University of Southern California, former President, The Center for Breakthrough Thinking, Inc. (NAE member)
  • Carlos Odio, Founder and President, TicoFruit S. A.
  • Dennis Pegden, Founder and CEO of Simio LLC
  • Patti Poppe, CEO, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E)
  • Ed Schreck, former CIO, Accenture
  • Jim Tompkins, President, Founder and Chairman, Tompkins International
  • Ravi Venkatesan, UNICEF Special Representative for Young People, former Chairman of Microsoft India
  • Richard Wysk, Distinguished professor, NC State University, former Professor, Pennsylvania State University

About Purdue University's College of Engineering

The College of Engineering at Purdue is part of a university with exciting collaborations among its units. For society at large, engineers have in their hands the ability to reshape the condition of human existence in this century and beyond. The field of engineering is changing rapidly, with fresh interactions among the underlying substrates, engineering artifacts and systems, and application domains. What to teach, how to teach, and where to teach also present themselves as questions with opportunities and urgency, especially at a large, land-grant university.


Overarching Goal for Purdue Engineering: Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale

  • Never complacent with anything less than the pinnacle, we will aim higher and punch above our weight.
  • As the largest engineering college among the top 10 in the nation, we will tackle the challenges of scale and seize opportunities enabled by scale.

More Eager, More Agile, More Visible.

Purdue Engineering Is Where 'The Virtual Meets the Physical'

Be the best engineering college in the world at the interface of virtual-physical engineering, by leveraging long-standing strength in “what-we-touch” engineering and growing “what-we-code” engineering.

Purdue Engineering Develops a Large Pool of Premier Engineering Talent

Make online learning not only scalable but also effective. Provide diverse, innovative choices and support the highest academic standards for each undergraduate and graduate student, even at scale.

Purdue Engineering Empowers Industry

Be the best engineering college in the United States in engaging with industry in all areas, including curriculum innovation, workforce development, research impact and entrepreneurship.

Undergraduate students

Graduate students


We Distinguish Ourselves

  • The Cradle of Astronauts
  • 12 federally funded $10M+ research centers
  • 32 past and present NAE members
  • 8 recipients of Nat'l Medals of Technology & Innovation, and Science
  • #2 public college for engineering
  • #4 graduate engineering program in the U.S.
  • #9 U.S. undergraduate engineering program among all institutions
  • #2 producer of undergraduate female engineers nationwide
  • #3 U.S. online graduate engineering program
  • Birthplace of the National Society of Black Engineers
  • Top school for Native Americans in STEM

The Home of 1st and #1

  • 1st Man on the Moon: Alumnus Neil Armstrong
  • 1st Female NAE member: Purdue Professor & "First Lady of Engineering" Lillian Gilbreth
  • #1 Female Aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean - Faculty member Amelia Earhart
  • 1st woman to fly on a commercial spaceship
  • First-of-its-kind 5G Testbed in the U.S.
  • 1st fully digitalized nuclear reactor in the U.S.
  • 1st high-voltage research lab in the U.S.
  • 1st non-medical public college to raise $1B+ in a campaign
  • 1st Department (now school) dedicated to Engineering Education (2004)
  • 1st U.S. university to have Women in Engineering Program
  • #1 producer of graduate engineers of any U.S. public research university

About Purdue University

Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the University has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels. Committed to student success, Purdue is changing the student experience with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative use of technology. Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward.

Purdue University Fast Facts


Graduate Programs

student-to-faculty ratio

Classes with fewer than 20 students

Total Enrollment (Fall 2020)

Undergraduate Enrollment (Fall 2020)

Graduate/Professional Enrollment (Fall 2020)

Total international students (Fall 2020)

International undergraduate students (Fall 2020)

International graduate and professional students (Fall 2020)

Study abroad opportunities in 60 countries

Countries represented in our student population (2020)

Alumni around the globe

Purdue University Rankings

  • #17 public university in the U.S.
    Source: U.S. News & World Report (2021)
  • #3 in startup creation
    Source: IPWatchdog Institute (2020)
  • #4 top public U.S. colleges that pay off the most
    Source: CNBC (2020)
  • #5 most innovative university
    Source: U.S. News and World Report (2021)
  • #9 public university in the U.S.
    Source: Wall Street Journal/Time Higher Education (2021)
  • Top 23 for most international students
    Source: U.S. News & World Report (2021)
  • #25 public university in the U.S.
    Source: Business First (2020)
  • #27 best college for veterans
    Source: U.S. News & World Report (2021)
  • #36 best university for undergraduate teaching
    Source: U.S. News & World Report (2021)

Search Committee

School of Industrial Engineering Resources