Terpenny inducted into Virginia Tech Academy of Distinguished Alumni

The 2016 Virginia Tech ISU Academy of Distinguished Alumni inductees (l-r): Don Wittke (honorary alumnus), Director of Industrial Engineering at United Parcel Service; Janis Terpenny, professor and head of the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State; John Montague, president of John W. Montague Jr. Inc. (retired); and John White Jr., former Chancellor of University of Arkansas and Distinguished Professor of Department of Industrial Engineering at University of Arkansas Credit: Virginia TechAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Janis Terpenny, professor and Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Chair and Department Head of the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, was inducted into the Virginia Tech Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Academy of Distinguished Alumni at an awards banquet held on April 25 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

According to the ISE website, the academy was established in 1993 and includes a “group of recognized leaders in the field who have served their profession and society with distinction.” Only 2 percent of ISE alumni are bestowed the honor. A list of this year’s inductees can be found on the ISE site.

Terpenny earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in ISE from Virginia Tech in 1981 and 1996, respectively.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to join such an inspiring group of individuals, dedicated to leading the profession into the future and serving society,” commented Terpenny. “I will be forever grateful to my master’s and doctoral advisers at Virginia Tech, Dr. Robert P. Davis and Dr. Paul E. Torgersen … my heroes, who were outstanding educators and thought leaders, wonderful mentors and role models for me and for so many others.”

Terpenny is also the director of the Center for e-Design, a National Science Foundation industry/university cooperative research center that brings eight universities and more than 30 industry members together in solving pressing problems associated with the design, manufacture, delivery and sustainment of innovative, high quality, lower cost products. 

Prior to her appointment at Penn State in September 2015, she was the department chair and Joseph Walkup Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University for four years. She also served as the technology lead for the Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise area for one of the nation’s first manufacturing institutes, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.

Terpenny was a program director for the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education and has held faculty positions at Virginia Tech and the University of Massachusetts. She also has nine years of industry experience with the General Electric Company, during which time she completed a two-year corporate management program.

She was named a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers in 2010 and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2012, and was inducted as a Tau Beta Pi Eminent Engineer in 2011. She is also a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Alpha Pi Mu and Tau Beta Pi.

Terpenny’s research and teaching interests include engineering design process and methods and engineering design education, including engineering economics, intelligent and integrated design systems, and systems analysis/systems engineering.

Throughout her career, she has served as either the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on more than $14 million of sponsored research and is the author of 165 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. She also serves as an associate editor for the Engineering Economist. 

Last Updated May 02, 2016