College Of Engineering Hosts Candidates for Chair of Industrial and Systems Engineering

LU College of Engineering will host five candidates for the Chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Dr. Mehmet Bayram Yildirim will visit campus on April 11th, Dr. Nebil Buryurgan on April 12th, Dr. James Curry on April 13th, Dr. James Li on April 14th and Dr. Doug Timmer on April 22nd. The candidates' biographies are listed below.

Yildirim Dr. Mehmet Bayram Yildirim is a professor in the Department of Industrial,   Systems and Manufacturing Engineering (ISME) at Wichita State University (WSU). He received a BS in industrial engineering from Bogazici University, Turkey in 1994; MS degree in industrial engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey in 1996; and a PhD in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida in 2001.  

Dr. Yildirim’s research interest is in applied optimization and analytics, with applications in sustainable engineering, supply chain management, production planning, and scheduling. His teaching interest is in engineering economy, optimization, analytics, and supply chain management.  He is an ABET Program Evaluator and the director for Systems, Analytics, and Energy Laboratory, and co-director for WSU Industrial Assessment Center and Industrial Productivity and Energy Efficiency Laboratory.  

Dr. Yildirim has been active in pursuing research funds as principal investigator and co-principal investigator for 43 proposals for a total of $10.2 million with $5.8 million as WSU share and $1.8 million as my share in grants from federal and state funding agencies, and also industrial funding leading to industry/university partnerships. He has 77 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications with more than 2600 citations, an h-index of 22 and an i10-index of 31.  

Dr. Yildirim has led interdisciplinary research efforts, interdisciplinary curriculum development experience, emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship, and utilizing experiential, applied learning, and technology to promote student learning and success, while demonstrating a commitment to diversity by leading search committees to the successful hiring of minority faculty, and recruiting students from underrepresented groups. Dr. Yildirim is experienced in managing existing graduate programs and developing new programs: he was the graduate coordinator in the ISME Department for five years (MS in IE, MS in Engineering Management, and PhD Programs), before serving as the Faculty Senate President during the 2016-17 academic year. He collaborated with the Business School to develop the Masters in Management Science and Supply Chain Management program and served as a co-graduate coordinator (2017-2020).    

BuryurganDr. Nebil Buyurgan is a Professor and the Director of Project Management Graduate Programs at Missouri State University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Istanbul Technical University-Turkey in 19998; his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri–Rolla (Missouri University of Science and Technology) in 2000 and 2004 respectively. He has served as a faculty member at the University of Arkansas, Quinnipiac University, and Missouri State University.

His research interests include the stochastic and deterministic optimization of supply chain management and logistics operations in manufacturing, retail, military, and healthcare as well as data analytics in operations management for increased productivity, reduced errors, and improved quality.  


Dr. James Curry is an Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering at Lamar University. His research interests are logistics, scheduling, and software development. He has been PI or Co-Pi on 9 externally funded research projects from sponsors including NSF, ABS, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He is also actively involved with outreach for the department including website, videos, and articulation agreements. He is especially interested in pathways for students to achieve career success in engineering and technology. 

LiDr. Jianzhi (James) Li is a Professor of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering at The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. Professor Li received his Bachelor of Science degree in Automotive Engineering and Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Tsinghua University, China. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University. Professor Li has more than 20 years of leadership and research experience in the areas of laser material processing, additive manufacturing, process modeling and optimization, logistics, and sustainable manufacturing. He also has eight years of industry experience, including business incubation and serving as chief technology director in IT and logistics fields.

Professor Li is director of Center for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Cyber Systems. He is the founding director of the DoD I-DREAM4D Consortium created on a DoD MEEP grant, focusing on talent preparation for defense innovation leveraging research and education in additive manufacturing and smart manufacturing. He is the founding director of a DOE/NNSA national consortium, supporting additive manufacturing research for energy systems. He was one of the key members of the management team of the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research & Education Initiative funded by the Department of Commerce to support Rapid Response Manufacturing at South Texas.

Throughout his career, Professor Li has maintained a distinguished scholarly record and committed to developing new programs that significantly benefit the institution and the manufacturing community. Professor Li is currently leading multiple research/development projects with about $15 million in grants supported by NSF, DoD STEM, Army, NIST, DOE, and Department of Commerce. His research and education endeavors are also sponsored by industry partners and private foundations including Dell, Honeywell, Caterpillar, GE, BD, ALPS automotive, Bose Foundation, US-Mexico Foundation for Science, among others.  

TimmerDr. Doug Timmer is a professor of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where he also serves as associate chair and graduate programs coordinator. Dr. Timmer has served in a variety of leadership roles including chair of Manufacturing Engineering, program director for Civil Engineering, associate dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Accreditation and associate dean for Graduate Affairs and Research. Dr. Timmer completed a B.S. with a double major in mathematics and computer science from Pan American University, M.S. in Statistics from Texas A&M University and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering also from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Timmer currently serves as a co-PI on two major grants from the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. He has been associated with over $18M in external funding from a variety of sources including National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Education, and Department of Labor. Dr. Timmer’s research areas are in quality and applied statistics, data analytics, smart manufacturing, and engineering education.

Beyond his academic experiences, Dr. Timmer has over five years of industrial experience applying statistics and artificial intelligence to environmental, process and petrochemical industries. Dr. Timmer’s hobbies include stained glass, fishing and kayaking, fly tying and motorcycle riding.