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6/13/12 - Usher named industrial/systems engineering head

A 20-year veteran of Mississippi State University's faculty ranks becomes the Bagley College of Engineering's newest department head.

John M. Usher officially assumed his role as head of the department of industrial and systems engineering in May. He had served as interim leader since 2011 when Royce Bowden was named as the BCoE's associate dean for academic affairs.

"Dr. Usher has an exemplary teaching, research and service record," Dean Sarah Rajala said. "I am excited about the future and know industrial and systems engineering will play an important role in helping the college achieve its vision."

Usher came to Mississippi State in 1989 as an assistant professor. He became an associate professor in 1994 and earned full professorship in 2000. He also serves as the department's undergraduate and graduate coordinator.

"I am honored to have been selected to serve as head of the department," Usher said. "As a long time faculty member in this department, it is my pleasure to work with the faculty, students, and alumni to further enhance and strengthen our programs."

During his time at State, Usher has twice earned the StatePride Faculty Award and the position of Hearin Distinguished Professor in Engineering. He received the John Grisham Faculty Excellence Award in 1997, and was named to the college's Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2007. He has also been honored with faculty excellence, advising and outstanding faculty member awards.

Usher's work focuses on design and analysis of production systems, the application of artificial intelligence in manufacturing and systems simulation, modeling, and analysis. He has authored numerous papers, co-edited three volumes and currently serves on the editorial board and advisory boards of several journals.

Usher holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Florida. He graduated from Louisiana State University with master's degrees in chemical and industrial engineering, and a doctoral degree in engineering sciences.

Housed in McCain Hall, the industrial and systems engineering department currently enrolls 260 students in its bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. The department's research focuses on the areas of ergonomics and human factors, management systems engineering, manufacturing and production systems, and operations research and statistics.

Composed of eight academic departments, the Bagley College of Engineering is Mississippi State's third largest college. It currently ranks 35th among all engineering colleges nationally in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation.

Susan Lassetter | Bagley College of Engineering

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