Heier Selected as New Face of Engineering

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Jessica Heier, Ph.D. student in the Stewart School of ISyE, was selected as one of 14 young engineers to be highlighted as part of Engineers Week 2008. Each year, the National Engineers Week Foundation, a coalition of engineering societies, major corporations and government agencies, asks its members to nominate colleagues 30 years old and younger who have shown outstanding abilities and leadership. From those nominees, the foundation selected the 14 women and men to be this year's "New Faces of Engineers.*

Jessica Heier, 26, was chosen for this honor for her work in improving logistics systems for humanitarian relief and public health applications. In 2007, for example, she collaborated with ISyE doctoral students Aykagan Ak and Clarence L. Wardell III and faculty members *zlem Ergun and Pinar Keskinocak on a project to improve the vaccine supply chain processes at the Pan American Health Organization.

Currently, Heier is at work on her dissertation which examines logistics systems with decentralized decision-making, a common characteristic of disasters. She expects her research to make fundamental contributions to science and provide methods to improve humanitarian response. Her work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and is advised by Professors *zlem Ergun and Julie Swann.

Heier's long-standing commitment to creating opportunities for young women in technical professions is also inspiring future engineers, such as a hands-on activity she developed to teach middle school girls about humanitarian logistics. Heier plans to become a professor, continuing to improve relief logistics while teaching future engineers.

As part of the recognition, Heier and the other 13 young engineers were featured in a full page ad in the February 18, 2008 issue of USA Today showing how young engineers are making a world of difference for all of us. You can learn more about how these talented young engineers have turned their ideas into reality by visiting

The 2008 New Faces of Engineering (with nominating society in italics) are:
Benjamin L. Phillips, EIT - American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Lynn Takala - American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Javier F. Moncada, EIT * American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Molly E. McGuire * American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Annmarie Connor * American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Angela Lang Matthews, P.E. - Chinese Institute of Engineers * USA (CIE-USA)
Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D. * IEEE / IEEE-USA
Jessica L. Heier * Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)
Raynelle Natasha Callender * Engineers Week Coalition Diversity Council/ National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA)
Colwyn Mark Sayers, P.E. * National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
Dennis Lee * Project Management Institute (PMI)
Tony Thomas * Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Thomas David Borrowman * U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
LT Julie Boettcher * U. S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program

The Engineers Week coalition comprises more than 75 engineering, professional, and technical societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, the coalition is dedicated to sustaining and growing a dynamic engineering profession by ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce, increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students, and promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. Among the oldest of America's professional outreach efforts, the coalition also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineering contributions to society through year-round innovative programming and celebration. Co-chairs of Engineers Week 2008 (February 17 * 23) are the Chinese Institute of Engineers-USA (CIE-USA) and IBM.


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    Barbara Christopher
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    Fletcher Moore
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