University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Inspiring future industrial and system engineers
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University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Inspiring future industrial and system engineers

Lynn Reed started his engineering consultancy career with a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT).

He enjoyed this undergraduate study experience so much that he carried on with a Master’s in Industrial Engineering Management at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) while holding a full-time position supervising an engineering team.

“The requirements for holding that position also mandated an advanced degree beyond a bachelor’s degree, so a master’s degree worked in my favour,” he said.

The programme’s distance learning mode worked well for Reed’s schedule. He could catch up on classes, complete coursework and speak to lecturers at his own pace. It was a strategy that led to the successful completion of his master’s with no compromise on his career progress.

By this point, Reed is more than confident in UTSI’s distance learning programmes. It didn’t take long before he enrolled in an online PhD in Industrial Engineering Management degree. For his dissertation, he found that the knowledge from both his bachelor’s and master’s helped greatly when he was writing “A Statistical Study of Supply Chain Developmental Training on Original Equipment Manufacturer’s Defect Rates”.

Source: UT

“Since my graduation and also during the education process for my master’s and doctorate, I have used the skills I learned enumerable times. It has improved the quality of my work and brought value to my customers,” said Reed.

Now, he is fulfilling a lifelong dream of teaching at the college level.

“This past semester, I obtained an adjunct professor position with Tennessee Tech to teach a course in engineering management. And in the fall, I have been asked to teach at the UT Space Institute,” said Reed.

The Senior Engineering Consultant for the University of Tennessee Centre for Industrial Services also said that his educational experience has been rewarding in so many ways.

“The work to get there was long and sometimes challenging, but the results were worth the effort I put into it,” said Reed.

Tap into your unlimited potential with UT at Knoxville

UTSI Assistant Professor of Practice Dr Sandra Affare is another graduate to speak highly about her time at UT.

Before embarking on her PhD in Industrial Engineering Management online, Affare spent a lot of time with a research and development group at Tennessee Valley Authority.

One day, a UTSI professor visited and conducted a presentation about the distance education programme at the Space Institute.

“This talk piqued my interest in engineering management. So, I entered the programme less than a year later,” said Affare.

She remembers how when she was faced with a financial obstacle that threatened the completion of her degree, a UT faculty member came to her rescue.

“The person who made a personal difference to me was Dr. Janice Tolk. I was being laid off from work and would not have the income to complete my PhD. Luckily, Dr. Tolk hired me as her Graduate Research Assistant (GRA),” she said.

This then showed Sandra the lengths faculty at UT would go to in order to support students.

She said, “As a result of my GRA assignment with Dr. Tolk, I was introduced to a completely new topic named “High Reliability Organisations”. As a result of this work with Dr. Tolk I was able to change my dissertation topic, obtain the necessary approvals and complete my programme in the next 18 months.”

UT at Knoxville

Source: UT

Now, Sandra is an Assistant Professor of Practice at UTSI where she continues to share her industrial engineering expertise.

“These life events at UT inspired me to help future engineering students achieve their academic pursuits,” she said.

Engineer your future with UT at Knoxville

There are currently hundreds of industrial and system engineering students at UT aspiring to achieve success like Reed and Affare did.

Senior student Sarah Gamble believes her course will equip her to follow in their footsteps. Many of her modules show her how to solve challenging and multidisciplinary problems in a diverse range of environments.

“On our course, we really look at all aspects of the business and how to make them become a better process in supply chain and manufacturing. Even in finance or management,” she said.

Bolstered by the knowledge and skills she’s gaining at UT, Gamble is excited for an exciting career ahead.

As Gamble said, “If you’re considering industrial and systems engineering, absolutely do it. It’s the best choice I’ve ever made and I think the world needs more industrial engineers.” 

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