Harris named department chair of industrial and systems engineering

Published: Nov 30, 2022 9:00 AM

By Cassie Montgomery

Greg Harris has been selected as chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn University. His appointment began Nov. 1, according to an announcement from Steve Taylor, interim dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. 

“We have a great situation here. Our faculty are doing great research, we’ve got great students and the program is growing,” said Harris, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Manufacturing Systems (ICAMS). “There’s going to be a lot of change going on with new faculty joining our department and the focus that I have is really to try to make sure we keep the culture the way we have it. It’s a fun place to be and a fun place to work.”

Harris joined the Auburn Engineering faculty in 2016, coming to Auburn from the U.S. Army in the manufacturing science and technology division spending his last two years at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing Industrial Base Policy Office in Washington, DC. He has more than 20 years of industry experience in various manufacturing roles in North Alabama and Texas. Harris was at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) for more than 11 years as the Director of the Alabama Technology Network center and as the Director of the Center for Management and Economic Research. He has held academic positions at UAH and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn in 1981, a master’s in business administration from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 1986, and a doctoral degree in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2007.

“Dr. Harris’s breadth of experience in the private manufacturing sector, with the federal government and in higher education make him a great fit to lead the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering,” Taylor said. “I am certain that he will build upon the department’s strong foundation and elevate exciting new research opportunities for the industrial and systems engineering faculty and its high-caliber students.”

Harris said he would like to expand upon the department’s undergraduate research program in an effort to recruit more graduate students to Auburn Engineering.

“Working with students on research really gets me excited and it gets our students excited,” Harris said of engaging undergraduate students in research projects. “One way to grow our graduate student population – in particular, domestic students – is to get them interested in research and what we’re doing in our different research areas within the department. I’m excited about doing just that.”

As director ICAMS, he leads a center that has become a huge resource for small and medium manufacturers throughout the southeastern United States for improving technology adoption offering demonstration, outreach, training, education, research and promotion of manufacturing as a career. ICAMS offers equipment, space and expertise to train and educate students and industry personnel in advanced manufacturing technologies. He also serves as the associate director for digital strategy for the National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME).

Harris succeeds John Evans, the Charles D. Miller Chair Professor of industrial and systems engineering, who has been the department’s chair since 2016. Evans will continue to serve in his professor role and as director of the Thomas Walter Center.

“Dr. Evans poured himself into the role of department chair over the past six years and we are extremely thankful for his service,” Taylor said. “I wish him much success as he returns to his fulltime research and teaching programs.”

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery, cmontgomery@auburn.edu, 334.844.3668

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