Purdue University’s School of Industrial Engineering is honoring Dr. Kathryn E. Stecke, Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management, at a banquet April 27 with an Outstanding Industrial Engineer Award, a special recognition given to alumni who have “demonstrated exemplary accomplishments, leadership and service to community.”
The award is the second Purdue alumni laurel bestowed on Stecke, who earned three graduate degrees there on her way to becoming a leading researcher in operations management. In 2014, she was named a Distinguished Woman Scholar, an honor that recognizes doctoral alumnae who have made significant contributions in their academic and professional communities, and who, a spokesperson said, “serve as role models to all of our scholars in the making.”
The first engineer to receive the Distinguished Woman Scholar Award, Stecke is the only person to have earned both alumni accolades. At Purdue, she earned one master’s degree in applied mathematics and a second in industrial engineering before earning her PhD in industrial engineering.
Stecke graduated from Boston State College (now part of University of Massachusetts Boston) with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and earned its Education for Service Award in 2015.
An internationally recognized scholar on manufacturing issues and improving manufacturing efficiencies and cost controls, she is widely considered the U.S. expert on the Seru Production System, a work-cell-based manufacturing process created in Japan in the early 1990s.