Purdue Recognizes JSOM Professor as a ‘Distinguished Woman Scholar’

Dr. Kathryn Stecke

Dr. Kathryn E. Stecke’s latest accolade for contributing to the advancement of women in her field comes from Purdue University, where she earned three graduate degrees on her way to becoming a leading researcher in operations management.

In a program and reception March 7, Purdue honored Stecke, Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, as one of its 2014 Distinguished Women Scholars.

Recipients of the title “serve as role models to all of our scholars in the making,” Laurel Weldon, Purdue’s interim vice provost for faculty affairs, said in announcing the honorees. She recognized Stecke and five fellow honorees as “impressive and accomplished women” who have made significant contributions in their academic and professional communities.

Stecke graduated from Boston State College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She then earned one master’s degree in applied mathematics and a second in industrial engineering before earning her PhD in industrial engineering at Purdue.

She has since become 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.

Last fall, Stecke received the 2013 Women in Operations Research and Management Sciences (WORMS) Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, (INFORMS). The WORMS Award recognizes a professor who has helped promote the professional development and recognition of women in the OR/MS field within their own institutions and professional organizations.

An active member of INFORMS since her graduate-school days, Stecke was elected an INFORMS fellow in 2009 and twice served on its board of directors. She recently was re-elected to a second term on the board of the Production and Operations Management Society.