Georgia Tech

Leon McGinnis Announces Plan to Retire

Dec 21, 2011 | Atlanta, GA

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  • Leon McGinnis

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
404.385.3102

Leon McGinnis, Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has announced his plans to retire from Georgia Tech effective December 31, 2011, after forty years of service.

"Leon has provided important leadership on critical dimensions including ISyE curriculum enhancements, campus-wide manufacturing research, and institute-level faculty governance,” said Jane Ammons, H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair.  “He has also been a terrific colleague and friend to faculty, staff, and students.  I would like to thank Leon for his contributions, and wish him joy and excellent adventures in this new chapter in his life.”

McGinnis, a registered professional engineer in the state of Georgia, received his bachelor’s in industrial engineering from Auburn University, and a master’s and PhD in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University. McGinnis has been a leader in developing and administering industry-focused and interdisciplinary education and research programs at Georgia Tech. He helped establish the Material Handling Research Center in 1982 and managed one of five research programs over the next decade. He also helped establish the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems Program (CIMS) in 1983, which received a LEAD Award from ASME for excellence in graduate-level interdisciplinary manufacturing education, and served as Director from 1988 to 1998. As CIMS Director, he lead a team that competed for and won a $1 million TRP grant, resulting in the establishment of the Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute within the Manufacturing Research Center. In 1994, he lead a team of ISyE faculty to win over $2 million in grants from the W. M. Keck Foundation to create the Keck Virtual Factory Lab as a focal point for IE systems design and control research.

McGinnis enjoys teaching students how to think like industrial engineers, particularly in developing and using mathematical and computational models to support design of facilities and control systems. His research focuses on fundamental representation issues in discrete event logistics systems, on performance assessment models, and on the development of integrated computational tools. The Institute of Industrial Engineers has recognized Dr. McGinnis with the Outstanding Publication Award, the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, and the Fellow Award. He has given the Inyong Ham Lecture at Penn State, the Jones Lecture at Dartmouth, and the Schantz Lectures at Lehigh.

Though he is retiring, McGinnis plans to remain active in his research, collaborations, and the advisement of his PhD students.