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Babski-Reeves named head of industrial and systems engineering at MSU

Kari Babski-Reeves

A well-respected leader in the fields of human factors and ergonomics has been selected as the new department head for industrial and systems engineering within Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering.

Kari Babski-Reeves, a three-time Mississippi State engineering alumna, will officially begin her tenure as department head on July 1, 2020, pending approval of the State Board of Trustees, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. She transitions into her new role on a full-time basis after having served as the interim department head since July 2019.

“I am truly honored to have been selected as the first female department head for industrial and systems engineering here at Mississippi State,” Babski-Reeves said. “As a three-time graduate of this department, I have knowledge of where it has been and am excited for where it is going. ISE is a strong department within the college and a leader in many aspects, and I am looking forward to seeing where the faculty and students push it into the future.

“The faculty are young and energetic and are continuously expanding research domains in their respective fields, so it is exciting to see that potential maturing and being passed on to our students. I also have really missed connecting with students. What I am most looking forward to is engaging with the ISE students more fully through teaching and advising. They are why we are all here,” she said.

Babski-Reeves has served as associate dean for research and graduate studies within the Bagley College for the past five years. As a professor in industrial and systems engineering, her research efforts are focused in the areas of human factors, ergonomics, and safety and have been funded by entities such as Honda, Hyundai, FedEx, UPS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

She has been published in a variety of journals including Human Factors; Ergo; IEEE Transactions: Man, Systems, and Cybernetics; and the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. She is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Institute of Industrial Engineers, among others.

Babski-Reeves also is currently serving on the NORA Musculoskeletal Sector Panel for NIOSH, is serving in her second term as president of the board of directors for the Board of Certified Professional Ergonomists and was selected as Fellow of the Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program for the 2017-18 academic year.

“Kari has been an exceptional leader in the dean’s office and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding leader for the industrial and systems engineering department,” said Jason Keith, dean of the Bagley College of Engineering. “She has succeeded in every position she’s had in the college and I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

Babski-Reeves earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Mississippi State in 1995 and 1998, respectively, before completing her Ph.D. in industrial engineering in 2000. She joined the Mississippi State faculty in 2006 after a stint at the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Babski-Reeves replaces former department head John Usher, who retired from the Bagley College of Engineering in June 2019.

— By: Philip Allison

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