The ISE Department is proud to announce Theodore Ralphs, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, as the recipient of the 2021 Lehigh University Rossin College Outstanding Doctoral Student Advising Award.

The Outstanding Doctoral Student Advising Award recognizes a Rossin College faculty member who has a strong commitment to the doctoral education and provides excellent support and mentorship to doctoral students they work with.

During his career at Lehigh, Ted Ralphs has supervised 10 PhD students and has served on 18 PhD committees. He is currently the advisor to four students. He has always been a key contributor to the ISE PhD program, serving in the selection and curricula committees multiple times in the last 20 years. He played a critical role establishing a strong program curriculum and he was the first to lecture many of our current courses. He was founding adviser of our doctoral INFORMS Student Chapter. His efforts were recognized by Lehigh's 2007 Hillman Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising.

Moreover, Prof. Ralphs has contributed to the development of the ISE PhD Program in other impactful ways. He co-founded the COR@L Laboratory which hosts the computer cluster intensively used by our PhD students to run their numerical experiments. Our current PhD Student Seminar has grown out of his pioneer efforts in the INFORMS Student Chapter and COR@L research events. ISE faculty and students post their research papers in the ISE Technical Report repository, to which Ted Ralphs has also made substantial contributions.

In the words of one of his current doctoral students, Suresh Bolusani: “I nominated him for multiple reasons. Research-wise, he has a great step-by-step approach to introducing new research topics to Ph.D. students. He gave me multiple options to explore in my first year. By the end of the year, I had enough knowledge about different topics to make an informed decision and arrive at a mutually agreeable research topic for my dissertation. Further, his research approach itself fascinates me even today. He has a great ability and inclination to find connections between perceivably unrelated research areas, which is possible only upon having a deeper understanding of the subject. It is one of the reasons why I love to work with him and develop unifying theoretical concepts and algorithms. On a personal level, he provided me an environment that made me feel at ease and interact freely. Overall, he was highly supportive of me both professionally and personally throughout my stay, especially since the beginning of the pandemic last year. All these experiences made me understand advising better, and I aspire to become a great advisor like him.

The ISE Department congratulates Professor Ralphs for winning this outstanding award!