Professor Snyder will hold the Harvey E. Wagner Endowed Chair in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

The Lehigh ISE Department is delighted to announce that ISE Professor Lawrence V. Snyder was appointed to the Harvey E. Wagner Endowed Chair in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, effective July 1, 2022. Congratulations Larry!

Larry Snyder is an established leader in the field of operations research and systems engineering, with a vast and highly cited publication record. He received his PhD from Northwestern University in 2003 with a dissertation on robustness and reliability of supply chains. Since that time, he has greatly expanded his research portfolio to include work on logistics, transportation theory, facility location, inventory models, energy systems, decision-making under uncertainty, and machine and reinforcement learning. He has a strong record of interdisciplinary research excellence, spanning his entire career over 19 years at Lehigh, where he has also been a stellar educator, highly appreciated by his students. He currently serves as the Director of Lehigh's Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation (I-DISC).

Wagner's endowment was made in 1987 to award a Lehigh industrial / manufacturing systems engineering professor. According to former Lehigh Provost David A. Sanchez, the chair was made possible through a $1.25 million gift from Harvey E. Wagner, Lehigh Class of 1957, and a $250,000 grant from IBM Corporation. Previous holders of the Wagner endowed chair were Professor Roger N. Nagel (1987-2003) and Professor Katya Scheinberg (2014-2019). Harvey had an accomplished life as an entrepreneur. He founded Teknekron Corporation in Berkeley, California, which developed emerging computing technologies. Lehigh is highly grateful for his contribution for hiring and retaining some of our most talented faculty.

There is an important interconnection between manufacturing systems engineering and Larry's main research topic, supply chain theory and modeling. In fact, supply chains play an increasingly important role in manufacturing systems, because modern manufacturing processes are tuned carefully to the flows of raw materials and parts coming into the complex multi-layered manufacturing system and the flows of finished products coming out of the system. Supply chain management provides tools to evaluate, forecast, manage, and optimize these flows. The rise of "just-in-time" or "lean" manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s eschewed inventory and other redundancies. More recently, many companies are returning to a "just-in-case" approach, which uses inventory to buffer against uncertainty, in response to the enormous uncertainties faced by today's supply chains. Both approaches rely heavily on mathematical models for supply chains, including network design, inventory optimization, transportation modeling, and forecasting. The modern version of "just-in-case" focuses especially on supply uncertainty, a major topic of Larry's research for the past 20 years.

The Lehigh ISE Department now has three endowed chair professors, Lawrence V. Snyder (Harvey E. Wagner '59), Tamás Terlaky (George N. and Soteria Kledaras '87), and Luis Nunes Vicente (Timothy J. Wilmott '80). Sam Banks '63 has recently endowed another faculty chair at our Department.