The 17-year professor - all with Lehigh - also heads the university's COR@L Laboratory

Professor Ted Ralphs was named interim chair of the department of industrial and systems engineering in August.

Ralphs, who succeeds professor Tamás Terlaky, assumed the new position immediately upon his return from a year-long sabbatical at the Zuse Institute Berlin, where he worked on a project involving energy applications.

He said he is looking forward to the ISE department’s integration with the new data science and cyber-physical systems research institutes, and with the department’s future involvement with the College of Health.

“The department itself is actually running well,” Ralphs said. “We’re looking more to the outside now, and at how to get better integrated into the research ecosystem that the dean is trying to develop.”

Ralphs has been with the Lehigh faculty since 2000 and is the director of the Computational Optimization Research at Lehigh (COR@L) Laboratory.

His research focuses on the theoretical, computational and applied aspects of solving and analyzing mixed-integer linear problems using mathematical techniques and high-performance computers. Through this research, he aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Before arriving at Lehigh, Ralphs earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in operations research at Cornell University and an M.S. in mathematics and a B.S. in applied mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University.

He teaches a course in graphs and network flows, and he has taught courses in computational methods, integer programming, nonlinear programming and algorithms in systems engineering, among others.

“I’ve been here for 17 years, and this was my first academic job, so I’m growing up with Lehigh,” Ralphs said. “It’s nice to see how things work from the inside and have some chance to influence things and make change.”

The search for a permanent chair is underway.

-Rebecca Wilkin is a student-writer with the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, and a Managing Editor for The Brown and White.