Writer: Emilee Cantrell
New Mexico State University’s industrial engineering associate professor and Department Head Edward Pines was recently named to the Board of Directors for Quality New Mexico. Pines has distinguished himself at the College of Engineering through his leadership and continual enhancements to the industrial engineering curriculum using concepts of quality improvement and assessment.
Pines began serving on the Board of Directors for Quality New Mexico June 1 and was nominated by Kevin Boberg, NMSU’s vice president for economic development. Quality New Mexico is comprised of businesses from across the state that are focused on performance excellence. Pines said their goal is to make New Mexico the “state of quality.” He said promoting the organization’s efforts across the state will be a large part of his role at the organization.
The Quality New Mexico program uses the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to conduct organizational assessments. The assessment and formal feedback help businesses identify their strengths, gaps and opportunities for improvement. The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses and to education, health care, and nonprofit organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas of performance excellence.
“It’s good to be able to interact with people across the state who are working on improving their delivery of manufactured goods, services, healthcare and banking,” Pines said.
College of Engineering Assistant Dean Patricia Sullivan said that Pines’ expertise in industrial engineering aligns very well with Quality New Mexico and that he will be a very strong member on the Board of Directors.
Pines said industrial engineering aligns with Quality New Mexico because it teaches topics such as statistical quality control and reliability, which are a part of quality improvement. “Industrial engineering is a discipline that studies how people, equipment, machinery, software and systems all work together to efficiently produce products and services,” he said.
Pines said that to keep the industrial engineering curriculum up-to-date with industry needs the department has been introducing more industrial projects for undergraduate students. He said the department’s junior- and senior-level students are working on projects in local and regional industries.
Pines also spearheaded the entrepreneurship minor that will be offered beginning fall 2014. The Industrial Engineering Department collaborated with the Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering Department and the Management Department in the College of Business to create the minor.
“The classes on entrepreneurship are focused on how to take an idea and make it into a business.
What we’re trying to do is get people interested in developing ideas and turning them into real products and services,” Pines said.
He also co-teaches a senior design class with mechanical and aerospace engineering associate professor Young Ho Park where he runs a small investor fund and invests in student projects to help students have the experience of developing ideas and seeking investors.
Pines has established a highly successful distance education program for the College of Engineering. The college offers an online Master’s of Science in Industrial Engineering as well as a graduate certificate in systems engineering and a master’s in electrical engineering online. These programs are popular among working professionals and particularly military students.
The MSIE program is one of the larger graduate programs in the College of Engineering, with approximately100 master’s and 20 doctoral students, led by six faculty members. Edward Pines, industrial engineering department head, noted that almost all industrial engineering students take at least one of the distance learning classes.
Not only does Pines administer the program, he also teaches two popular distance education graduate courses, Industrial Engineering 523 Advanced Engineering Economy and Industrial Engineering 563 Topics in Engineering Administration, calling his videotaped classes “episodes.”
The focus of Advanced Engineering Economy is financing large projects. “That class is based on the concept of organizations burning money to create their product or service. You figure out how much fuel you need and then you need to get it and then use it. Money is fuel, I like to say.” The Topics in Engineering Administration class covers subjects such as intellectual property and how businesses are constructed to do engineering projects.
“They’re topics that a lot of people use on a daily basis,” he said, noting that one year 96 people took Advanced Engineering Economy and 112 people took Topics in Engineering Administration.
Pines was also recently appointed as a representative for NMSU’s Institutional Review Board, which reviews proposals for research that include human subjects. He is the co-lead for the Pathways to Innovation program at NMSU. He is also the adviser for NMSU’s Tau Beta Pi chapter and the industrial engineering honors society Alpha Pi Mu. He is also the enterprise adviser for the Arrowhead Innovation Network and the director of distance education programs for the College of Engineering.
Pines joined NMSU faculty in January 1994 after completing his doctorate at Pennsylvania State University and has more than 10 years of industrial experience in engineering and management in the aerospace and electronics industries. He has been the industrial engineering department head for 14 years.
“He exemplifies the land grant mission of teaching, research and service,” Sullivan said.
Pines is also an avid Twitter user. He keep his followers updated on what is going on in the Industrial Engineering Department, the College of Engineering and news items and articles related to the industry. Follow him on Twitter @DrPines.