G. Don Taylor, Charles O. Gordon Professor and head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named interim dean of the College of Engineering.

Taylor will become a member of the leadership transition team in the college this month and will serve as interim dean when Dean Richard Benson departs for his new position as president of University of Texas at Dallas.

“Don Taylor has done an outstanding job leading one of the largest and most highly ranked departments of its kind in the nation,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thanassis Rikakis in making the announcement. “As we begin our work to identify the next dean of the college, I know he will provide steady and sound leadership for the College of Engineering during this transition.”

Rikakis will chair the search for the next dean. Members of the search committee and other information related to the process will be published in Virginia Tech News later this semester. The anticipated start date for the new dean will be July 1, 2017.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2004, Taylor’s research focuses on the simulation and optimization of complex systems and the logistics of material flow and freight transportation. He has been principal or co-principal investigator on more than 75 externally-funded projects and has partnered with some 60 different companies. He has written more than 200 technical publications, including 10 edited books.

Twice under Taylor's leadership, the Grado department received a University Exemplary Department Award; in 2007 for the development and execution of innovative and effective approaches to advising its undergraduate and graduate students, and again in 2012 for effectively linking assessment with instruction in order to improve student learning.

He is a fellow and president emeritus of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). He chairs the board of IIE Solutions, Inc., and is a fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science. Taylor is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, and the International Council on Systems Engineering.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, Taylor held the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Endowed Chair in Engineering Logistics and was the director of the Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution at Kentucky's University of Louisville.

He received his bachelor's degree and master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of Massachusetts.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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