Harriet B. Nembhard

Dean, College of Engineering, Office of the Dean
Roy J. Carver Professor of Engineering
Professor of Industrial Engineering

Joined the College of Engineering: 2020

Harriet B. Nembhard is Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa and holds the Roy J. Carver Professorship in Engineering.  She leads this unit of 350 faculty and staff in fulfilling its mission to educate its 2,000 students and to engage in collaborative, cutting-edge engineering. The college has six departments and six multidisciplinary centers with a deep commitment to partnership, innovation, and impact. 

Prior to this appointment, she served as the Eric R. Smith Professor of Engineering and head of the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University. Before joining Oregon State, Nembhard was a professor in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State; she served as interim head of the department in 2015. She also served as site director of the Center for Health Organization Transformation, a National Science Foundation Industry–University Cooperative Research Center, and was a part of the executive team of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. 

Her scholarship is in applied statistics and operations research and has taken a multidisciplinary approach to improve complex systems across manufacturing and healthcare. This work converges with several other disciplines including mechanical engineering, materials science engineering, engineering design, medicine and nursing, information sciences and technology, and health policy. It has led to many advances including forecast-based monitoring and real options models for production systems, simulation tools for assessing emergency department patient flow, and a patented imprint lithography manufacturing process for small-scale medical devices. Her work related to healthcare includes a sensor-based system to conduct early screening of Parkinson’s disease for use at health fairs and community clinics as well as a systems thinking model that was used as the basis for care coordination across 13 sites. These contributions helped to develop an ecosystem of improved practice and care quality for thousands of patients and framed a ground-breaking co-authored textbook, Healthcare Systems Engineering. She is widely published in leading professional journals, has served in numerous journal editorships, and has advised 4 post-docs, 13 PhDs, and numerous other students and scholars. Many of her former students hold significant positions in industry and academia around the world. Her work has been recognized with election as a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) and as a Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Throughout her career, she has advanced a community of inclusive excellence where diversity, equity, and equal opportunity create a welcoming environment that enables success for everyone. She has led and participated in efforts in this regard across the academy and professional societies including NSF ADVANCE, NSF LATTICE, NSF TECAID, National Academy of Engineering, and Society of Women Engineers. 

Awards and Professional Affiliations:

  • American Society for Quality (ASQ): member, 1994-2009; Fellow, 2009-present
  • Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE): member 1990-2018; Fellow, 2019-present
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE): member, 1997-2003; 2014-present
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): member, 2016-present
  • ASQ Feigenbaum Medal, 2004
  • ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, 2005
  • Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association Board of Directors: director, 2019-present
  • Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees: alumna trustee, 2019-present
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS): member, 1994-present
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): member 1987-1994, 2015-present
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE): member, 2016-present

Selected Publications:

  • “Reducing Cost Drivers in Total Joint Arthroplasty: Understanding Patient Readmission Risk and Supply Cost.” *Swenson E., Davis C., Bastian N., and Nembhard H. B., Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 7, 2, 135-147, 2018.
  • “Healthcare Market Segmentation and Data Mining: A Systematic Review.” *Swenson E., *Bastian N., Nembhard H. B., Health Marketing Quarterly, 35, 3, 186-208, 2018.
  • “A System Dynamics Approach to Planning and Evaluating Interventions for Chronic Disease Management.” *Kang H., Nembhard H. B., Curry W., Ghahramani N., and Hwang W., Journal of the Operations Research Society, 69, 7, 987-1005, 2018.
  • “A goal programming approach to address the proposal selection problem: A case study of a Clinical and Translational Science Institute.” *Munoz D., Nembhard H.B., and Camargo K., International Transactions in Operational Research, 25, 1, 405-423, 2018.
  • “Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of an Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease through Innovative Technology.” *Munoz D., Kilinc M., Nembhard H. B., Tucker C., and Huang X., The Engineering Economist, 62, 2, 180-196, 2017.
  •  “Assessment of Emergency Department Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis.” *Kang H, Nembhard H. B., and Pasupathy K. S., IIE Transactions in Healthcare Systems Engineering, 7, 4, 236-246, 2017.
  • “A Systems Thinking Approach to Prospective Planning of Interventions for Chronic Kidney Disease.” *Kang H., Nembhard H. B., Curry W. J., Ghahramani N., and Hwang W., Health Systems, 6, 2, 130-147, 2017.
  •  “The Impact of a Pay-for-Performance Program on Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections in Pennsylvania.” *Bastian N. D., *Kang H., Nembhard H. B., Bloschichak A., and Griffin P., Hospital Topics, 94, 1, 8-14, 2016.
  • “Knowledge Discovery of Game Design Features by Mining User-Generated Feedback.” Bharathi G., Singh A., Tucker C., Nembhard H. B., Computers in Human Behavior, 60, 361-371, 2016.
  • “Data Analytics in Health Promotion: Health Market Segmentation and Classification of Total Joint Replacement Surgery Patients.” *Bastian N., *Swenson E., and Nembhard H. B., Expert Systems with Applications, 60, 118-129, 2016.
  • A Data Mining Methodology for Predicting Early Stage Parkinson's Disease Using Non-Invasive, High Dimensional Gait Sensor Data.” Tucker C., Han Y., Nembhard H. B., Lee W.-C., Lewis M., Sterling N., Huang, X., Computers in Biology and Medicine, 66, 120-134, 2015.
  • “Machine Learning Classification of Medical Adherence in Patients with Movement Disorders Using Non-Wearable Sensors.” Tucker C., Behoora I., Nembhard H. B., Lewis M., Sterling N., Huang X., Computers in Biology and Medicine, 66, 120-134, 2015.
Harriet B. Nembhard
Ph.D., Industrial and Operations Systems, University of Michigan, 1994, M.S., Industrial and Operations Systems, University of Michigan, 1993, B.S.E., Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University, 1990, B.A., Management, Claremont McKenna College, 1990