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.  As dean, Nembhard is the college’s chief executive officer, providing strategic vision and oversight for its academic programs, research initiatives, and administrative infrastructure. 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 to positively impact our society.

Prior to this appointment, she held academic leadership positions at Oregon State University and Penn State University. 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 and has led to many advances including forecast-based monitoring and real options models for production systems, simulation tools for assessing emergency department patient flow, a patented imprint lithography manufacturing process for medical devices, and a sensor-based system to conduct early screening of Parkinson’s disease. 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 several journal editorships, and has mentored numerous students and faculty. Many of her former PhD students and post-docs hold significant positions in industry and academia around the world.

Throughout her career, Nembhard has advanced a community of inclusive excellence where diversity, equity, and opportunity create a welcoming environment that enables everyone to flourish. 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.

Nembhard’s work has been recognized with election as a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE), as a Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She received her PhD and MS in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. She received a BS in industrial engineering from Arizona State University and a BA in management from Claremont McKenna College.

Awards and Professional Affiliations:

  • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Fellow
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Member
  • American Society for Quality (ASQ), Fellow
  • Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association Board of Directors, Member
  • Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), Fellow
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Member
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education, Member
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Member
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Member

Selected Publications:

  • “Suffocating from Medical Bias: A Systems Engineering Approach to Equitable Health Care Solutions.” Barabino, G.A. and Nembhard, H. B., American Scientist, July-August, 204-207, 2022.
  • “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 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