Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering associate professor wins Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers early career award

August 16, 2023

Wenmeng "Meg" Tian, a Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering associate professor, was recently awarded the Manufacturing and Design Division Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.

"I was very honored to receive this award," Tian said. "We have a lot of industrial engineering professors, young professors who are talented and working on manufacturing and design, so this award is very competitive. It means so much to win it, and I feel humbled and honored."

Each year the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers presents the Outstanding Young Investigator award to a professional who has made high-impact scientific contributions to the manufacturing and design field as evidenced by their research endeavors, including publications, intellectual property and other funding and dissemination activities. Awardees must also make high-impact contributions through their research endeavors and be within six years from graduation with a terminal degree or 10 years from graduation with a bachelor's degree.

 Tian, nominated by Kari Babski-Reeves, head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, was the second Mississippi State faculty member and the first female to win the award. Babski-Reeves called Tian an incredible asset to the department in teaching, research and service and said the award recognizes her significant contributions in these areas, particularly in data analytics and additive manufacturing.

"With such a strong manufacturing sector in Mississippi, this research is particularly relevant to strengthening our state in this sector and developing a workforce to support its growth and expansion," Babski-Reeves said. "The competition for an award of this type is incredibly fierce as faculty from around the world submit their accomplishments for consideration, so it's truly an honor for her to be the recipient. Dr. Tian is very deserving of this award; she is a passionate educator, an excellent researcher, a devoted contributor to the ISE profession, a valued colleague and a point of pride for the ISE department."

This was Tian's final year to be eligible for the award, which she explained made winning all the more special to her. She said that the supportive environment within the Bagley College of Engineering and her department has allowed her to make significant contributions to her field.

"I'm fortunate to have nice support from the department, the college and centers," Tian also directs the Intelligent Data-Enabled Analytics (IDEA) Laboratory. "I feel like, thanks to that support, I can not only work in my field of interest but also work with my students and teach and mentor them."

Tian's research interests include system informatics in data-rich environments and advanced sensing and analytics for system modeling, monitoring, and diagnosis. Her research has been applied to the manufacturing and healthcare systems. Throughout her six-year career, her publications have appeared in journals such as IISE Transactions, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, and several conference proceedings. She is an active member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Tian received her doctoral degree in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech in 2017. She also holds a master's degree in statistics from Virginia Tech and master's and bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering from Tianjin University, China. Her teaching interests include engineering statistics, statistical quality control, production control systems and systems simulation.

The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), the world's largest professional society dedicated solely to the profession's support, is an international nonprofit association that provides leadership for the application, education, training, research, and development of industrial and systems engineering. Founded in 1948, IISE helps its members improve complex organizations worldwide and across industries. Throughout their careers, members turn to IISE for tools and connections that provide an integrated and systemic perspective to business challenges.

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is online at and can be found on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

By Camille Carskadon