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  5. Alums giving back: A Q&A with two members of the ISyE alumi board

Alums giving back: A Q&A with two members of the ISyE alumi board

Mark Hayward.

Mark Hayward (MSIE '87, health systems engineering) and Jessica Rannow (BSIE '99) recently sat down with us to discuss their lasting relationship with the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, of which they are both board members. Hayward works at the Mayo Clinic as vice chair of the department of facilities and support services and administrator of the Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. Rannow is currently a senior project manager at eBizNET Solutions, Inc., and serves as director of professional excellence for the Society of Women Engineers.

Mark Hayward

Q: Why did you choose to study industrial engineering?

A: I received my undergraduate math degree from St. Olaf in Northfield, Minnesota. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with my math degree, but my senior year I took an operations research course with a professor who was inspirational, and helped me see the opportunities that operations research might have as a career. That inspiration led me to a master’s degree at UW-Madison to further pursue a career path in operations research and industrial engineering.

Q: What is your current position, and how do you apply your IE education to your job?

A: My primary responsibility right now is as an administrator for the Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, which is a large, new undertaking at the Mayo Clinic to accelerate our ability to study, design and implement healthcare delivery systems that improve the value of care for patients—in other words, improved outcomes at lower costs.

Q: What is your fondest memory of your time at UW-Madison?

A: I’m a sports enthusiast, so I loved all the sporting events and, of course, the great city of Madison. While I was there, I had excellent colleagues and professors like Dave Gustafson and Dennis Fryback, who was my advisor. They were two superb role models who were inspiring and shared their wealth of experience and insights freely. I fondly remember the students I went through my master’s program with. They were a great group of people. It was a very good time for me.

Q: How do you hope to contribute on the ISyE board, and to the department?

A: I hope I can represent the critical needs in healthcare to further expand the use of industrial and systems engineering students and professionals. Healthcare is in a time when it needs these skills more than ever to meet the challenges ahead of us, and more and more healthcare organizations are hiring industrial and systems engineering-trained individuals.

The Mayo Clinic is positioned to be a leader in this and I’ve been fortunate to be part of an Institute of Medicine group that has been a strong proponent for the increased use of industrial and systems engineering skills and tools in healthcare to improve value and efficiency. My hope is to represent this growing need on the ISyE board. Additionally, I’d like to help assure curriculum is aligned with the skills necessary to be successful in for a career in healthcare.

Jessica Rannow.

Jessica Rannow

Q: Why did you choose to study industrial engineering?

A: I learned about engineering as a junior in high school when I went to business camp and all the CEOs there were either accountants or engineers. I did some research into engineering and I thought, “That sounds pretty cool, it’s like ‘technical business.’” Actually, when I graduated, I was a consultant first. However, I had interned at Cummins Engine three times, and that reinforced my decision to go into engineering. I was able to be creative and do process improvement. I got to learn about a variety of things.

Q: What is your current position, and how do you apply your IE education to your job?

A: I work for a software company called eBizNET Solutions as a senior project manager. We provide cloud-based warehouse management software integrated on the NetSuite ERP platform. Most of my career in industrial engineering has been in distribution centers, dealing both in software and in material handling equipment. And, in my current role as a project manager, there’s a lot of process work customizing the software to fit the customer and its processes. So I create process maps and then customize the software to fit what they need.

Q: What is your fondest memory of your time at UW-Madison?

A: I have fond memories of all of my involvement in student organizations. I was president of the Society of Women Engineers, and have great memories of going to conferences and all of the different things we did through SWE. I also was one of the two students who started the LeaderShape Institute at UW-Madison in 1997 [LeaderShape is an intense, six-day program that enables students to grow as people and develop as leaders]. Being one of the co-founders is really cool because I know it’s still offered, so there’s a legacy for me at UW-Madison.

Q: How do you hope to contribute on the ISyE board, and to the department?

A: I’m one of the more recent alumni on the board, so I hope to provide the perspective of the younger alumni. I’d like to be able to work with the department and the board to create activities to engage alumni with the professors and students, and to have more alumni engagement, in general. And I think distribution and supply chains isn’t an area that traditionally has been represented on the board. I hope to represent that perspective, as well.

John Steeno
2/20/2014