Professor, and Dean of Graduate School and International Education

Kim Needy was drawn to industrial engineering because she liked the idea of working with people and helping businesses improve their processes. “I selected it and never looked back,” says Dr. Needy, the head of the industrial engineering department and Twenty-First Century Professor in Engineering.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Needy worked in the field of information technology at PPG Industries and Boeing, earning a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and then a Ph.D. from Wichita State in the evenings after work.
While she was at Boeing, Dr. Needy had an opportunity to train other professionals, and she discovered a love for teaching. So when a faculty position opened at her alma mater, she applied for the job. After spending 15 years at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Needy accepted a position as department head for the University of Arkansas industrial engineering department.
Dr. Needy explains that her industry experience is a big advantage when it comes to teaching. “One of the things I feel I can bring to the classroom is a lot of motivation for the subject matter and practical experience,” she says. “Students say, ‘does anybody really do this stuff?’ and I like to bring in examples of how these things are really used.”
Dr. Needy’s research interests include engineering management, sustainability and supply chain optimization. One of her current research projects focuses on product design with the supply chain in mind. “We’re looking at how to design a product while simultaneously considering impacts on the supply chain,” she explains. Through this research, Dr. Needy and her students are helping companies consider the bigger picture when they design products and choose suppliers.
While Dr. Needy’s research has led to 95 refereed publications and recognition by societies such as the Institute of Industrial Engineers, which has named her a Fellow, Dr. Needy explains that her first love is still teaching. “Teaching is the reason I came into academia,” she says. “I love working with students.”
Engineering Management
Engineering Economic Analysis
Sustainable Engineering
Integrated Resource
Cashion, M.K. and K.L. Needy, “An Empirical Study of LEED Certification in Public Libraries.” Proceedings of 2010 American Society for Engineering Management, Rogers, AR (2010)
Scala, N.M., K.L. Needy, and J. Rajgopal, “Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process in group decision making for nuclear spare parts.” Proceedings 2010 American Society for Engineering Management, Rogers, AR (2010)
Claypool, E., B. Norman, and K.L. Needy, “Identifying important risk factors in design for supply chain.”Industrial Engineering Research Conference Proceedings, Cancún, Mexico (2010)
Scala, N.M., J. Rajgopal, and K.L. Needy, “Influence diagram modeling of nuclear spare parts process.”Industrial Engineering Research Conference Proceedings, Cancún, Mexico (2010)
Ries, R., K.L. Needy, A. Bansal, and F.K. Turan, “Quality Management Systems in the Capital Facilities Delivery Industry: Analysis of Best Practices in Leadership and Third-Party Certification.” 2010 ASCE Construction Research Congress Proceedings, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (2010)
B.S.I.E, University of Pittsburgh
M.S.I.E, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Wichita State University