Dr. Thom J. Hodgson is not your typical professor. His exceptional professional accomplishments were recognized in 2001 by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) when he was elected to membership. Election to the NAE is one of the engineering profession’s highest honors. Also in 2001 he was named Distinguished University Professor of Industrial Engineering. These and other honors set him apart from the crowd. But one thing he does typify is the level of excellence that we have come to associate with named professorships. Hodgson holds the James T. Ryan Professorship of Industrial Engineering and Furniture Manufacturing at NC State University. Established in 1949 to honor James T. Ryan, who was the executive director of the Southern Furniture Manufacturer’s Association.
For Dean Nino Masnari, making a commitment to recruiting and retaining top faculty is an investment in our students’ future. “Perhaps the most influential factor in the success of our students is our faculty,” Masnari explained. “We are fortunate to have faculty members who are highly effective classroom teachers and advisors with genuine interest in their students and enthusiasm about the subject. The impression faculty make on their students affects them throughout their lives.” Recruiting and retaining top faculty is one of the College of Engineering’s top priorities, and increasing the number of endowed professorships is one of the most promising ways to reach this goal.
Hodgson is a professor and researcher nationally known for his contributions to the field of industrial engineering; founding and current director of the Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering Institute (IMSEI); and advisor/mentor to his many students, who hold him in high esteem. He treats his graduate students as colleagues in research and publication, and he demonstrates his trademark wit through a unique method of motivation for his undergraduates, promising an “A” to any student who can beat him at handball. (This has yet to happen.)
Hodgson represents the best of NC State faculty, and the James T. Ryan Professorship supports this distinguished academic with the freedom to pursue his professional activities and lead thirty years of students into the field of industrial engineering with distinction.
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