James M. Tien
James M. Tien
International Secretary, National Academy of Engineering
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Biography

Jim Tien is currently the Faculty Ombudsperson, as well as a distinguished professor and dean emeritus at the College of Engineering, University of Miami, where, as dean (2007–15), he doubled the number of women faculty, research expenditures, and undergraduate enrollment, and significantly boosted enrollments at both the master’s and doctoral levels. He is also credited with the hiring of world-class faculty members, establishing career ladders for staff, enhancing the college’s national reputation, and securing major gifts.

Previously, on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) faculty (1977–2007), Dr. Tien was nationally recognized as the founding chair of a unique interschool Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems and as the inaugural Yamada Corporation Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering. He also served twice as RPI’s acting dean of engineering for a total of five years.

Concurrent with his academic career, Dr. Tien has maintained a wide-ranging industrial career, including employment at the Bell Telephone Laboratory (1965–69), Rand Corporation (1970–73), Urban Systems Research and Engineering Corporation (1973–75), and four research consulting companies (1975–2015). His technical interests include real-time decision making, model-based analytics, information-based big data, training-based artificial intelligence, and public policy.

Dr. Tien was elected to the NAE in 2001 for contributions to the development and application of systems engineering concepts and methodologies to improve public services and engineering education. He serves on the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board; Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Policy; Review and Update of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program; and Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century. For the NAE, he has served on the Nominating Committee, Frontiers of Engineering Education Advisory Committee (chair), Membership Policy Committee, Committee on Membership (per committee chair), and Section 8 Peer and Executive Committees (chair). He previously served on the NASEM Subcommittee for NRC Oversight; Committee on the Renewal of DOE Infrastructure; and committees to assess the Governance Structure of the NNSA National Security Laboratories, NASA Laboratory Capabilities, and Medical Preparedness for a Nuclear Event. He has also been a reviewer of several NASEM reports.

Dr. Tien is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has published extensively, been invited to present dozens of plenary lectures, and been recognized with teaching and research awards, including the IEEE Emberson Award, IEEE Wiener Award, IEEE Educational Innovation Award, IEEE Wohl Career Award, IBM Faculty Award, Florida Governor’s Award, and honorary doctorates from institutions in Canada, Hungary, and elsewhere.

Dr. Tien received a BEE from RPI and, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an SM in electrical and systems engineering and PhD in operations research

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