John L. Imhoff Award

Questions regarding awards/awards nominations may be forwarded to Sylvie Nguyen-Fawley.

Questions regarding Fellow Member nominations may be forwarded to Tim Manicom.

Dr. Rapinder Sawhney


Dr. Rupy Sawhney is a Distinguished Professor and Heath Fellow in Business and Engineering at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the founder of Sawhney Solutions. He is the Executive Director of Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education (CASRE), where he leads a team of nearly 30 staff and graduate students. Dr. Sawhney has developed the Sawhney Model, which uniquely focuses on people-centered operational excellence strategies. This model is the basis of transformational projects and training programs for leading industry and federal partners, including DOE, Covenant Health, and Clayton Homes. Overall, Dr. Sawhney and his team have partnered with over 200 companies on operational excellence projects. Dr. Sawhney has established innovative educational and training programs with national and international visibility, including an onsite cohort program (2011-present), and the Lean Enterprise Systems Program (LESP) (2011-present). The cohort program has graduated over 100 professionals with master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering, whereas the LESP has graduated over 900 students from 10 countries. These efforts have resulted in strong international collaborations with nearly 20 universities worldwide. Dr. Sawhney has been recognized with various awards such as the Boeing Welliver Fellow, Alcoa Faculty Award, Institute of Industrial Engineers Lean Teaching Award, Industrial and Operations Management Society Outstanding Educator Award, and the 2019 University of Tennessee’s President’s Award as the “Educate” honoree.

About the award