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Associate Dean Heragu first individual to receive three pinnacle awards from IISE 

Heragu first individual to receive three pinnacle awards from IISE

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Media Contact: Desa James | Communications Coordinator | 405-744-2669 |

Oklahoma State University's Dr. Sunderesh Heragu, who was recently elected president for the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers for the 2025-26 period, has become the first individual to receive pinnacle awards in education, research and service from the IISE.   

Founded in 1948, IISE stands as a global, nonprofit institution dedicated to empowering its members, clientele and the industrial engineering profession by offering unparalleled opportunities for skill enhancement.   

“Growing up in a small village in the eastern coast of India, I did not know what I wanted to be when I became an adult,” Heragu said. “A chance entry into the field of industrial engineering changed my career trajectory, thrusting me into a rewarding career in academia. 

Dr. Sunderesh Heragu selected as the 2024 IISE Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award winner. 
Dr. Sunderesh Heragu, CEAT Associate Dean

Heragu is the associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

 “While I have been engaged heavily in education, research and service at institutions in Canada, India, the Netherlands, Panama and the U.S., the best part of my job is my access to a new crop of students, year after year," Heragu said. "They do not allow me to remain at a standstill. Instead, they challenge me to always be learning about technology and leadership."   

In 2010, Heragu received the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award. This accolade celebrates not merely a solitary moment of groundbreaking research, but rather a lifetime of achievements that have profoundly enriched the landscape for practitioners, organizations and fellow researchers alike. It commemorates a career marked by contributions that transcend individual endeavors or applications, and instead, leave an enduring impact across the field.  

In 2022, Heragu was honored with the Fred C. Crane Distinguished Service Award, a recognition reserved for individuals whose enduring dedication has profoundly shaped IISE through extensive and unwavering service at the institute level. 

This year, he has been selected as the 2024 IISE Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award winner. It honors educators who have made substantial contributions to the field through their exemplary work in teaching, research and publication, extension activities, innovative endeavors and administrative leadership. 

“Over the past 76 years, IISE has given many awards, in many categories, to giants in the field,” Heragu said. “To be recognized amongst these giants itself is a huge honor. To be the first to receive the top awards in education, research and service, is something I had never imagined, but will forever be grateful.  

“I stand on the shoulders of former students and colleagues. My award is a testament to their contributions towards my success.”  

With IISE being the world’s premier society for advancing the education, research and practice of industrial and systems engineering, Heragu encourages industrial engineering students to join IISE. 

“Student and senior members have an opportunity to develop leadership skills, serve others, network and keep up with the latest in the field,” Heragu said.  

Heragu states that the schools he received degrees from taught him engineering; IISE has taught him leadership.  

“I hope my work and the honors IISE has bestowed upon me inspires my students to become the leaders of tomorrow who will change the world and make it better for humankind by making the systems around us diverse, effective, efficient and sustainable,” Heragu said.   

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