Harriet B. Nembhard
Mechanical, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering

Courtesy Faculty

Healthcare Systems Engineering


Ph.D., Industrial and Operations Systems, University of Michigan, 1994
M.S., Industrial and Operations Systems, University of Michigan, 1993

Research Interests: 

Nembhard’s scholarship in industrial engineering and operations research is focused on improving complex systems across manufacturing and healthcare. 


Harriet B. Nembhard is dean of the University of Iowa College of Engineering. She is the former Eric R. Smith professor of engineering and head of the Oregon State University School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering. Prior to this appointment, she served as the interim head of the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. In addition, she was the founding director of the Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems and was a part of the executive team of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Some of the tangible facets of her leadership have been effective strategic planning, impactful research activity, strong faculty recruitment, mentoring and development, successful undergraduate and graduate students, and advancement and fundraising partnerships.

Her scholarship is focused on improving complex systems across manufacturing and healthcare. It has led to several advances including a patented imprint lithography manufacturing process for small-scale medical devices, a sensor-based system to conduct early screening for Parkinson’s disease, and a systems thinking model that was used as the basis for chronic kidney disease care coordination across 13 practice sites. Her applied research has engaged numerous companies including AT&T, Highmark, Siemens, Verizon as well as several hospitals. She has authored a groundbreaking textbook "Healthcare Systems Engineering" and more than 50 journal publications, been PI or co-PI on over $3.5 million in research funding, and advised 17 doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers. As a Fellow of Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science program, she led a study on the role of academic leadership in supporting the health and well-being of student-athletes at risk of concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. 

Nembhard’s work has been recognized by election as a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, as a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, and as a recipient of the ASQ Feigenbaum Medal. She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the vice-chair of the ASME Department Heads Executive Committee. She is also a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Throughout her career, she has been active in mentoring women and underrepresented groups in the academic institution and has frequently led programs to positively impact STEM education, equity and inclusion, and global learning.

She serves as a member-volunteer for the ARCS Foundation and as an alumna-trustee of Claremont McKenna College. 

Selected Publications:

  • “Reducing Cost Drivers in Total Joint Arthroplasty: Understanding Patient Readmission Risk and Supply Cost.” *Swenson E., Davis C., Bastian N., and Nembhard H. B., Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 7, 2, 135-147, 2018.
  • “Healthcare Market Segmentation and Data Mining: A Systematic Review.” *Swenson E., *Bastian N., Nembhard H. B., Health Marketing Quarterly, 35, 3, 186-208, 2018.
  • “A System Dynamics Approach to Planning and Evaluating Interventions for Chronic Disease Management.” *Kang H., Nembhard H. B., Curry W., Ghahramani N., and Hwang W., Journal of the Operations Research Society, 69, 7, 987-1005, 2018.
  • “A goal programming approach to address the proposal selection problem: A case study of a Clinical and Translational Science Institute.” *Munoz D., Nembhard H.B., and Camargo K., International Transactions in Operational Research, 25, 1, 405-423, 2018.
  • “Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of an Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease through Innovative Technology.” *Munoz D., Kilinc M., Nembhard H. B., Tucker C., and Huang X., The Engineering Economist, 62, 2, 180-196, 2017.
  •  “Assessment of Emergency Department Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis.” *Kang H, Nembhard H. B., and Pasupathy K. S., IIE Transactions in Healthcare Systems Engineering, 7, 4, 236-246, 2017.
  • “A Systems Thinking Approach to Prospective Planning of Interventions for Chronic Kidney Disease.” *Kang H., Nembhard H. B., Curry W. J., Ghahramani N., and Hwang W., Health Systems, 6, 2, 130-147, 2017.
  •  “The Impact of a Pay-for-Performance Program on Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections in Pennsylvania.” *Bastian N. D., *Kang H., Nembhard H. B., Bloschichak A., and Griffin P., Hospital Topics, 94, 1, 8-14, 2016.
  • “Knowledge Discovery of Game Design Features by Mining User-Generated Feedback.” Bharathi G., Singh A., Tucker C., Nembhard H. B., Computers in Human Behavior, 60, 361-371, 2016.
  • “Data Analytics in Health Promotion: Health Market Segmentation and Classification of Total Joint Replacement Surgery Patients.” *Bastian N., *Swenson E., and Nembhard H. B., Expert Systems with Applications, 60, 118-129, 2016.
  • A Data Mining Methodology for Predicting Early Stage Parkinson's Disease Using Non-Invasive, High Dimensional Gait Sensor Data.” Tucker C., Han Y., Nembhard H. B., Lee W.-C., Lewis M., Sterling N., Huang, X., Computers in Biology and Medicine, 66, 120-134, 2015.
  • “Machine Learning Classification of Medical Adherence in Patients with Movement Disorders Using Non-Wearable Sensors.” Tucker C., Behoora I., Nembhard H. B., Lewis M., Sterling N., Huang X., Computers in Biology and Medicine, 66, 120-134, 2015.