John Via, Professor in the Practice and Associate Director of the Master of Engineering Management and Leadership (MEML) program at Rice, was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM).
This award represents the highest level of membership in ASEM and is presented annually to candidates with significant demonstrated engineering management accomplishments in industry and or in academia, and continuing distinguished service and contributions to the Society. Via formally received the recognition at an Awards Banquet at the ASEM International Annual Conference, held in Denver, Colorado in October. Earlier this year, John led the effort for the MEML degree program to be the first in Texas to be certified by ASEM.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by ASEM as a Fellow,” said Via. “After going through the process to gain ASEM certification for the MEML degree program at Rice, I am very aware of the high standards ASEM holds in engineering and technology management professional education. I am proud to continue to work with the Society.”
Via, along with five other MEML faculty [at Rice], also participated in a panel discussion at the 2023 ASEM International Annual Conference in Denver, discussing educating future engineering leaders to succeed in an Industry 4.0 world.
“John is what we call in RCEL a ‘hybrid academic’. He had a full career in industry, reaching the Vice President of Manufacturing and Global Operations at a Fortune 500 company, but later he began to bring what he learned back to the engineering classroom as a faculty member,” said Fred Higgs, RCEL Faculty Director and the John & Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “He has an understanding of what engineering professionals need in order to stand out to their employers and advance in their careers. John is always looking for new ways to enhance MEML students’ learning opportunities, and we are grateful for his efforts.”
A former engineering leader at the levels of manager, director, and vice president, Via has over 30 years of experience in the chemical, pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and continues to serve as a consultant. Prior to joining Rice in 2021, he was a Teaching Professor in Engineering Management, Project Management, and Systems Engineering at Drexel University from 2012-2020. He also served as Associate Dean of Engineering, Department Head of Engineering Management, and Director of the Engineering Management Program while at Drexel, and was the Founding Director of the Vince & Judy Vidas Program in Systems Engineering. Via also was an Adjunct Professor in the Executive MS Engineering Management program at Southern Methodist University from 2004-2012.
Via received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1984 from the University of Virginia; a Master of Engineering Science in 1986 from Lamar University; an M.S. in Chemical Engineering (1991) and an M.S. in Engineering Management (1994) from Drexel University; an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Management (2003) and a Doctor of Engineering in Engineering Management (2002) from Southern Methodist University. He is a Certified Professional Engineering Manager, and a registered Professional Engineer in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Texas. He also completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
Dr. Via serves on the Board of Trustees for the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, and the College of Engineering Advisory Council at Lamar University.