Staff

Joe Paxton

Joe Paxton 02 xsmall

joe.paxton@uah.edu
256.824.4284

Director of the Office for Operational Excellence

Joe Paxton is the Director of the Office for Operational Excellence in the Research Institute at University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).  Mr. Paxton has over 20 years’ experience in engineering and management including training and implementing continuous improvement principles, as well as optimizing supply chains. Industries served include healthcare, automotive, forest products, aerospace and defense. Recent customers include the Department of Energy, Huntsville Hospital, U.S. Army, Defense Logistics Agency, Missile Defense Agency, NASA and various manufacturing and healthcare organizations. Mr. Paxton holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering with a major in Manufacturing Systems. He is also a NIST certified trainer in Lean Manufacturing, a Certified SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference) Professional, a Certified Green Generalist, and a Six Sigma Green Belt.

Brian Tucker

Brian Tucker

brian.tucker@uah.edu
256.824.2957

Research Scientist

Brian Tucker is a Research Scientist in the Research Institutes at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Mr. Tucker is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with over 20 years of engineering and management experience in various industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, metals, appliances, forest products and service organizations. His work experience includes roles as Supply Chain Operations Lead, Supply Chain Continuous Improvement Engineer, Lean Trainer/Facilitator, Production Manager, Engineering Services Manager, Manufacturing Engineer and Quality Engineer.

Mr. Tucker has assisted organizations in performing business case analysis to improve supply chain operations, manufacturing operations and service organizations including acquisition, engineering and health care. This experience includes leadership and support in projects related to regional market supply chain and logistics strategies, global supply chain and manufacturing strategies and multiple-organization collaborative supply chain and process improvements.

Kristen Rodarte

kristen rodarte

kristen.rodarte@uah.edu
256.824.6435

Research Associate

Kristin Rodarte is Research Associate in the Office for Operational Excellence in the Research Institute at University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Mrs. Rodarte has performed management roles in marketing, program management, as well as, logistics and supply chain management. She has work experience in contract management, supply chain analysis and forecasting, product management, quality investigations, and production line support. Mrs. Rodarte holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with minors in International Business & Logistics & Supply Chain Management. She also holds a Master’s degree of Business Administration and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.

Karen Hancock
Research Associate
karen.hancock@uah.edu
256.824.6435
Affiliated Faculty and Staff
Dr. Phillip A. Farrington, PH.D.

Dr. Phillip A. Farringon, PH.D.

phillip.farrington@uah.edu
256.824.6568

Professor, ISEEM

ISEEM Professor, Dr. Phillip Farrington, has been on UAH's College of Engineering faculty since 1991, serving as Director of Distance Learning (2002 to 2008) and Interim Dean of Engineering (2008 to 2010). Over the course of his career, Dr. Farrington has secured over $5 million in external research funding and published over 90 technical articles and papers. He has graduated 15+ Ph.D. students and more than 80 master’s students. Dr. Farrington was recently honored with a Certificate of Appreciation by the office of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for his service on the Alabama Robotic Technology Park (RTP) Executive Board.

Dr. Sampson Gholston, PH.D.

Dr. Sampson Gholston, PH.D.

sampson.gholston@uah.edu
256.824.7310

Professor, ISEEM

In conjunction with his role as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Sampson Gholston serves as faculty advisor for the student chapters of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He has extensive industry experience in quality engineering and continuous improvement, with prior the GM Saturn Corporation as a Lead Supplier Quality Engineering and as a consultant to Delphi Automotive, International Paper, and Dakin America. He has a Lean Six Sigma Black and has extensive industry recognition to his credit, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award. He has served as an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award since 2010, and the Florida Sterling Award since 2011. Dr. Gholston is working with two health care facilities to implement continuous improvement activities.

Sharon Johnson

Sharon Johnson

sharon.johnson@uah.edu
256.824.2791

Principal Research Scientist, CCRE

Sharon Johnson is a Principal Research Scientist in the Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She has over 20 years of experience in engineering and management in both commercial and government sectors. Mrs. Johnson served as a senior management official for several Department of Defense Acquisition Category I (ACAT I) programs. She has worked on missile and aviation systems for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command.

Mrs. Johnson has a degree in Engineering and graduated from the Defense Acquisition University, Advanced Program Management Course. She holds certifications in Program Management, Test and Evaluation, as well as Systems Planning, Research Development and Engineering.

Nicholas Loyd

Nicholas Loyd

nicholas.loyd@uah.edu

Director, CMER/ATN

Mr. Loyd is the Director of the Center for Management and Economic Research (CMER) and Director of the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In addition, Loyd has over 15 years of experience implementing Lean production systems. He is a certified trainer by both the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and MIT’s Lean Advancement Initiative. Loyd has trained thousands of executives, managers, engineers, and operators in the principles of Lean Enterprise. Loyd is also a certified Six Sigma black belt and a certified Innovation Engineering black belt.

Nicholas has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a master’s degree in Engineering Management, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has authored chapters in the 2007 published book Lean Management: Concepts and Industry Perspectives and the 2008 published book Lean Six Sigma: An Introduction.

Dr. Sherri Messimer, PH.D.

Dr. Sherri Messimer, PH.D.

messimer@uah.edu
256.824.6211

Associate Professor, ISEEM

Dr. Messimer joined UAH's ISEEM Department directly out of post-doc studies, and served as Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, Engineering Student Affairs from 2004 to 2011. On and off campus, Dr. Messimer engages in research projects and teams to continually drive innovation in complex organizational and manufacturing systems: she currently serves on the multi-institutional Integrated Product Team exploring advanced 3D printing technologies; collaborates statewide on the Southern Alliance for Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing consortium; and worked on a team of fellow faculty and internal stakeholders to develop a process improvement cost model for Huntsville Hospital's Emergency Department. She currently serves as the College of Engineering Representative for Women and Gender Studies.

Dr. Tommy Morris, PH. D

Tommy Morris

tommy.morris@uah.edu
256.824.6576

Director, Center for Cybersecurity and Education
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Tommy Morris is the founding director of the new UAH Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education and an associate professor in the University's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Dr. Morris’ previous experience includes serving seven years at Mississippi State University (MSU), where he was Director of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center, Associate Director of the Center for Computer Security Research, and Associate Director for the Distributed Analytics and Security Institute (DASI), in addition to being an Associate Professor of electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Morris has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in computer engineering from Southern Methodist University.

Jeff Siniard

Jeff Siniard

jeff.siniard@uah.edu

Lean Enterprise Research Scientist, CMER/ATN

Mr. Siniard is a Lean Enterprise Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville with over 35 years’ experience in manufacturing. He has trained hundreds of executives, managers, engineers and operators in Lean Enterprise principles and he has conducted over 400 Kaizen events for manufacturers, service providers and seaports throughout the United States, Canada and Western Europe. Jeff has extensive expertise in implementing and developing training for the application of Lean principles for manufacturing facilities, office processes and port operations. Jeff has seventeen years’ experience in the field of Lean Enterprise, five years of experience as a plant manager, eight years of experience as a plant superintendent and four years of experience as a maintenance superintendent. Jeff is a certified NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Lean Manufacturing Trainer, a MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) certified Lean Aerospace instructor, an LAI Lean Healthcare certified Trainer, and is a certified Trainer in the field of Practical Energy. Jeff has B.B.A. in Management of Technology from Athens State University.

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

jeff.thompson@uah.edu

Executive Director, Alabama Aerospace Industry Association (AAIA)

Jeff is Executive Director for the Alabama Aerospace Industry Association. He specializes in the analysis of systems for finance, accounting, strategic planning, management, and information processes. Jeff is responsible for leading the delivery and development of strategic management services to companies, community organizations, economic development entities, and government agencies.

Jeff has experience in corporate finance, management consulting, and operations of business service organizations beginning in 1980. He has served in the roles of chief operations officer, director of business consulting, manager of small business and research programs, corporate financial planning supervisor, and project financial specialist. In these roles, he has been responsible for the corporate operations, finance, board of directors relations, investor relations, customer service, human resources, sales, and new development programs as well as managing the development of business and strategic plans including reporting of monthly progress to the plan.

Jeff holds an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and a B.S. in accounting from the University of Alabama.

Karen E. Yarbrough

Karen E. Yarbrough

keren.yarbrough@uah.edu
256.824.6906

Senior Business Advisor, CMER

Ms. Yarbrough is the Senior Business Advisor within the Center for Management & Economic Research. She specializes in marketing research, strategic business communications, and management consulting. She has served in the role of president, chief financial officer, and partner in several marketing and management consulting companies. She has worked with a range of clients from high-tech computer and engineering companies to small retail operations since 1982. Yarbrough holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Alabama.

OOE Partners
Adam Barford

Adam Barford

Battra Logo

Bättra, LLC
Managing Member, Bättra, LLC

Mr. Barford is the Managing Member of Bättra, a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB), specializing in the areas of manufacturing, operations, and supply chain management with a focus on risk assessments, modeling and simulation, and Lean Six Sigma. He has over 18 years of experience in supply chain management and logistics consulting for commercial and Federal government organizations to include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and United States Postal Service (USPS). Prior to management consulting, he was an U.S. Army Infantry officer.

Mr. Barford holds a Bachelor's degree in History from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration in Logistics and Transportation from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is also an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Will Cook

Will Cook

QED Analytics Logo

QED Analytics, INC.
Co-founder, QED Abalytics, INC.

Will Cook is the co-founder of QED Analytics, Inc. and has over twenty years’ experience in the aerospace and defense industries. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he flew the P-3C in worldwide operations and later served as an instructor pilot. Following active duty, Will attended graduate school at MIT then joined the Boeing Company where he worked in machine fabrication, aircraft final assembly, materials management, and business process improvement. Since 2005 he has worked with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in financial management, acquisition, engineering, and program management. Most recently he has worked on industrial base assessment and manufacturing technology implementation for MDA.

Will holds a BS in ocean engineering and MS degrees in civil engineering and management. He is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Program Management Professional (PMP).

Sherrie Nash

Sherrie Nash

JBS Solutions Logo

JBS Solutions, INC.
CEO, JBS Solutions, INC.

Sherrie Nash is President and CEO of JBS Solutions. Ms. Nash has over 10 years’ experience in engineering and management with an emphasis on process improvement including statistical process control, supply chain optimization, and total quality management. Industries served include manufacturing, defense and space. Customers include NASA and Aviation & Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center.

Ms. Nash holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.

Chris Petersr

Chris Peters

The Lucrum Group

The Lucrum Group
CEO, The Lucrum Group

Chris Peters has a track record of generating substantial returns for his clients, ranging from Fortune 500 manufacturers to start-ups. His work has been documented in several books and in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to BusinessWeek and Nikkei News.

Today, Chris works with both commercial and government clients—such as the Department of Defense—to design, develop and drive adoption of next-generation manufacturing supply chain solutions. He created the concept and laid much of the groundwork for “Connecting American Manufacturing,” a project sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Previous accomplishments include co-founding MetalSite, where he developed the concepts and model for the world’s first industry-backed online manufacturing supply chain hub. The firm exceeded adoption and revenue projections in the first six months and earned his client a $183 million return on a $20 million investment. This innovative business model, which had as partners five of the nation's largest metals companies, set the stage for many similar models in other industries world-wide.