Process engineer earns Professional Award in Industrial Engineering
October 27, 2021
By Holly Hinson
William Harrington, PhD, PE, has been awarded the 2021 Alumni Professional Award for Industrial Engineering. Years before connecting with University of Louisville Speed School, Harrington was out earning credentials and professional experience in the field. After graduating with his BSME from University of Cincinnati in 2001, he worked in manufacturing operations at Ford Motor Company, where he certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt and drove a number of improvements in quality and process efficiency.
After earning his MBA at Case Western Reserve University, and more than ten years of process engineering and business management experience in manufacturing, he transitioned into a career of leading performance improvement in healthcare when he joined Norton Healthcare as a Director of Clinical Effectiveness. While there, he first connected with Speed School by mentoring seven IE students and coaching a graduate student through a project for optimizing the allocation of surgical block time.
In 2013, Bill began his pursuit of a PhD in Industrial Engineering at Speed School, which he completed in 2017. With a passion for his work, Harrington said he looks forward to advancing the reliability of health care through the application of industrial engineering methods.
“Facilitating change in healthcare involves meeting a high burden of proof, and the skills I’ve gained through Speed School in literature review, data collection, modeling, and hypothesis testing have helped tremendously,” said Harrington.
Though he moved to Northern Kentucky in 2018 to join St. Elizabeth Healthcare as a Director of Quality Improvement, Harrington has continued to stay engaged with the University of Louisville by teaching in the Masters of Engineering in Engineering Management (MEEM) program, collaborating with other professors and physicians in research for publication, and by being an external advisor to Logistics and Distribution Institute (LoDI).
“I believe my experiences at Speed School humbled me, and during my pursuit of a PhD I grew an appreciation for how much I do not know and how much knowledge others have contributed to society,” said Harrington. Our technological advancements are the result of many people’s contributions.”
In his personal life, Bill enjoys time with his wife Krista and two sons Donovan and Shea, serving in his church, coaching middle and high school wrestling, and enjoying much of what Kentucky has to offer, including rooting for the CARDS!