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BEN ZOGHI, Master of Engineering Technical Management Founding Director and Victor H. Thompson Professor


Dr. Ben Zoghi holds the Victor H. Thompson Endowed Chair Professorship in the Electronic Systems Engineering program and is director of the RFID/ Sensor Laboratory and the Master of Engineering Technical Management (METM) online program at Texas A&M University. He also served as the Director of the Thomas and Joan Read Center and associate department head for research at the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M.

AHMED MAHMOUD, Master of Engineering Technical Management Executive Associate Director

Ahmed Mahmoud profile Ahmed Mahmoud is the CIO, Global Manufacturing, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain (GPSC) at General Motors and serves as GM’s Executive Champion for Texas A&M University. He has more than 25 years leading teams in enterprise level information technology (IT) and is a recognized IT industry leader. He was named to Computerworld’s “Premier 100 IT leaders” in 2009. He served as Senior VP of Hewlett-Packard’s, e-commerce and marketing organizations, Senior VP and CIO of AMD, VP of IT in Supply Chain at Dell Inc., and IT leadership positions at Eastman Kodak Company.

CHAHRIAR ASSAD, Industry Professor

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Dr. Chahriar Assad Bakhtiari joined The Boeing Company (then Hughes) in the early 1990s. He is now a chief scientist in charge of all space qualifications for the Space and Launch division. Dr. Assad was a Hughes MBA Executive Fellow to MIT where he received his masters from Sloan. He was also a Welch Foundation Pre-doctoral Scholar at Texas A&M University where he earned a Ph.D. in Atomic Physics. He is an adjunct Professor in the College of Business and Public Administration at CSUSB, and also a lecturer in the Departments of Eng. and Tech. Management at UCLA Extension

NOUSHIN BAYAT, Industry Professor

Noushin Bayat profile image Dr. Noushin Bayat  works as an executive coach and human capital thought leader with 15+ years of experience leading and managing complex change initiatives. Bayat is the founder of Engaging Wisdom, Inc. and serves as the director of digital transformation for Executive Leadership Consulting. Bayat holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, a Master’s in Spiritual Psychology, a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Communication.

KARRIE BURNS, Industry Professor

Karrie Burns profile image Karrie Burns is an experienced leadership coach, facilitator, speaker, and author, specializing in experiential learning with a focus on emotional intelligence and team dynamics. She has developed and led international leadership programs for GE's Crotonville Management Institute and collaborated with notable corporations like Boeing, Procter and Gamble, 3M, and IBM. Her broad career spans military, government, startups, and the corporate sector. An alumna of Texas A&M University, Karrie holds a degree in Political Science and International Business. 

DIXIE FLEMING, Industry Professor

Dixie Fleming profile image Dixie Fleming has a Master of Science in Leadership and Ethics and is passionate about building highly effective teams and helping individuals and teams to focus on learning and results. As a Certified Executive Coach, Dixie has utilized her knowledge and experience to coach and mentor teams throughout her 30-year career at Dell, Motorola, American Airlines and most recently General Motors in Manufacturing Cyber Security.. 

JUN GAO, Industry Professor

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Dr. Jun Gao is the Group Leader of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Group for Weapons Production at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He supports the Detonator Production Division in maintaining a safe and secure War Reserve (WR) detonator production through technical leadership, engineering, and manufacturing. He is also the Weapons System Hydrotest Advisory Panel committee member and serves as the lead for the Weapons System Hydrodynamic Engineering Working Group. Dr. Gao holds a Doctorate in Biomedical Science and a Master’s in Technical Engineering Management.

MICHAEL HANDY, Industry Professor

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Michael Handy is the director of global manufacturing engineering at National Instruments (NI), a leader in the development of high-performance automated test and measurement systems. He manages a multi-geographic team responsible for the development and production of systems used by engineers and scientists at the cutting edge of research, development, and manufacturing. He leads technical product development programs leveraging a multitude of disciplines including analog and digital hardware, mechanical, and software engineering as well as coordinates product launches with the marketing and manufacturing organizations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

JASON HANNAM, Industry Professor

Jason Hannam profile image Jason Hannam is the vice president of product development at SafeKick Americas and is responsible for the development of product lines, establishing commercial partnerships and ensuring project success. Hannam’s career history includes serving as the Director of Product Development for Impact Drilling Solutions, System Integrator for Omnia Technology, Design Engineer for Downhole Technologies and Design and Validation Engineer for Triconex.

JAY HEMBREE, Industry Professor

Jay HembreeJay Hembree is an Air Force Veteran and spent 12 years on the F-35 program with Lockheed Martin as a supervisor, program manager, production manager, and senior manager. He is currently the Site Lead of GE Aerospace On Wing Support–DFW where he leads a team focused on field support and in-shop Maintenance, Overhaul, and Repair of GE commercial engines. As a 2022 graduate of the METM program, Jay is excited to leverage his unique experiences as a former student as well as share his project management and leadership experience.

RYAN HOLT, Industry Professor

Ryan Holt profile imageRyan has 16 years’ worth of experience in Design Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Operations within the Oil and Gas and Electronic Manufacturing industries. After serving in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman and amphibious assault vehicle gunner and commander, Ryan enrolled in Lamar University in Beaumont, and was conferred a BS in Industrial Engineering Technology. Following the completion of his undergrad, he was accepted into the inaugural cohort of the METM program and graduated as a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2020. Ryan holds a third degree in Engineering Design Graphics.

JOHN HUGHES, Industry Professor

John Hughes profile image John Hughes has over 30 years of experience in corporate training with the last 20 focused on measurement and development of emotional intelligence skills. Hughes is the president of E.I. Assessments where he designs and delivers leadership programs focused on emotional intelligence. Hughes’ career history includes serving as the senior internal consultant & director of training & development for The New York Times, training specialist & IAR for IBM and director of residence and adjunct professor of psychology at Iona College. Hughes holds a Master of Science in Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

KAFFIA (BELLE) JONES, Industry Professor

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Dr. Belle Jones enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1976 and later transferred to the Army Reserves. In 2011, she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Jones completed a 15-month deployment in Kuwait, serving as the Commanding General of the 335th Signal Command (Theater). Jones’s civilian accomplishments include 25 years as a peace officer with the California Department of Corrections and six years in Clinical Psychology. She has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Excelsior College and a master’s and doctoral degree in psychology from Saybrook University.

JORGE LEON, Allen Bradley Professor

Jorge Leon

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Dr. Jorge Leon  holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Lehigh University. He is the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution associate department head for graduate studies and directs the Strategic Operations Optimization and Planning Group at Texas A&M University. Previously he was the director of the manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology program and was plant manager for an appliance manufacturing company. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of operations optimization with specific consideration to solution robustness, partial information-sharing, rescheduling, and multiple optimization criteria.

YUEXIN LIU, Instructional Assistant Professor 

Yuexin Liu profile imageDr. Yuexin Liu received her Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) under the supervision of Prof. Yuan-Nan Young and Prof. On Shun Pak in 2022. Her research interests include machine learning, artificial intelligence, reinforcement learning and deep neural networks, with applications in fluid mechanics, AI-powered swimmers, and low-Reynolds-number locomotory. Her work has been published in several journals (e.g., Physics of Fluids, Communication Physics). She has served as a reviewer for Physics of Fluids.

CHRIS MAGUIRE, Industry Professor

Chris Maguire

Christopher Maguire currently serves as the Deputy Chief Engineer within the F-16 Chief Engineer’s Office at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas. He has been with Lockheed Martin for nearly 9 years as an aeronautical engineer and has experience and expertise in project engineering, systems engineering, and aerodynamics. He is the current President of the Association of Airworthiness Professionals (AAP). He earned his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering in 2011 and Master of Engineering Technical Management in 2020 at Texas A&M University.


RUSTOM K. MODY P.E., Industry Professor

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Rustom Mody received a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Houston. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas and holds 17 patents. Mody is currently the Vice President of Technical Excellence at Baker Hughes, a GE Company. His dynamic leadership combined with his expertise in both engineering and business continue to bring him a successful, accomplished career.

DENISE PREUSSER, Industry Professor

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Dr. Denise Preusser is the founder and president of Agler Consulting, providing executive coaching, focus groups and customized training for businesses. She is also an adjunct professor for the MBA and EMBA programs at Walsh University. Preusser’s career history includes serving as an adjunct professor at John Carroll University and a guidance counselor at two school systems. Preusser holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Systems and a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development.

MANO RAO, Industry Professor

Mano RaoDr. Mano Rao has over 30 years of experience in the Information Technology industry at iconic companies like IBM, Dell, Hewlett Packard, and General Motors. He has led enterprise software development teams supporting various business functions including Product Lifecycle Management, Sales and Marketing, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Data Warehousing, Mano has a keen interest in the application of analytics and machine learning to solving business problems. Mano received a Bachelor of Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Master of Science and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

NELYMAR REYES, Industry Professor

Nelymar Reyes

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Dr. Nelymar Reyes is a psychologist with more than 10 years of experience working in Mental Health and Education, serving in both the private and public sectors in Puerto Rico. Reyes holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, specialized in Teaching, Consulting, and Research, a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, and a Bachelor’s in Administration in both Management and Marketing. She also is certified as an Emotional Intelligence and Diversity trainer (EIDI), Nonviolent Crisis Intervention trainer (CPI), Executive Coach (London Image Institute), Multi-Health Systems in the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360) assessments.

DENISE SHERROD, Industry Professor

Denise SherrodDenise Sherrod has worked over 30 years in the upstream oil and gas industry. She joined Occidental Petroleum in 2000 as an IT project manager where she led multi-disciplined teams implementing global, multi-million-dollar projects. Denise is currently the Chief of Automation at Occidental Petroleum and leads a team of Oxy’s top engineers who implement strategic projects to introduce competitive advantages for the company. She holds a Master of Engineering Technical Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, and an Associates of Science in Computer Science.

F. MICHAEL SPEED, JR., Industry Professor

Mike Speed

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Mike Speed received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Mike received his Juris Doctorate degree from The Ohio State University College of Law. He has been admitted to practice law in Ohio, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and Northern District of Ohio. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

LISA SPENCE, Industry Professor

Lisa Spence profile image Lisa Spence received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University, and began work in the nuclear and then petrochemical industries, where she managed projects upgrading operating units from analog to digital instrumentation and control. She transitioned to NASA and began a 32 year career which included assignments as a Space Shuttle instructor, training systems and curriculum development lead for the International Space Station, science program training coordinator for the Shuttle-Mir program in Star City, Russia, training liaison to multiple international partner agencies, integration engineer for EVA training and development at the Neutral Buoyancy lab, and systems and operations integration engineer in the Constellation Program.

VIRGINIA SWINK, Industry Professor

Virginia SwinkVirginia Swink is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience who has built a reputation for turning around organizations by identifying the critical few priorities, translating complex problems to understandable business valued solutions, and building high performing teams to implement those solutions. Virginia graduated from King’s College in the first graduating class of Computer Science. She then spent 13 years consulting for EDS before holding various leadership roles with Dell.

STEPHEN THOMPSON, Industry Professor

Thompson METM

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Dr. Stephen Thompson holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Dundee, Scotland. Thompson has 30 years’ industry experience, with a focus on technology, processes, operational methods and quality associated with electronics, procurement, and distribution. He is a veteran industry professional with expertise in semiconductor processes, equipment fabrication, operations, supplier management, and quality. Thompson has a proven record of driving world-class performance for global operations, quality and products through immediate improvement actions, defect prevention, model-based decision-making and organizational commitment to performance management systems.

CRYSTAL (CJ) THORNTON, Industry Professor

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Crystal (CJ) Thornton is a Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis at Caterpillar, Inc., a global leader in manufacturing and construction equipment. She has a rich experience of 16 years in the industry, starting from her graduation from Texas A&M with a degree in Manufacturing Mechanical Engineering Technology. She further enhanced her skills by earning her METM degree with the class of 2020. She has led and managed teams across various domains, such as manufacturing engineering, supply chain, quality, and finance. CJ is an expert in strategy & lean transformational management and has a keen interest in business decision making that considers the whole value stream.

SCOTT TINGEY, Industry Professor

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Scott Tingey is an operations executive with a broad-based expertise in laboratory operations, human resources and project management. Tingey currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL). Prior to his current role, he served as the COO for Facilities and Operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and in a number of senior positions at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) including Chief Operating Officer for Earth and Biological Sciences, Chief Operating Officer for Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, and as Associate Laboratory Director at the National Bio-defense Analysis and Countermeasure Center.

DAVID TONG, Industry Professor

David TongDavid Tong is the Global Source and Schedule Manager at Chevron where he shepherds and innovates hydrocarbon commodities distribution capabilities. He’s worked at Chevron for 31+ years. He began his career as a network engineer supporting, designing, and deploying networks for various communications purposes. Throughout his career, he’s worked a diverse range of information technology jobs, many involving various kinds of software engineering or data engineering across the entire oil & gas business: upstream, downstream, midstream. He has a BSc in Telecom Engineering Technology from Texas A&M University and a MA in Philosophy from HBU.

SUNSHINE WEBSTER, Industry Professor

Sunshine WebsterSunshine Webster serves as senior manager of talent development for Q2, a global financial experience company that provides digital banking and lending solutions. In this role, she is responsible for growth and development opportunities for all team members. Prior to Q2, Dr. Webster spent time at the University of Texas as a faculty member in the College of Engineering and as an MBA+ Coach. Dr. Webster supports non-profit organizations in her spare time. She has raised approximately $3 million for Austin non-profit organizations through grant writing. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from The University of Texas at Austin, Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in organizational communication from The University of Texas at Austin.

XIAOMIN YANG, Industry Professor


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Dr. Xiaomin Yang
, technology portfolio manager of Saudi Aramco, oversees portfolio governance and decision-making processes to maximize the value of the company’s technology investment, minimize risk, and align R&D priorities with business needs. At METM, Dr. Yang focuses on helping organizations improve the quality of their business decisions by educating new generation talents to implement cohesive governance, structure and tools. Yang received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.


LESLIE EHLERS, Associate Director

Leslie Ehlers

Leslie Ehlers received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Ehlers has 12 years of experience working for the Texas A&M University System. Her expertise in project management, communications, marketing and data analytics is bolstered by a strong work ethic and commitment to excellence.

KATIE HUDSON, Technical Writer I

Katie HudsonKatie Hudson is the Technical Writer for the Master of Engineering Technical Management program. 
Katie received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Texas A&M University in 2017. Before joining the METM team, she taught high school English for six years. Her expertise is in digital marketing, content creation, copywriting, and editing.

Dawn Kerstetter, Senior Administrative Coordinator II 

Dawn Kerstetter Dawn Kerstetter has a lengthy career in administrative positions - assisting executives, business owners, deans, department heads and directors in various capacities. 

She has been employed at Texas A&M for over 10 years, serving across campus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Office for Student Success. Her expertise is strong interpersonal, planning and organizational skills, multitasking and being a team player. 

Dawn volunteers with a local non-profit that serves survivors and resources communities to fight human trafficking. 

WEI LU, Assistant Director of Curriculum 

Wei Lu profile image Dr. Wei Lu is the Assistant Director of Curriculum in the Department of Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University.

Her research focuses on Higher Education, instructional design, community engagement & service-learning, eLearning & distance learning technology, K-12 (STEM) Education, Communications, Marketing, and Social Economics. She has been involved in several projects that collaborate with non-profit organizations like Central Texas Food Bank, Houston Food Bank, and local food pantries.

She is part of the Master of Engineering Technical Management program staff helping with coursework and curriculum development.

 MICHELLE RIGSBY, Ph.D. Graduate Teaching Assistant

Michelle Rigsby profileMichelle Rigsby, a current PhD student in the Department of Nutrition at Texas A&M University, is passionate about supporting a vibrant, healthy lifestyle with nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. Having earned her Bachelor's in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Motor Behavior at Texas A&M University, Michelle is an equipped, certified personal trainer with nutrition coach and health coach training and experience in both a physical therapy clinic setting as well as her own private practice HIVE WELLNESS.

Her research focus involves elevating health and quality of life while modifying body composition by leveraging the power of emotional intelligence and balanced eating. Further examination of how to help stabilize disordered eating and promote dietary and life satisfaction is of interest to create a sustainable approach to holistic health.