IBM executives join Service Enterprise Engineering advisory board


By Mariah Chuprinski

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jim Spohrer and Utpal Mangla, executives with international computer company IBM, recently joined Service Enterprise Engineering’s (SEE) advisory board, housed in Penn State’s Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME).

Through the IME department, SEE offers training and internship opportunities for engineering students interested in working in service sector fields such as health care, retail, finance, telecommunications and transportation. SEE also develops teaching resources such as textbooks and case studies that apply engineering solutions to service industry challenges.

Created to better prepare IME students to make an impact through their service industry careers, the SEE board is composed of distinguished Penn State alumni and other professionals who provide input and guidance to the department. The group meets with IME faculty and staff twice per year to provide feedback on SEE programming.

Spohrer serves as director of Cognitive OpenTech at IBM, which encompasses the company’s open-source artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning development effort. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in computer science and artificial intelligence from Yale University.

“In all service sectors, from health care to online retail platforms, the need to improve and innovate service systems in business and society is urgent,” Spohrer said. “Being on the SEE advisory board is an opportunity for the industry and academic sectors to collaborate. Together we can guide the continued development of curricular materials to address this need.”

Mangla serves as IBM’s vice president and senior partner, as well as global leader of the company’s Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment (TME) Industry Center of Competency. He also works to lead global innovation, focusing on artificial intelligence, 5G, hybrid cloud and blockchain innovations for TME clients worldwide.

Mangla holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from Pune University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University.

“Service enterprise engineering as a field is undergoing a significant transformation across all sectors, and it is at this pivotal moment we can form the next generation of our workforce,” Mangla said. “Being a member of the SEE advisory board is a great opportunity to be at the confluence of innovation, academia and business by helping to shape the engineering curricula of the future.”

Mangla and Spohrer began their board tenures on April 1. The next board meeting is scheduled for June.

“With over 80% of the United States economy in the service sector, the mission of SEE is to positively influence the 21st-century economy,” said Vittal Prabhu, professor and Charles and Enid Schneider Faculty Chair in Service Enterprise Engineering. “I am excited to have Jim and Utpal on our advisory board, as they both have deep service industry experience and are keen to collaborate with us on our educational and research efforts in service systems.”


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