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Rapinder Sawhney, PhD

Heath Faculty Fellow in Business and Engineering


Dr. Rupy Sawhney is a Professor and Heath Faculty Fellow in Business and Engineering at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the founder of Sawhney Solutions. He is the Executive Director of Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education (CASRE), where he leads a team of nearly 30 staff and graduate students. Dr. Sawhney has developed the Sawhney Model, which uniquely focuses on people-centered operational excellence strategies. This model is the basis of transformational projects and training programs for leading industry and federal partners, including DOE, Covenant Health, and Clayton Homes. Overall, Dr. Sawhney and his team have partnered with over 200 companies on operational excellence projects. Dr. Sawhney has established innovative educational and training programs with national and international visibility, including an onsite cohort program (2011-present), and the Lean Enterprise Systems Program (LESP) (2011-present). The cohort program has graduated over 100 professionals with Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering, whereas the LESP has graduated over 900 students from 10 countries. These efforts have resulted in strong international collaborations with nearly 20 universities worldwide. Dr. Sawhney has been recognized with various awards such as the Boeing Welliver Fellow, Alcoa Faculty Award, Institute of Industrial Engineers Lean Teaching Award, Industrial and Operations Management Society Outstanding Educator Award, the 2019 University of Tennessee President’s Award as the “Educate” honoree, and the 2020 John L. Imhoff Global Excellence Award for Industrial Engineering Education.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Lean Systems
  • Design Project
  • Reliability of Lean Systems
  • Industrial Engineering Methods Review
  • Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Systems
  • Lean Production Systems
  • Simulation
  • Integrated Manufacturing Systems
  • Production Facilities and Material Handling
  • Industrial Engineering Applications
  • Senior Problems Analysis
  • Process Improve Planned Experiment


  • Designing Efficient and Reliable Systems
  • Utilizing Concepts of Natural Interaction for Work Design
  • Defining the Value of Information in Supply Chains


  • PhD, Engineering Science and Mechanics, University of Tennessee
  • MS, Industrial Engineering, University of Tennessee
  • BS, Industrial Engineering, University of Tennessee

Contact Information