Industrial engineering's Cavalier retires

January 10, 2011

Tom Cavalier, professor emeritus of industrial engineering, has retired from Penn State.

Cavalier has been a member of the University faculty since the early 1980s. His research included mathematical programming and network theory. Cavalier has taught numerous courses involving linear and nonlinear programming, optimization and operations research.

"Tom was not only a great colleague, but also a true friend," said Jeya Chandra, professor of industrial engineering, who worked with Cavalier for 26 years. "He was one of the few persons I went to for advice on matters related to academia as well as nonacademic issues. He played a vital role in enhancing the quality and reputation of our department and I will miss working with him."

Cavalier has won numerous awards for his teaching, including the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society's Outstanding Teaching Award and its Premier Teaching Award, as well as the Teacher of the Year Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers Penn State student chapter.

"I learned so much from the course I took with Dr. Cavalier," said Jordan Shelton, a recent industrial engineering graduate. "He is so enthusiastic and passionate about the subject he's teaching that you really get a lot out of it. I used the things I learned from him in IE 468 for my capstone design project, and I know I'll use them in my future career as well."

Cavalier received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the West Virginia Institute of Technology, his M.A. in mathematics from West
Virginia University and his doctorate in industrial engineering and operations research from Virginia Tech.

Paul Griffin, the Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo department head chair, said, "Tom has been a tremendous asset for us here at Penn State. He is one of the best teachers we have ever had and his leadership has helped make the department what it is today. Tom is the definition of a stand-up guy and I have very much enjoyed the opportunity to work with him. It is an understatement to say that he will be sorely missed."

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Last Updated January 10, 2015