Leon McGinnis is the founding Director of the Keck Virtual Factory Lab, serves as Associate Director of the Manufacturing Research Center, and holds the Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems. Dr. McGinnis received the BSIE from Auburn University, and the MSIE and PhD from North Carolina State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia.
Dr. McGinnis has been a leader in developing and administering industry-focused and interdisciplinary education and research programs at Georgia Tech. He helped establish the Material Handling Research Center in 1982 and managed one of five research programs over the next decade. He also helped establish the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems Program in 1983, which received a LEAD Award from ASME for excellence in graduate-level interdisciplinary manufacturing education, and served as Director from 1988 to 1998. As CIMS Director, he lead a team that competed for and won a $1 million TRP grant, resulting in the establishment of the Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute within the Manufacturing Research Center. Since 1994, he has lead a team of ISyE faculty to win over $2 million in grants to create the Keck Virtual Factory Lab as a focal point for IE systems design and control research.
Dr. McGinnis enjoys teaching students how to think like industrial engineers, particularly in developing and using mathematical and
computational models to support design of facilities and control systems. His research focuses on fundamental representation issues in
facility and control system design, on performance assessment models, and on the development of integrated computational tools for facility and control system design. The Institute of Industrial Engineers has recognized Dr. McGinnis with the Outstanding Publication Award, the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, and the Fellow Award.