ICS Founder & President, Dr. Claire Nelson honored with Outstanding Industrial Engineer Award at Purdue University

Dr. Claire Nelson, ICS founder and president, was honored with the Outstanding Industrial Engineer Award by Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.  Dr. Nelson, along with three fellow alumni, accepted the award in person at ceremonies held on Thursday, April 18th at Purdue.   

The other honorees included Richard Aducci, senior vice president and chief information officer for Boston Scientific; Julie DeWane, vice president, Global Supply Chain at GE Energy Services; and  Lawrence Oliver II, chief counsel for investigations at the Boeing Company.  
Dr.  Nelson, who was named a White House Champion of Change by the US State Department, is Chief Ideation Leader of Sagient Futures LLC/ The Futures Forum, a strategic foresight and sustainability engineering consultancy practice. She founded Sagient Futures in 2011 after leaving the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where she worked on sustainable development issues for 30 years.  Dr. Nelson has been recognized for her leadership in the field of sustainable development, stemming from her leadership in creating the Development With Equity Programming at IDB, for which she received the IDB’s 2010 Ortiz Mena Award.
Since leaving the IDB, Dr. Nelson through her consulting company, Sagient Futures LLC/The Futures Forum has been engaged by clients such as ASME and PETROJAM; and has launched the Development Futures 2030 Project of the World Futures Society, and the Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative, a project aimed at building public/private partnerships for programs, policies and decision-making in support of the long term future of the Caribbean Sea.   
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Nelson stated, “My Purdue engineering degree was my bulwark against the discrimination I sometimes faced in the international development community as the first Black woman engineer to join the Inter-American Development Bank.  I must thank Purdue for providing me the four jobs and tuition assistance which made it possible for me to secure my dream of engineering change for global development.”  She also lauded Purdue for its leadership in starting one of the first Global Engineering and Interdisciplinary Engineering Programs and commented on how their continued leadership on issues of global sustainability could support the visions of the international development community.   
During her three day visit to the University, Dr. Nelson addressed the Caribbean Students Association at Purdue and held meetings with the Director of Engineering Education, the Director of Global Engineering, the Director of the Global Sustainability Institute and the Head of Industrial Engineering. Her meetings aimed to explore greater linkages between Purdue’s School of Engineering and the international development community, as well as partnerships between Purdue and universities in the Caribbean region.      
Dr. Nelson, who was the only Black woman in her graduating class at Purdue, earned her Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1981, and was inducted into the Alpha Pi Mu Engineering Honor Society.   She also organized the first Caribbean Heritage Festival at Purdue and was an active member at the Black Cultural Center.    
Starting in 1997, the Faculty of Purdue’s School of Industrial Engineering established the Outstanding Industrial Engineer award to recognize those alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary technical and leadership accomplishments in the field of industrial engineering and related areas.