W. Monroe Keyserling, professor emeritus of industrial and operations engineering and professor emeritus of environmental health sciences, has endowed the W. Monroe Keyserling Fellowship Fund. His generous investment, which includes an estate gift, will fund a U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) doctoral fellowship student.
During his time at U-M IOE, Keyserling spent more than 20 years in graduate administration, initially chairing Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid and later serving as the department’s graduate program chair.
“I learned that unrestricted fellowships are essential to recruiting the best doctoral students to Michigan and giving them the opportunity to use their first year on campus to explore the variety of outstanding research opportunities available in the department,” said Keyserling.
Although the fellowship will be open to all students, preference will be given to those with a connection to South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia.
Keyserling grew up in Beaufort, South Carolina, and completed his bachelor’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1974. When considering doctoral programs, U-M IOE’s program was his first choice. “I was fortunate to receive a generous financial aid offer that provided full support for five years,” he said. “Establishing this fellowship will allow aspiring doctoral students to have the same opportunity that was given to me.”
Following his master’s and doctoral degrees at U-M, Keyserling served as an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1979 to 1983. He returned to U-M IOE as an assistant professor of industrial and operations engineering in 1984 and was promoted to full professor in 1996.
At U-M, Keyserling taught courses on ergonomics and occupational safety. His research interests included controlling fatigue and injuries through improved workstation design, enhancing work measurement techniques to evaluate ergonomic stresses, and investigating safety culture and work practices among skilled-trade workers who perform facility and equipment maintenance.
Before retiring in 2019 and moving to Asheville, North Carolina, Keyserling had served as PI and project director for various high profile research projects. These included work with the Ford Motor Company, the Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo, General Motors, the United Auto Workers, the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, and the U.S. Department of Education. He also authored over 150 journal articles and book chapters and received the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s Outstanding Research Award for implementing a rapid-screening tool for identifying high-risk work activities.