Dr. Eva Szalkai Csaky is the director of the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity in the Lyle School of Engineering. In this position, she is developing projects and initiatives in collaboration with academia, the private sector and not-for-profit organizations that benefit disadvantaged communities, both locally and around the world.
Prior to joining SMU, Eva worked for the World Bank Group for 15 years with a focus on market-based solutions for environmental and social problems. She led the design and implementation of projects in 24 different countries around the world and led programs and initiatives in areas including energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy and clean water access.
Eva's award winning efforts include a $250 million public-private energy efficiency partnership and a $120 million energy efficiency retrofit for low-income households. She also worked extensively in the area of sustainable value chains in collaboration with major global companies, focusing on agri-food and garment value chains. Eva was recently the recipient of the first ever World Bank Innovation Award.
Eva received her Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from Budapest Business School, Hungary, and her Master of Science in Finance from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. She was also awarded a Master of Arts in Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Public Policy with concentration in Globalization and Development from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Her research has focused on leveraging value chain dynamics for poverty alleviation, in particular in agri-food value chains, and on collective action among small producers to enable their effective participation in modern value chains.
Corrie Harris is the program manager for the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity in the Lyle School of Engineering. Corrie has her M.A. from the Lyle School of Engineering in Sustainability and Development and an Honors B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from UT Arlington with concentrations in Economics, Sustainability, Management, and Cultural Studies. Her master's thesis is titled Resilient Sustainable Development: Localized Transformational Impact to Alleviate Poverty.
Corrie has significant experience in the poverty alleviation and sustainability areas, both locally and globally. She has also worked across various sectors, including academia, international government relations, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, and for-profit institutions.
Among others, Corrie was the director of Villa Familia Nicaragua (VFN), an orphanage for children in crisis in Nicaragua, managing the day-to-day operations of the orphanage as well as all of its strategic programs. She founded a Coalition of Directors for collaboration. With the collective knowledge of the coalition she created an economic development strategy for retrofitting and expanding VFN. After which, she recruited nationals and internationals for implementation of development. It was highly successful and received the highest governmental recognition from the Department of Mi Familia as the standard by which all other centers for children in crisis should be modeled.
Graduate Student, Master of Arts in Design and Innovation (MADI)
"I came to the Hunt Institute because I believe in design that is beautiful, helpful, and accessible. There are pockets in our world, both here in Dallas and across the globe, that lack design fueled by intentionality and integrity. My hope is that the work done here can inspire solutions that can be adopted anywhere, by anyone, to make this world as it ought to be."
Senior, Computer Science Major
“Growing up in a developing country, I grew a passion for helping people and so I was drawn naturally to the Hunt Institute because I saw how the Institute empowers people through practical means. I really resonated with the vision of how creative thinking paired with a desire to help others can change people’s lives. I believe we have the power to bring big change from small projects using the right platforms and the right people.”
Junior, Finance & International Studies Major
"My motivation is closely tied to my personal beliefs and life experiences. Like a perfectly functioning ecosystem, I believe that everyone and everything in this life is (somehow) connected. Growing up, a string of small opportunities, mostly educational, opened up the world for me. The idea of giving back by creating even the smallest opportunity for someone else to improve their life, and thereby the lives of others through those they touch, is what drives me.”
Eskinder (Alex) Abebe
Junior, Creative Computing
"Soon after I joined SMU, I saw a goal for making social impact at Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity. The Institute’s vision using engineering to solve humanitarian problems created a spark for me to join. Since I joined the institute, I have been able to grow my leadership skills by leading projects that can make an impact for global and local communities."
Junior, Computer Science Major
"Upon first walking into the Hunt Institute I could see the passion, integrity, and innovation the team expressed on a daily basis. The institute's encouraging and supportive environment inspires me to work to help others and give back whenever I can. I look forward to working with the institute throughout my college career to make a difference in the community."
Barbara Minsker, Ph.D.
Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship
Senior Fellow in the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity
Barbara Minsker, a nationally recognized expert in environmental and water resource systems analysis and informatics, joins SMU this fall as chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship, and Senior Fellow in the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity.
Minsker previously served as professor and Arthur and Virginia Nauman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she began her career as an assistant professor in 1996. She was also a faculty affiliate at UIUC’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Minsker was an environmental policy analyst in the Washington, D.C., area.
She received the ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute (ERWI) Outstanding Achievement Award and the ERWI Service to the Profession Award as a result of her extensive leadership background and experience. She has led major collaborative programs in research, education, and outreach in various roles including: PI of the WATERS Network, an NSF-funded project for advancing water resource science and management; Associate Provost Fellow who developed and implemented University of Illinois sustainability education and research initiatives; and founder of two start-up organizations.
Minsker received a B.S. in operations research and industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering ‒ both from Cornell University.
Owen Hanley Lynch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Honor Program and SMU London Internships
Owen Lynch is interested in how the organization is (re)produced through the everyday discourse and routines of its members. His research interests are humor within organizations, qualitative methodology and theory, masculinity, and structuration theory.
Since arriving at SMU he has been engaged in converting three separate ethnographic projects into research articles and a book. Humorous Organizing: Revealing the Organization as a Social Process was published by VDM publishing in 2007. He has published articles in leading research journals, including Communication Theory, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Management Communication Quarterly, and co-authored the concluding chapter in Perspectives on Organizational Communication (Corman & Poole 2000). Lynch taught in the department of speech communication at Texas A&M from 1996 to 2000. At SMU, Lynch has won several awards for his teaching, including the 2007 “Outstanding Faculty Award” from the SMU Pan-Hellenic Scholarship Association. Lynch and his wife, Catherine, have two daughters, Caelan and Olivia.
Dr. Lynch earned his B.A. in Communication from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from Texas A&M.
Sila Çetinkaya, Ph.D.
Chair, Engineering Management, Information, and Systems
Cecil H. Green Professor of Engineering
Professor Çetinkaya joined SMU Lyle in 2014 as the Cecil H. Green Professor of Engineering in the EMIS Department and holds a courtesy appointment in the Information Technology and Operations Management (ITOM) Department in SMU’s Cox School of Business. She has received numerous national awards, including the prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. Çetinkaya was also selected for Frontiers of Engineering by the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and was named an IIE Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers in 2012 for her professional leadership and outstanding contributions.
Professor Çetinkaya has a strong record of academic and professional service and has taken on leadership roles in several areas. Prior to joining SMU’s Lyle School, she served as the Associate Head of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. Professor Çetinkaya has served on the editorial board of five (5) scientific journals including IIE Transactions and Naval Research Logistics and on the organization and program committees of several international conferences including IIE and INFORMS.
Professor Çetinkaya earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1989. She obtained her Master of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1991 from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and was awarded the Ph.D. in Management Science in 1996 from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.