Diana M. Easton, Ph.D.

Dr. Easton

Diana M. Easton, Ph.D

Associate Chair and Clinical Professor, OREM
Director of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Graduate Programs

Office Location: 339 Caruth Hall

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  • Ph.D., Systems Engineering/Applied Science, SMU. 
  • MS, Biomedical Engineering, The University of Alabama at Birmingham. 
  • BS, Bioengineering, Texas A&M University. 


Dr. Diana Easton is a Biomedical and Systems Engineer with over 30 years of industry experience in Quality and Regulatory Leadership in biomedical companies, working primarily with class I, II, III and active implantable medical device systems.  Prior to joining academia in 2014, she served as Vice President for Quality and Regulatory Affairs, strengthening the company’s regulated business processes and improving the performance of global operations, products, and service under tight regulatory constraints. Dr. Easton’s expertise spans the areas of quality and regulatory management from ideation through commercialization, deployment, and disposal; quality systems and business process management; regulatory compliance and performance assessment; design assurance and risk management; production and supplier quality; and regulatory affairs.  During her professional tenure, Dr. Easton also served as a member of the FDA Medical Device Industry Coalition to promote communication, education and cooperation between the regulators and the regulated industry. Additionally, Dr. Easton serves as the head of Navigating the Gray, her consulting firm that applies systems thinking and system engineering principles to developing and implementing customized, smart solutions to global business challenges in the medical device industry.  

In 2014, with a passion to help bridge the gap between what students learn in school and what they need to be successful in modern industry, Dr. Easton joined the ranks of academia as a Clinical Professor, researching engineering education and medical device translation. Most notably, Dr. Easton used Systems Engineering principles to develop unique engineering curriculum that accelerates innovation-to-commercialization through engineering education and process optimization. Dr. Easton joined SMU in 2019 and now serves as the Associated Chair of Operations Research and Engineering Management, Clinical Professor, and Director of the graduate Systems Engineering and Engineering Management programs. She continues researching in the areas of engineering education and curriculum to meet the needs of the modern workforce, program assessment methodologies, systems engineering and risk management. Currently, Dr. Easton also serves as a member of SAE International's G-47 Systems Engineering Committee, supporting various international Systems Engineering standards and publications efforts.  Additionally, she serves on the INCOSE Academic Committee and Corporate Advisory Board, providing strategic guidance and technical leadership to those leading industry development of systems.

Honors & Awards

  • INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board Member
  • INCOSE Academic Council Member
  • SAE International's G-47 Systems Engineering Committee Member
  • Outstanding Excellence and Dedication to her Profession and the Achievement of Women, National Association of Professional Women (2013-2014)


  • Systems Engineering & Risk Management
  • Infrastructure and Engineered Systems
  • Engineering Education and Curriculum

Recent Publications

  • Easton, Diana M., A Methodology to Integrate Regulatory Expertise, Research and Education to Accelerate Biomedical Device Translation, Journal on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: JSCI Volume 16 - Number 3 
  • Stephen A Szygenda and Diana M. Easton, The Methodology and Implementation of Unique Technology Focused Entrepreneurship/Intrepreneurship Programs, Journal on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: JSCI Volume 16 - Number 2, pp. 60-66 
  • Easton, Diana M.; "Cybernetics Approach to Enhancing Technical Entrepreneurship and Engineering Management Programs for Biotechnology Innovation", International Journal of Science & Engineering Development Research (www.ijsdr.org), ISSN:2455-2631, Vol.3, Issue 5, page no.194 - 199
  • Diana M. Easton, Mitch Thornton, Business Process Development Through the Use of a Modified Axiomatic Design Methodology, Journal of International Business Management & Research, vol. 2, issue 4, 
  • Easton, Diana, Thornton, Mitch, Nair, Suku, Szygenda, Stephen, A Methodology for Disaster Tolerance Utilizing the Concepts of Axiomatic Design, Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Vol 6, No.4