IMSE Hall of Fame Spotlight: IMSE Alumni in Manufacturing

October 04, 2021

Three Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering alumni have been inducted into the IMSE Hall of Fame for their significant career contributions in the manufacturing sector. Hulas H. King was inducted in 2016, John Conte was inducted in 2011 and Wayne A. Cox was inducted in 2008.

Established in 2008, the IMSE Hall of Fame honors distinguished industrial engineering graduates who have made an impact within their field and recognizes those who have supported the IMSE department.

Hulas King portrait

Hulas H. King
MSIE 1983

Hulas H. King, MS IE ’83, Inducted in 2016

King attended Mizzou as a recipient of the Graduate Professional Opportunities Program (GPOP) in pursuit of his MS in Industrial Engineering. Throughout the four-year program, King travelled between Columbia and East St. Louis, Illinois, to complete coursework and work at McDonnell-Douglas.

After graduating, King held numerous manufacturing management positions and worked for professional standards organizations. He retired from his 51-year career as Chairman of the Global Diversity Council for Siemens PLM software. In this position, he supported global opportunities in digital manufacturing for underrepresented populations. He says his degree in industrial engineering opened the doors to these opportunities.

John Conte portrait

John A. Conte
BSIE 1966, BSIE 1972

John Conte, BS IE ’66, MS IE ’72, Inducted in 2011

Conte, whose father worked as a machinist at the Honeywell plant in Kansas City, Missouri, always wanted to be an engineer. He chose Mizzou because of its industrial engineering program.

After college, he began his career as an industrial engineer conducting work measurement studies. He then worked for Western Electric, the AT&T manufacturing facility in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, as a quality control engineer. After two years, he accepted a position with AT&T Bell Labs overseeing the Quality Program at the Western Electric plant.

After 22 years, Conte retired from AT&T and became the quality manager for a competing firm making cellular telephone equipment. He retired from that position 10 years later and began teaching a quality control course to engineers in the US, Europe and the Middle East. He has since retired from this position and looks back fondly on his education and career.

Wayne Cox portrait

Wayne A. Cox
BSIE 1963, MSIE 1964

Wayne A. Cox, BS IE ’63, MS IE ’64, Inducted in 2008

Hailing from Bismarck, Missouri, Cox came to Mizzou from Flat River Community College after attending Engineers Week and learning about the Industrial Engineering program. After graduating with his MS, Cox worked as an industrial engineer, project engineer and factory foreman for Colgate-Palmolive in Kansas City.

In 1966, he was drafted into the US Army, where he was assigned to the Armor and Engineering Board at Fort Knox in Kentucky. There, he earned the highest military achievement award for developing a manpower utilization program. He was also named to the All Army teams in volleyball and basketball.

After his service, he returned to Colgate-Palmolive as a senior industrial engineer. While managing the Soap Production department, he became Kansas City’s first global winner of the chairman’s “You Can Make a Difference” award program.

Cox joined Kansas City’s PARADIGM management group, where he made recommendations to improve safety, quality and productivity in factories. He was named Kansas City’s executive of the year in 1992.  He retired from Colgate-Palmolive as Director of Company Restructuring.

He says that his education in Industrial Engineering at Mizzou was extremely important for him in developing his successful leadership skills.