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Washburn Shops, 223
Phone: +1-508-831-5183

Sharon A. Johnson

I enjoy teaching at WPI because I can share my passion for detailed process design in our Industrial Engineering program, as well as explore a broader view of operations in our MBA program. Students bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to their learning, and I am often inspired by their optimism.  My research work has spanned several application areas, but in the past five years it has focused on lean systems and healthcare delivery process design. I am particularly interested in the opportunities created by information technologies to provide new types of data for operational decision making and to improve workflows and care delivery. I am a co-PI in WPI’s affiliation with the VA in the New England Veterans Engineering Resource Center (NE VERC), and I am currently working on integrating secure messaging into care delivery and compensation and pension planning . I have also recently worked with WPI students in other healthcare settings to develop a simulation model for a weight clinic, a data-driven method for physician profiling, and analyses related to the patient-centered medical home. I am a founding member of the Healthcare Delivery Institute (HDI), and serve on the Executive Council. With my colleagues from HDI, I am co-PI on a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the implementation of electronic health record systems, including personal health records, and the provider and patient workflow changes to use these systems effectively.

Research Interests

  • Improving health care delivery processes
  • Effects of electronic health record (EHR) systems on care delivery
  • Capacity and demand modeling in healthcare systems
  • Lean process design
  • Process analysis and modeling


  • BS, University of Michigan, 1983
  • MS, Cornell University, 1986
  • PhD, Cornell University, 1989

Featured Publications

  • Strong, D.M., O. Volkoff, S.A. Johnson, I. Bar-On, L. Pelletier, “Electronic Health Records and the Changing Roles of Health Care Professionals:  A Social Informatics Perspective” Proceedings of the Fifteenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, San Francisco, CA August 6th-9th 2009.
  •  Zeng, A. Z. and S.A. Johnson, “The Impact of Integrating a Discovery-based Laboratory to Teach Supply Chain Management Fundamentals in an Undergraduate Management Course”, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(1), February 2009.
  • Johnson, S.A., J.R. Stedinger, C.A. Shoemaker, Y.Li, and J.A. Tejada-Guibert, "Solving Continuous-State Dynamic Programs using Linear and Spline Interpolation", Operations Research, Vol. 41, No. 3, 484-500, May-June, 1993

Labs and Centers



Professional Highlights

  • First Place in the American Society of Engineering Education IE Division Best Paper Award, for the he paper Teaching Lean Process Design Using a Discovery Approach (Johnson, Gerstenfeld, Zeng, Ramos, and Mishra). The award was presented after the June 2005 conference.
  • Johnson, S. A. and Zeng, A. Z,  “Integrating Discovery-Based Laboratories into an Undergraduate Introductory Operations Management Course”, runner-up, Wickham Skinner Award in Teaching Innovation Achievements, Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), 2nd World Conference on POM, Cancun, Mexico, May 2004.
  • Cited for meritorious achievement as an advisor to senior projects in 1991-1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2010.
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