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John Nazemetz

Monday, October 16, 2023

John Nazemetz

John Nazemetz (October 10, 1951 - October 5, 2023)

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. John Nazemetz, emeritus associate professor in the School of Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM).  Dr. Nazemetz served the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT) at Oklahoma State University (OSU) for 39 years, retiring in 2017.  He was the longest serving faculty member in the history of IEM at Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Nazemetz passed at home on Thursday, October 5, 2023, after a long-term battle with leiomyosarcoma.  He fought it with an optimistic outlook and never complained.


Born in 1951 in New Jersey, he grew up on the family dairy farm.  On the farm he learned to appreciate the value and satisfaction of hard work and a job well done.  After graduation from Somerville High School, he enrolled in the bachelor of science program in industrial engineering at Lehigh University where he lettered in cheerleading. He was inducted into Alpha Pi Mu, the National Industrial Engineering Honor Society.  He graduated with honors in 1973.  He then enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Lehigh. During his graduate studies he worked as a teaching assistant and was promoted to instructor, becoming one of the youngest members of the Lehigh faculty.


Dr. Nazemetz joined IEM at OSU in 1978, soon after completing his Ph.D. at Lehigh University.  Through the years he taught many courses and is most remembered by alumni for his effective teaching of Introduction to Industrial Engineering, Project Management, Manufacturing Processes, Manufacturing Systems, Robotics, and Senior Design.  He was an early advocate of on-line learning and delivered one of the first satellite-delivered courses offered by OSU.  His courses set aspirational performance goals and he provided abundant feedback to enable each student to enhance both their technical and presentation skills.  Over the years, his graduate and Senior Design students executed over 250 industrial projects at a broad range of manufacturing and service organizations.  Many of his Ph.D. students have gone on to become Deans at their respective universities.


Dr. Nazemetz was active in research and service throughout his career.  He and his students successfully executed nearly $7 million in research contracts. Among his major grants were the motorcycle crash causation study funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the $3 million Center for Aerospace Systems Infrastructure programs that assisted Tinker Air Force Base and the aerospace industries throughout Oklahoma.  He organized the program for the first international research conference organized by the American Institute of Industrial Engineers (now known as IISE, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers). He has received numerous awards throughout his career, most notably, the “Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer of the Year” from IISE and the Ralph E. Teetor award from the Society of Automotive Engineers for outstanding achievement in engineering education.  Dr. Nazemetz was actively involved in Project Lead the Way (PLTW), an organization inspiring and empowering PreK-12 students and teachers throughout the US. He was a certified instructor and accreditor for PLTW programs. Dr. Nazemetz co-authored and co-edited three books, was the associate editor of Computers and Industrial Engineering: An International Journal.  He served as member and chair on the boards of the Stillwater Sheltered Workshop and the Judith Karman Hospice Inc.  He was an active volunteer with the Stillwater Habitat of Humanity and Stillwater’s Our Daily Bread Food and Resource Center.    


He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Jeanette; sister Pat and husband Herb Rydberg; nephew Darren Rydberg and wife Liz, and children Mark, Eric, and Greg; niece Kaitlin Basile and husband Tim and children Kyle and Jamie; Sister-in-law Ann Lee Hussey, and numerous cousins.


A memorial service to celebrate the life of Dr. Nazemetz is scheduled on Tuesday, October 24th at 2 pm.  The service is at the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, 6th and Duck Streets. Those wishing to honor Dr. Nazemetz’s memory should contribute to the Stillwater Habitat for Humanity, 505 E. 18th Avenue.


If you have a memory or story that you would like to share, you can can email them to Pastor Kyle Anderson at

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