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K. Preston White, Jr

Position: Professor Emeritus
Office: Olsson 102H
Phone: 434-982-2070
Personal Homepage

Ph.D, Duke University


K. Preston White, Jr., is Professor of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia. His research interests include Monte Carlo and discrete-event simulation, statistical analysis and reliability engineering, probabilistic design, and process control. He is particularly interested in the integration of decision and information technologies and applications in aerospace, manufacturing, distribution, service, and health-care systems. He has published over 170 scholarly articles in these areas.

Dr. White received the B.S.E. (1970) in mechanical engineering and the M.S. (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) in systems and control engineering from Duke University. He was Assistant Professor in the ORSA Department at Polytechnic University (1975-77) and jointly in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy Departments at Carnegie-Mellon University (1977-79). Dr. White’s industrial experience includes positions as Faculty-in-Residence in the Advanced Technologies Division of Newport News Shipbuilding (1986) and as Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Modeling and Statistical Methods Division of SEMATECH (1993-94). He has extensive experience as a professional consultant to industry and government in the areas of his expertise. He is currently a member of the NASA Engineering Statistics Team, which provides statistical consulting across all NASA units. In this capacity, Dr. White authored the NASA best practice for verification of design requirements using Monte Carlo simulation.

In the nationally-ranked Systems and Information Engineering program at Virginia, he has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies (1983-1996), as interim Department Chairman (1996), and as Director of Department’s award-winning undergraduate Capstone Program (1996-2004). He was instrumental in founding the Department’s Accelerated Masters Program. He was a Sesquicentennial Associate with the University of Virginia Center for Advanced Studies (1993-1994) and served two terms as Director of the University Institute for Microelectronics (2000-2002).

Dr. White is U.S. Editor for International Abstracts in Operations Research and Associate Editor for International Journal of Intelligent Automation and IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing. He is past Associate Editor for Automatica and area Editor for ACM TOMACS. He initiated the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, four times edited the symposium Proceedings, and was symposium General Chair for 2004. Dr. White is a member of INFORMS, SCS, and INCOSE and a senior member of IEEE and IIE. He has served on the AdCom of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society and as chairman of the IEEE/SMC Technical Committee on System Simulation. He was elected as a member of the first Council of the INFORMS Society on Simulation (ISIM) and currently represents ISIM on the INFORMS Subdivision Council.

Since 1997, he has been a member Board of Directors of Winter Simulation Conference, having served as Board Secretary, Vice Chair, Chair, and representative to the WSC Foundation Trustees. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Virginia Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Center at Old Dominion University. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, and Sigma Xi and a charter member of Omega Rho. On behalf of the Systems Engineering program at Virginia, he accepted the first ABET Award for Educational Innovation. Dr. White is a past winner of an NSF Graduate Fellowship, the SAE Teetor Educational Award, the Boeing Outstanding Educator Award, and the NASA/NESC Group Achievement Award. He is the 2009 winner of the ISIM Distinguished Service Award. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and numerous other biographical directories.

Research Interests:

  • Discrete-event simulation
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Statistical analysis
  • Reliability engineering
  • Probabilistic requirements and design
  • Process control
  • Scheduling
  • Optimization

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