B.S. ​Duke University, 1970M.S. ​Duke University, 1972Ph.D. ​Duke University, 1976

"Systems methodology is a structured approach for framing complex problems in the real world and for evaluating alternative solutions."

K. Preston White, Jr., Emeritus Professor

Dr. White's research interests include Monte Carlo and discrete-event simulation; sequencing and scheduling; quality, reliability, and statistical engineering; and logistics and supply chains. He is particularly interested in the integration of decision and information technologies and applications in aerospace, health-care, manufacturing, distribution, service, criminal justice, and military systems. He has published over 190 scholarly articles in these areas.

He was Assistant Professor in the ORSA Department at Polytechnic University (1975-77); jointly in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy Departments at Carnegie-Mellon University (1977-79); Faculty-in-Residence in the Advanced Technologies Division of Newport News Shipbuilding (1986); Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Modeling and Statistical Methods Division of SEMATECH (1993-94); and Visiting Professor in the Operations Research Department at the Naval Postgraduate School (2010-11). As a member of the NASA Statistical Engineering Team, he authored the NASA best practice for verification of design requirements using Monte Carlo simulation.

He served the Department as Director of Undergraduate Studies (1983-1996), Chairman (1996), and Director of the 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 Director of the University Institute for Microelectronics (2000-2002).

He is a member of the IFORS Publication Committee, Executive Editor for International Abstracts in Operations Research, Associate Editor for International Transactions in Operational Research, and past Associate Editor for AutomaticaInternational Journal of Intelligent Automation, and IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing. He initiated the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, serving as Proceedings editor (1999-2003) and General Chair (2004). He is a member of INFORMS and a senior member of IEEE and IIE. He served on the AdCom of the IEEE SMC, the INFORMS Society on Simulation Council, the INFORMS Subdivision Council, as General Chair for the 2011 Winter Simulation Conference, and as chairman of the IEEE/SMC Technical Committee on System Simulation.

He was a member of Board of Directors of the Winter Simulation Conference (1997-2009) and the Advisory Board of the Virginia Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Center. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Xi, and Omega Rho. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and other biographical directories.


  • NSF Graduate Fellowship
  • SAE Teetor Educational Award
  • Boeing Outstanding Educator Award
  • NASA/NESC Group Achievement Award
  • INFORMS Simulation Society Distinguished Service Award

Research Interests

  • Computational Statistics and Simulation/Statistical Modeling
  • Risk and Decision Analysis
  • Optimization Models and Methods
  • Stochastic Modeling

Selected Publications

  • "System dynamicsapproach to urban planning," Journal of the Urban Planning Division, Transactions of the ASCE, 1(1)43-56. 1974. White, K. P., Jr., Dajani, J. S., and Wright, D.
  • "Public school transportation and location policies: a systems analytic approach," High Speed Ground Transportation Journal, 8(1)25-40. 1974. Dajani, J. S., Wright, D., and White, K. P., Jr.
  • "Control concepts for pneumatic tube vehicles," Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Transactions of the ASME, 96(2)229-235. 1974 Wright, D., and White, K. P., Jr.
  • Technology transfer: another opinion," Journal of Dynamic Systems Measurement and Control, Transactions of the ASME, 97(1)11-15. 1975 White, K. P., Jr.
  • "Technique fixation and the Routh-Hurwitz Criterion," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 24(6).1980. White, K. P., Jr.

Courses Taught

  • Discrete Event Simulation
  • Senior Design
  • Sequencing and Scheduling