W. Peter Cherry

June 2, 1943

Brief Biography

Cherry Fellow Portrait

W. Peter Cherry is a military operations researcher and recipient of the Jacinto Steinhardt Prize. Born in Canada, Cherry received degrees from the Universities of Toronto and New Brunswick prior to joining the Canadian Department of National Defence to work on maritime OR. He went on to pursue graduate study in industrial engineering at the University of Michigan and has since focused on the development and application of operations research in national security.

Cherry spent thirty years with Vector Research Incorporated, consulting with a number of government entities. For the United States Armed Forces, he contributed to the development of many of the major land combat systems employed by the Army. Cherry has worked on a variety of projects ranging from the Patriot Missile System to the Apache helicopter as well as a number of command and control and intelligence systems. Cherry also played a major role in the creation of the Manpower Personnel and Human Factors and Training Program and the Army's original Embedded Training initiative.

As a member of the Army Science Board, Cherry has participated in  reviews of the Army’s Science and Technology programs. Though a large portion of his research is classified, he has published articles in several operations research journals, working closely with probabilist Ralph L. Disney on queueing network theory and Markov renewal processes. Cherry was a member of the Military Operations Research Society’s Board of Directors and chaired the Military Applications Society of the Operations Research Society of America.

In addition to receiving the Jacinto Steinhardt Prize for career contributions to military operations research, Cherry has received numerous other honors. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Cherry won the 2001 Military Operations Research Society David Rist Prize for publications in military OR. Cherry retired from the Science Applications International Corporation, where he worked on the Army’s Future Combat Systems program. 

Other Biographies

(2011) Author's Biographies: W. Peter Cherry. Assad A. A. & Gass S. I., eds. in Profiles in Operations Research, 804. Springer Science & Business Media: New York. 


University of New Brunswick, BA 1965

University of Toronto, MA 1966

University of Michigan, MS 1970

University of Michigan, PhD 1972


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • U. S. Army
  • Canadian Department of National Defence 
  • Science Applications International Corporation 
  • Vector Research Incorporated

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

Military Operations Research Society David Rist Prize 2001

IOE Alumni Merit Award 2003

Jacinto Steinhardt Prize 2003

National Academy of Engineering 2006

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2010

Selected Publications

Cherry W. P. & Disney R. L. (1973) Some Topics in Queueing Network Theory. University of Michigan Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering: Ann Arbor, MI. 

Cherry W. P. & Disney R. L. (1983) The superposition of two independent Markov renewal processes. Applicationes Mathematicae, 17(4): 567-602.

Cherry W. P. (1984) VECTOR-2 land/air campaign model. Huber R. K., ed. in Systems Analysis and Modeling in Defense, 139-153. Springer: New York.