Alexander Meeraus

August 5, 1943

Brief Biography


 Alexander Meeraus is an engineer and businessman who made significant contributions to the development of optimization software. In particular, he created the GAMS (General Algebraic Modeling System) software system for modeling complicated systems. He was born in Vienna, Austria, and studied mechanical engineering at the Technology University of Vienna, where he received his engineering degree in 1968. Meeraus went on to work in software programming for computer-aided design at General Electric and time-sharing systems prior to joining the World Bank in Washington, D.C., in 1972.


As an economist and chief analyst at the World Bank, Meeraus developed large-scale optimization methods for application areas in economic planning. To help with this work, he created the GAMS system for algebraic modeling. In 1976, he introduced GAMS to researchers and academics at the International Symposium on Mathematical Programming in Budapest, Hungary. Meeraus spent over a decade at the World Bank, continuing his research work on investment planning and managing the research and development group that developed GAMS. There, he co-wrote several books, including his 1988 guide, which emphasized OR applications to the planning of investment programs, agriculture, oil refineries, and macroeconomics. In 1987, he started GAMS Development Corporation in Washington, D.C., where he led a team of engineers responsible for developing optimization software for operations research methodologies.


Meeraus spent the majority of the 1980s and 1990s developing the optimization system and software for GAMS. He worked on a variety of projects, including the long-term development and application of optimization software, and consulted with clients in the agricultural, chemical, energy, finance, and government sectors. Meeraus expanded GAMS in Europe with GAMS Software GmbH in 1996, where, as co-founder, he oversaw the development of the GAMS branch in Germany.  He was also instrumental in establishing extensive libraries of optimization problem for testing optimization software.


Meeraus stepped down as president of GAMS in 2016 and has since served there as a senior advisor.  During this time, he helped to start the GAMS Advisory Board and served as a founding member.


During his career, Meeraus published more than 60 papers and technical reports. He received the INFORMS Computing Society Prize in 1988 for the invention and implementation of GAMS. Meeraus was elected a Fellow of INFORMS in 2008 for outstanding lifetime achievements in operations research and the management sciences. He received the INFORMS Impact Prize in 2012 for the development of the GAMS algebraic modeling language.  GAMS continues to have an impact:  GAMS has been used extensively by two winners of Nobel prizes. William Nordhaus  won the 2018 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work on developing climate models. One of the winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  One of the co-authors of the IPCC work was long time intensive GAMS user, Bruce McCarl.



Technical University of Vienna, Austria, Dipl.-Ing., 1968 (Mechanical Engineering)


Professional Affiliations

GAMS Software GmbH

GAMS Development Corporation

The World Bank

General Electric


Key Interests in OR/MS



Algorithms - Theory and Analysis

Computer Science

Economics / Econometrics

Modeling / Modeling Philosophy

Optimization/Mathematical Programming


Application Areas

Environment, Energy, and Sustainability

Finance & Financial Institutions

OR/MS Practice

Supply Chain Management / Logistics


Awards and Honors


INFORMS Computing Society Prize 1988


Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2008


Germans Operations Research Company Award 2010


INFORMS Impact Prize 2012



Selected Publications


Choksi, A. M.,  Meeraus, A., & Stoutjesdijk, A. J. (1980). The planning of investment programs in the fertilizer industry. Johns Hopkins University Press.


Kendrick, D. A., Meeraus, A., & Alatorre, J. (1984). The planning of investment programs in the steel industry. Johns Hopkins University Press.


Brooke, A., Kendrick, D., Meeraus, A., & Rosenthal, R. E. (1988). GAMS, A User’s Guide. Scientific Press. 


Brooke A., Kendrick D., & Meeraus A. (1992). GAMS: A User’s Guide, Release 2.25. The Scientific Press, Boyd and Fraser Publishing Company.


Bussieck, M. R., Drud, A.S., & Meeraus, A. (2003). MINLPLib–A Collection of Test Models for Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Programming. Informs Journal of Computing, 15(1), 114-119.


Bussieck, M. R. & Meeraus A. (2004). General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS). In Kallrath, J. (Ed.), Modeling Languages in Mathematical Optimization (pp. 137-157). Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Bussieck, M. R.,  Dirkse S., Meeraus, A., & Pruessner, A. (2005). Software Quality Assurance for Mathematical Modeling Systems. In B. Golden, S. Raghavan, & E. Wasil (Eds.,) The Next Wave in Computing, Optimization, and Decision Technologies. (pp. 267-284). Springer.


Bussieck, M. R. & Meeraus A. (2007). Algebraic modeling for IP and MIP (GAMS). Annals of Operations Research, 149(1), 49-56.