John A. White, Jr.

December 5, 1939

Brief Biography

Born in Portland, near the southern border of Arkansas, John A. White Jr. graduated from high school in Harrison, near the northern border of the state. He is a former President of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and long-time university administrator who has received a number of engineering education, research, and publication accolades. White studied industrial engineering at the University of Arkansas prior to pursuing graduate work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the Ohio State University. He received a PhD from the latter in 1969.

White taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology as Professor of Industrial Engineering from 1975 to 1991. That September, he was named Dean of the College of Engineering, holding that position for nearly six years. White left his position as dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering to become chancellor at the University of Arkansas in 1997.

In his numerous textbooks, White has touched upon a wide array of industrial engineering and operations research topics. Principles of Engineering Economic Analysis (1977), currently in its sixth edition, teaches engineers to properly and methodically evaluate their work on an economic basis. His most recent book, Fundamentals of Engineering Economic Analysis (2013), provides streamlined topical coverage of the topic with a more modern presentation. The text, co-authored with Kellie Grasman, Kenneth Case, Kim Needy, and David Pratt, features real-world vignettes to reinforce how engineering students can use economics in their future careers. White has also published books on queueing systems and facilities planning.

As Arkansas chancellor, White worked on shifting the university’s academic focus towards research and knowledge-based careers that could help the state thrive in the global economy. White’s “Campaign for the Twenty-First Century” funded the creation of one hundred and thirty-two faculty positions and more than seventeen hundred scholarships and fellowships. In 2012, the engineering building at Arkansas was renamed the “John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall” in honor of his contributions to the university and the state.

White served as President of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) from 1983 to 1984. He is the recipient of numerous honors from that organization including the IIE/Joint Publishers Book-of-the-Year Award, IIE Outstanding Publication Award, Dr. David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, and Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award. The year after his presidency, he was elected an IIE Fellow. White is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an inaugural Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

White left the chancellor’s office in 2008 but has remained at the university as a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering. 

Other Biographies

Wikipedia Entry for John A. White


University of Arkansas, BSIE 1962

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, MSIE 1966

Ohio State University, PhD 1969


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • Eastman Chemical
  • Ethyl Corporation 
  • National Science Foundation
  • Rockwell Automation
  • SysteCon, Inc.

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

Institute of Industrial Engineers Fellow 1985

IIE/Joint Publishers Book-of-the-Year Award 1986

National Academy of Engineering 1987

Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award 1988

IIE Outstanding Publication Award 1988

Dr. David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award 1990

Frank and Lilian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award 1994

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2002

Professional Service

Institute of Industrial Engineers, President 1983-1984 

Selected Publications

Eyster J. W., White J. A., & Wierwille W. W. (1973) On solving multifacility location problems using a hyperboloid approximation procedure. AIIE Transactions, 5(1): 1-6.

Bennett G. K., Schmidt J. W., White J. A. (1975) Analysis of Queueing Systems. Academic Press: New York.

Agee M. H., Case K. E., & White J. A. (1977) Principles of Engineering Economic Analysis. John Wiley & Sons: New York.

Francis R. L., McGinnis L. F., & White J. A. (1983) Locational analysis. European Journal of Operational Research, 12(3): 220-252.

Bozer Y. A. & White J. A. (1984) Travel-time models for automated storage/retrieval systems. IIE Transactions, 16(4), 329-338.

Han M. H., McGinnis L. F., Shieh J. S., & White J. A. (1987) On sequencing retrievals in an automated storage/retrieval system. IIE Transactions, 19(1): 56-66.

Bozer Y. A. & White J. A. (1990) Design and performance models for end-of-aisle order picking systems. Management Science, 36(7): 852-866

Francis R. L., McGinnis L. F., & White J. A. (1992) Facility Layout and Location: An Analytical Approach. Pearson College Division: New York.

Bozer Y. A., Tanchoco J. M. A., Tompkins J. A., & White J. A. (2010) Facilities Planning. John Wiley & Sons: New York. 

White J. A., Grasman K. S., Case K. E., Needy K. S., & Pratt D. B. (2013) Fundamentals of Engineering Economic Analysis. Wiley & Sons: New York. 

Additional Resources

University of Arkansas College of Engineering. Industrial Engineering Staff Current News: Former Chancellor, Dr. John A. White Recognized at Building Dedication. Published October 17, 2013. Accessed July 22, 2015. (link