John A. White, Jr.
John A. White, Jr.
John A. White, Jr., is a 1962 industrial engineering graduate
of the U of A.
After a brief period of employment at Tennessee Eastman Company, he embarked on an academic career as a tenure-track instructor at Virginia Tech, from which he received his MSIE degree in 1966. From 1963-1966, he taught full time at Virginia Tech. For the next 3.5 years, he taught at Ohio State University while pursuing his doctorate. After completing his PhD in 1969, he returned to Virginia Tech’s faculty, where he remained until 1974, at which time he joined the Georgia Tech faculty. He remained on the Georgia Tech faculty until 1997, when he returned to his undergraduate alma mater to be its chancellor. White stepped down from the chancellor position in 2018 and served as a distinguished professor in the UA industrial engineering department until May 2019, when he retired. He continues to teach an online advanced engineering economics course for the University of Arkansas. Except for a three-year period (1988-1991) when he was “on loan” by Georgia Tech to the National Science Foundation to lead the Engineering Directorate, White has taught 56.5 years and more than 4,000 engineering students.
In addition to holding three degrees, he is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the Katholieke Universitiet of Leuven in Belgium and George Washington University. White is co-author of six textbooks, a handbook editor, and author of many papers. He is currently working on a book to be published.
White is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and served on the National Science Board. In addition, he served as president, director or chairman of many groups and societies. Plus he was a Fellow of ASEE, INFORMS and IIE. White is included in numerous Who’s Who listings, and ranker.com ranks him the seventh “most famous” industrial engineer.
White has earned many awards for teaching, research, excellence, publications, administration and more. He has been honored by being named a Distinguished Alumnus at Virginia Tech, Ohio State and the University of Arkansas. White served as a member of the Board of Directors for companies like J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., Motorola, Inc., and CAPS Logistics, Inc. His industrial and consulting experience included employment with Eastman Chemical Company, Ethyl Corporation and Rockwell, Inc. He served as a consultant to AT&T, Briggs & Stratton, Coca-Cola, Texas Instruments, U.S. Navy and Xerox, among others. He founded a logistics consulting firm, SysteCon, Inc., and served as its chairman until its acquisition by Coopers & Lybrand.