UMSL business scholar honored for career focusing on military research

Keith Womer, professor of logistics and operations management at UMSL, was awarded the J. Steinhardt Prize, a prestigious honor encompasses over 40 years of research on military acquisition problems. (Photos by August Jennewein)

Keith Womer, professor of logistics and operations management at UMSL, was awarded the J. Steinhardt Prize, a prestigious honor that encompasses more than 40 years of research on military acquisition problems. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Keith Womer has dedicated his professional life to researching and consulting on military operations. That devotion is now receiving accolades from some of the elite within his field.

Womer, professor of logistics and operations management at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, recently received the J. Steinhardt Prize.

“The past winners of the Steinhardt Prize are giants in the field of military operations research,” Womer says. “I am humbled to be included in this group.”

The honor encompasses more than 40 years of Womer’s research on military acquisition problems. That work includes numerous projects and papers, one of which focused on examining OptForce, a new human resource optimization method for the Office of Naval Research. Another used Bayesian updating and approximate dynamic programming to analyze earned value data on a defense program.

Womer also has made dozens of summer site research visits to RAND, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MITRE, Institute for Defense Analysis, the Office of Secretary of Defense, Naval Personnel Research and Science and Technology Office. In addition, he has served as president of the Military Applications Society, as well as numerous other positions throughout the society.

The J. Steinhardt Prize is sponsored by the CNA Corporation and awarded through INFORMS, the largest professional society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research and the management sciences. The prize is awarded for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to military operations research and is accompanied by a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium.

Womer joined the College of Business Administration at UMSL as the college’s dean in August 2004. Prior to that, he served as a director of the Hearin Center for Enterprise Science and professor of operations management at The University of Mississippi in Oxford.

He is an expert in statistical cost estimation, production planning and techniques of cost-effectiveness analyses.

Womer stepped down as dean in July 2013, returning to his faculty position and focusing on his research.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Miami University and a doctoral degree in economics from The Pennsylvania State University.

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