HomeNews & MediaFeatured StoriesAPL’s Jack Keane Receives Top Award from the Military Operations Research Society 

July 8, 2014

APL’s Jack Keane Receives Top Award from the Military Operations Research Society


Jack Keane receives the Vance Wanner Memorial Award
Jack Keane (center) receives the Vance Wanner Memorial Award
from MORS president Steve Riese (left) and Awards Committee Chair
H. J. “Touggy” Orgeron.
Credit: Military Operations Research Society

Jack Keane, supervisor of the Force Projection Sector’s Precision Engagement Systems Branch at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), recently received the Military Operations Research Society’s (MORS’s) prestigious Vance Wanner Memorial Award.

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, MORS is a nonprofit professional society—governed by volunteers—that fosters the sharing of knowledge within the national security analysis community through regular meetings and an annual symposium with both unclassified and classified forums for member presentations. MORS members include analysts, operators, and managers from industry, academia, and government.

The award—the Society’s highest honor—is given each year to a research professional who has enhanced military operations research, consistently dedicated service to the profession, excelled as a leader in the field, and extended his or her knowledge to others in the profession.

A retired naval officer, Keane was introduced to MORS in 1991 when he was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School’s master’s program in operations research. That program changed the course of his career, eventually leading him not only to a long-time affiliation with MORS but also to APL.

The military operations research community is tight, Keane explained. Besides offering tremendous opportunities for knowledge sharing, continuing education, and leadership, MORS also provides a close network. In fact, it was meeting fellow MORS member Alan Zimm that led Keane to the Laboratory. (Zimm, a retired Navy Commander who had joined APL in 1993, recruited Keane to APL.)

Dozens of APL staff members belong to the Society today, including past presidents Ted Smyth, Trena Lilly, and Steve Riese.

Keane himself is a past president of the Society, as well as a MORS Fellow—an honor he received in 2010. He said he was “speechless” when he heard he was to receive the Wanner award.

“The first two recipients of this award, [Philip Morse and Bernard Koopman], were the fathers of American military operations research, who were instrumental helping the U.S. overcome U-boat threats in World War II—and who really brought operations research to the forefront.” Keane said. “To be in that company is incredibly moving.”

MORS Fellow and past president Kirk Michealson said that one of Keane’s greatest accomplishments was starting the MORS Communities of Practice while he was serving as president—providing members with an opportunity for year-round information exchange in between the Society’s larger meetings and events.

“Jack may say he’s not worthy of receiving the Wanner Award, but that’s just Jack, and it’s the farthest from the truth,” he said.

“MORS is a better professional Society for having Jack as a member and leader,” agreed Roy Rice, Chief Engineer at Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville, Alabama, who is the 2006 recipient of the Wanner award, a MORS Fellow, and also a MORS past president. “Jack has provided skilled application of the tools of our profession at the tactical level, as well as leadership at the strategic level. His insights, guidance, and advice are sought by members and Society leadership alike.”

Keane’s award was announced at the MORS symposium in Alexandria on June 17. An official write-up lauded Keane’s many contributions to the field of operations research, calling him a leader, mentor, and innovator.

APL staff members were quick to congratulate Keane.

“Jack has been an active member of the military operations research community and MORS for many years, and this is well deserved recognition of his contributions to and leadership within that community,” said Erik Johnson, Force Projection Sector Managing Executive. “He is now in august company with some pretty impressive past winners of this award.”

More info on the Wanner award and its past winners is available at http://www.mors.org/recognize_excellence/vance_r_wanner_memorial_award.aspx.

Media contact: Geoff Brown, 240-228-5618, Geoffrey.Brown@jhuapl.edu