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December 18, 1998
Purdue to bestow honorary degree on Pritsker
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A. Alan B. Pritsker, industrial engineer and co-founder of a pioneering specialized software firm based in West Lafayette, will receive an honorary doctor of engineering degree from Purdue University on Sunday (12/20).
He will be recognized during the first of two Purdue winter commencement ceremonies in Elliott Hall of Music on Purdue's West Lafayette campus.
"Purdue's honorary degree recipients have a long tradition of making outstanding contributions to their professions and communities, and Alan Pritsker is a wonderful reflection of those ideals. He is most deserving of the university's highest honor for his teaching excellence and entrepreneurial accomplishments," said Purdue President Steven C. Beering.
Pritsker's affiliation with Purdue's School of Industrial Engineering began when he joined the faculty in 1970. From 1981 until 1997 he held an adjunct professor appointment, and during the 1997-98 academic year he was a distinguished visiting professor.
In 1973, working with two industrial engineering graduate students, he founded Pritsker & Associates in West Lafayette, which today is internationally known for its development of simulation and scheduling software for use primarily in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. From 1989 to 1998, he served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Pritsker Corp. He now is a senior consultant with Symix Systems Inc. Pritsker Division. Symix acquired Pritsker Corp. earlier this year.
A native of Philadelphia, Pritsker earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1955 and a master's in industrial engineering in 1956, both from Columbia University. His doctorate, in operations research/industrial engineering, is from The Ohio State University. After receiving his doctorate in 1961, he joined the faculty of Arizona State University, then accepted an appointment at Virginia Tech before coming to Purdue. Arizona State bestowed on Pritsker an honorary doctor of science degree in 1992.
Pritsker has written 13 books on systems engineering, computer modeling and simulation, and nine chapters for handbooks on industrial engineering, production systems and scheduling of manufacturing operations. He also has consulted widely with such organizations as Boeing Information Services; UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing); General Electric Co.; General Motors Corp.; Motorola Inc.; and the U.S. Army.
He is active in the Institute for Industrial Engineers and received its highest honor, the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Award, in 1991. He also was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1985 and has held a range of committee and leadership positions within the academy. Pritsker has additionally served on several advisory committees and review panels, notably with the National Science Foundation, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Oklahoma State University.
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