Pinar Keskinocak, the William W. George Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has been honored as the recipient of the 2021 Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS. This award is given by the Women in OR/MS (WORMS) Forum of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) to celebrate and recognize a person who has significantly contributed to the advancement and recognition of women in OR/MS.
“I am truly grateful and humbled for this huge honor,” said Keskinocak. “I am thankful to all my colleagues, students, friends, and family who have supported me and many others over the years, and it is the greatest gift for me to support others, even if only in a small way.”
Throughout her career, Keskinocak has been a leader in her field and has advocated for the advancement of women and minorities in engineering. She is an INFORMS Fellow, has served as president of INFORMS and the WORMS Forum, established the WORMS Award, and served as the co-founder and president of the INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group to help junior faculty develop their networks and grow professionally. During her term as INFORMS president, she helped further diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization. She also spearheaded the establishment of a DEI Ambassadors Program to create a culture of inclusivity for all members within the INFORMS community.
At Georgia Tech, Keskinocak is the co-founder and director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, and she has served as a College of Engineering (COE) ADVANCE Professor and interim associate dean for faculty development and scholarship. She has also made significant contributions to numerous programs at COE and the Institute, which include the Demystifying Tech Series, Adaptive Leadership Workshop, and Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program. In addition, she was instrumental in the establishment of the COE diversity and inclusion council, resume speed meeting workshops, and other initiatives focused on equity, diversity, and excellence.
Keskinocak has made a lasting impression on many of the people she has worked with.
“I don’t know how my career and life would have turned out had I not had the chance to meet and work with Dr. Keskinocak,” said one person in their nomination letter. “I do know how grateful I am I did have that chance. She is and always will be a role model for me in servant leadership, an extraordinary mentor, and an exceptional teacher.”
“I am just an example of all the lives and careers of women in OR/MS who Pinar has touched, as an advisor, as a professor, as a colleague, and as a leader and role model in OR/MS,” said another. “Pinar represents exactly what this award is about.”
Keskinocak’s research focuses on the applications of operations research and management science with societal impact, particularly health and humanitarian applications, supply chain management, and logistics/transportation. Her recent work has addressed infectious disease modeling — including significant work related to the Covid-19 pandemic — and evaluating intervention strategies and resource allocation; catch-up scheduling for vaccinations; hospital operations management; and disaster preparedness and response.