Associate Professor and Capstone Director, Dept. of Systems Engineering at United States Military Academy
Dr. Burk serves as an associate professor in the Department of Systems Engineering at United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. He directs the department’s capstone research program for senior cadets, advises capstone teams, and teaches classes in mathematical modeling, decision analysis, and systems engineering. His research interests include multiattribute decision analysis and military applications of satellites and unmanned aircraft. He has taught at the college level for 21 years, 19 of them at USMA.
Dr. Burk has published research papers in Industrial and Systems Engineering Review, Interfaces, Military Operations Research, and the journals of Algorithms, Directed Energy, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, Spacecraft and Rockets, and Guidance, Dynamics, and Control. He is an advisory member of the Board of Directors of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS).
Dr. Burk is a retired Air Force space operations officer. His assignments included Spacecraft Operations Director, Air Force Satellite Control Facility, Onizuka AFB, CA; Space Program Analyst, Air Force Plant Representative Office, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Sunnyvale, CA; Chief, Requirements Analysis Branch, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office, Los Angeles AFB, CA; and Director, Graduate Space Operations Program, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. After military retirement, Dr. Burk worked in industry for five years for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and for The Aerospace Corporation before coming to West Point. He has also taught as an Adjunct Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech and as a Visiting Associate Professor at Princeton University.
Dr. Burk has received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (Center for Army Analysis, 2014; USMA, 2009 and 2010), the John K. Walker award (MORS, 2007), the Commander’s Award for Public Service (USMA, 2005), the Superior Civilian Service Award (USMA, 2003), the General Bernard Schriever Award (AFIT, 1995), the Louis F. Polk Award (AFIT, 1985), and Mervin E. Gross Award (AFIT, 1985).
Dr. Burk earned a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, an M.S. in Space Operations from AFIT, and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Track: Analytics in the Public Sector
Tuesday, April 16, 10:30–11:20am
Using Multiattribute Decision Analysis for Public-Sector Decisions
Since businesses exist to make money, the primary decision criterion for business decisions usually comes down to money (or occasionally proxies for future streams of money, such as market share). In the public sector this is not the case. There are typically many stakeholders with many diverse and divergent values that have to be taken into account. The techniques of multiattribute decision analysis (MADA) may not be able to make this problem actually easy, but they can help avoid certain common pitfalls. MADA can help define the value differences so they can be understood and dealt with explicitly, identifying the necessary tradeoffs. This talk will lay out a technically sound and easy-to-apply approach for multiattribute problems, based on an additive value model. The emphasis will be on sound and practical methods that understandable by clients without special training in analytics or operations research, and on clear methods of presentation of results. Several common technical errors, some of them surprisingly popular, will be pointed out. Other issues addressed will include cost issues, uncertainty, portfolio decisions, and sensitivity analysis