Michael Taaffe, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of associate professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2002, Taaffe’s scholarship focused on computational and approximate methods in stochastic operations research, simulation-experiment theory and methods, and computational statistics. He was the recipient of several grants, including those from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forestry Service.

Taaffe served as associate editor of Operations Research, Operations Research Letters, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Journal on Computing (stochastic modeling and analysis), INFORMS Journal on Computing (simulation analysis), Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Transactions on Simulation, IISE Transactions on Operations Engineering, and as editor of INFORMS Applied Probability Newsletter.

He also held leadership positions in these professional organizations, including president of the INFORMS Society of Simulation, president of the IISE Division of Operations Research, and a council member of the INFORMS Applied Probability Society. Taaffe was a manuscript reviewer for several journals, served on many professional conference organizing committees, and served on many National Science Foundation proposal review panels and international university review committees.

He extended his service to his profession and served as a member and chairperson of several award committees, including the chair of the INFORMS George B. Dantzig Best Dissertation Committee, chair of the George Nicholson Best Student Paper Prize Committee, chair of the IISE Pritsker Doctoral Dissertation Award, and as a member of the INFORMS Simulation Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the INFORMS Simulation Society Best Publication Award.

In the classroom, Taaffe taught both undergraduate and graduate courses, directed master’s degree and Ph.D. students, and was recognized for his teaching at Purdue University and at Virginia Tech, receiving the 2021 Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching of Introductory Engineering Subject and the 2022 Alpha Pi Mu Outstanding Teaching Award for Industrial Systems Engineering.

Taaffe received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Dominican College and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

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