by Nicole Capoziello
Published July 8, 2022
On Saturday, April 30, family, friends, and current and former members of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering came together to celebrate the professional accomplishments of Mark Karwan, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Teaching and Praxair Professor in Operations Research. He is retiring after a distinguished 46-year career at the University at Buffalo.
Karwan began his career at UB in 1976, after receiving his PhD from Georgia Tech. During his time at UB, he advised or co-advised 41 PhD students, as well as mentored many undergraduate and graduate students. His research on mathematical programming, including modeling and algorithmic development, has been applied in such diverse areas as sports scheduling, hazardous waste routing and military path planning. He is also regarded as an innovative and thoughtful leader, who served as chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering from 1987-1992, and dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 1994-2006.
“Mark Karwan is the epitome of engineering at UB,” said A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, University at Buffalo. “A distinguished faculty member, former chair and dean, and a mentor to many, including me, he has served with distinction. His collegiality, infectious humor and positive attitude was and will continue to be an asset to our University.”
Current ISE department chair and professor Victor Paquet organized the event, which concluded the department’s year-long celebration of the department’s 75th Anniversary. It included an hour-long seminar in which Karwan reflected on his career as a professor, researcher and leader, lunch and a reception, and testimonials and stories from in-person and virtual attendees.
“Professor Karwan played an instrumental role in shaping all aspects of my professional career -as a teacher, researcher, and mentor/advisor. Dealing with adversity in a calm, dignified manner and always treating people with respect are a couple of life lessons that I was fortunate enough to learn from him,” said Srinivas Prasad (PhD ISE ‘92), an associate professor of decision sciences at the George Washington University School of Business. “His legacy will be the way in which he exemplified these ideals, and the lasting impact he had on the lives of countless students over the decades.”