Phillip Bond, an Operation Research Analyst at White Sands Missile Range has accepted a two-year assignment at the U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point, where he will be teaching courses in Systems Engineering and Operations Research. He will begin teaching in mid to late June of 2017.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My wife and I live in Las Cruces, and have been here for a little over 10 years. We moved here from Detroit where we both used to work for the auto industry. I am also a retired Army officer. I volunteered for a tour in Iraq in 2005 and when I returned my wife and I both decided we wanted to do more than just make cars, so we quit our jobs and moved here.
What will you be doing at West Point?
It is a two-year assignment and I will be teaching courses in Systems Engineering and Operations Research. I’ll also be advising a cadet-led capstone team project in support of the Army analytical community. Those are the specified tasks but I think the implied tasks include providing insight to the cadets on exactly how the Army and the civilian world, for that matter, applies process-driven methodologies to manage complexity and improve results.
How did you hear about the opportunity?
This was one of those professional development announcements that come out from time to time.
Mariette Mealor, Alex Fierro and all the folks in the G1/7/8 shop really work hard to ensure the broadest possible dissemination and give everyone an opportunity to help people shape and enhance their careers. I simply replied to the announcement and provided the requested documentation on time. A utilization tour in Operations Research was something that my supervisor and I had discussed as a long-term, professional development goal on my Individual Development Plan and if the opportunity arose I would apply for it, so I did.
What do you hope to instill in the students?
Well, these young men and women are learning to become the agents that will help provide for the common defense.
But it is my view that we, and by that I mean all of us, who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, must now more than ever also be faithful stewards of the nation’s treasure.
I would like to convey my view that nearly everything can be improved, but finite resources demand systemic thinking to generate objective priorities. I believe in the future, every investment we make will mean we choose not to invest in something else.
There are tools available to facilitate developing priorities, but the tools themselves are of little utility without the conviction that eliminating waste is itself a force multiplier.
What do you hope to gain as a visiting professor?
A couple of years ago I worked closely with some professors from New Mexico State University and they would often talk about their classes and their students in a way that made it clear that they loved their work.
I think I’d like to experience that.
How do you feel this position will benefit your current position at WSMR?
The Engineering Department at West Point has some awesome capabilities. I hope to leverage that when I return to help improve WSMR capabilities.