John Matsumura

John Matsumura
Senior Engineer
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in engineering and public policy, Carnegie Mellon University; M.S. in engineering mechanics, Pennsylvania State University; B.S. in aerospace engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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John Matsumura is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation with over 30 years of experience leading research on innovation and technology. At RAND, Matsumura has served in key research management positions, including director of the Joint Warfare Simulation and Analysis Center and associate director for research for RAND's Pittsburgh Office. His current research involves force protection capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous robotic systems, renewable energy technologies, and advanced modeling and simulation (M&S) methods. He has taught courses for both RAND and CMU School of Engineeering on M&S in support of technology and policy decisions, coauthored several U.S. Department of Defense and Army reports, written numerous RAND monographs focusing on technology's impact on the status quo, and authored a book on advanced technologies' potential to make U.S. combat forces less vulnerable and more capable.

Matsumura has served on federal advisory boards, including the Defense Science Board task force on power projection, the Office of the Secretary of Defense task force on defense architecture, and the Army Science Board, where he chaired many panels and studies. For this service, Matsumura received the Commander's award for outstanding civilian service in 2011 and the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in 2021. In 2022 he served as a committee member for a National Academy of Science panel on artificial intelligence. Recently, the USPTO granted Matsumura a patent (#10,890,459) for his research in the area of improving energy efficiency for vehicles, and he has a continuation patent that was provisionally approved in 2023.  

Recent Projects

  • Assessing the manpower implications of autonomous robotic systems to Army force structure
  • Exploring renewable energy technologies for achieving net zero requirement
  • Assessing capabilities for anti-access and area-denial environments
  • Exploring the role of advanced technologies and new operational concepts to improve military capabilities and national security

Selected Publications

James Anderson and John Matsumura "Civilian Developments in Autonomous Vehicle Technology and Their Civilian and Military Policy Implications," in Andrew Williams and Paul Scharre, Autonomous Systems: Issues for Defence Policymakers, NATO, 2015

Daehner, Endy M., John Matsumura, Thomas J. Herbert, Jeremy Kurz, and Keith Walters, Integrating Operational Energy Implications into System-Level Combat Effects Modeling: Assessing the Combat Effectiveness and Fuel Use of ABCT 2020 and Current ABCT, RAND Corporation (RR-879-OSD), 2015

Matsumura, John, Randall Steeb, Blake Crowe, Nicholas Dienna, Yuna Huh Wong, Gary Quintero, and William Sollfrey, Survivability Options for Maneuver and Transport Aircraft: Analytic Support to the Army Science Board, RAND Corporation (MG-123-A), 2004

Matsumura, John, Randall Steeb, Thomas J. Herbert, John Gordon IV, Carl Rhodes, Russell W. Glenn, Michael Barbero, Frederick J. Gellert, Phyllis Kantar, Gail Halverson, Robert Cochran, and Paul S. Steinberg, Exploring Advanced Technologies for the Future Combat Systems Program, RAND Corporation (MR-1332-A), 2002

Matsumura, John, Randall Steeb, John Gordon IV, Thomas J. Herbert, Russell W. Glenn, and Paul S. Steinberg, Lightning Over Water: Sharpening America's Light Forces for Rapid-Reaction Missions — Executive Summary, RAND Corporation (MR-1196/1-A/OSD), 2001

John Matsumura and Randall Steeb, "Unmanned but Not Untethered: Robots on the Future Battlefield," RAND Review, 2006

Honors & Awards

  • Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, Department of the Army/DoD
  • Commander's Award/Medal, Deparment of the Army/DoD
  • Army Highlight Award *(twice), Deputy Undersecretary of the Army (Operations Research)

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Carnegie Science Center; Inside the Army/Pentagon; L'Expresso; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Popular Science