Ronald G. McGarvey: Featured Researcher

Senior Operations Researcher

Photo of Ronald G. McGarvey

When Ron McGarvey was studying for his doctorate in industrial engineering and operations research (OR) at Pennsylvania State University, he already knew he wanted to work at RAND.

"When you're talking about the history of OR in your course work, the RAND name keeps popping up—where these things were first developed, first tested," he said. "So in 2002, when I was ready to start my career, I didn't seriously consider any other position." McGarvey was hired into a RAND team led by senior management scientist Robert Tripp, a well-known figure in military logistics research.

McGarvey will mark his 10th anniversary at RAND this year, and his research for the Resource Management Program at RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) reveals a great deal of breadth. He has developed models, for example, to assist in evaluating options for integrating theater airlift assets into multimodal distribution and also to improve the maintenance network for fighter aircraft in the continental United States.

He also has examined different approaches for managing and allocating U.S. Air Force (USAF) war reserve materiel and for improving command and control for command support functions.

Several years ago, McGarvey served for two years as PAF's liaison at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. During its six decades of partnership with the USAF, and through its relationships with major air commands, PAF has established on-site positions at Air Force headquarters across the United States as well as in Europe and the Pacific. At Scott, one of McGarvey's projects studied ways that the Air Force could improve its use of commercial carriers for short-haul intratheater airlift.

McGarvey is now based in RAND's Pittsburgh office, and his recent research has examined strategies for reducing F-35 costs, enhancing the fuel efficiency of USAF mobility operations, and establishing global repair networks for the F-16, KC-135, and C-130.

"One of the best things about working at RAND is the team emphasis," Ron says, "Here we do our best to set personal egos aside and work for the good of the team and the good of the project."