OR Faculty

Professional History
Thesis Supervision

jkschmid <at> nps.edu

Mail Code: OR
Operations Research Dept
Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences
Naval Postgraduate School
Monterey, CA 93943


Captain John K. Schmidt, Ph.D. MSC USN
Associate Professor of Operations Research

Captain Schmidt was born at FT Huachuca, AZ and raised in northern New Jersey. He graduated from Washington and Lee University and received a commission through Army ROTC. After receiving an educational delay, he accepted a fellowship at the University of Houston in the Psychology Department. During graduate school he also joined the reserves and supported field medical training exercises. Upon completing a doctorate in psychology he entered active duty at the US Army Academy of Health Sciences, Fort Sam Houston, TX and after training reported to his first duty station at the US Army Human Engineering Lab, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD to support aviation research and development. During this tour Captain Schmidt was temporarily assigned to the US Army School of Aviation Medicine Fort Rucker, AL for training and was the first Army Research Psychologist awarded the Flight Surgeon Badge. He returned to complete his initial acquisition tour, and subsequently made an inter-service transfer to the US Navy.

Upon receiving a Navy commission, Captain Schmidt was assigned to the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute at NAS Pensacola, FL for training and upon completion of training designated Naval Aerospace Experimental Psychologist #93. His first Navy tour was at the Naval Air Development Center, Warminster, PA where he served as a project officer supporting anti-submarine warfare system development. After promotion, he worked as a branch head at the newly formed Naval Air Warfare Center overseeing human factors technology development. Captain Schmidt then attended the School of Aviation Safety, Monterey, CA en route to his next tour at the Naval Safety Center, NAS Norfolk, VA where he led human factors efforts to address emerging Fleet safety issues. He then joined the Naval Postgraduate School staff and held a joint appointment in both Aviation Safety and Operation Research teaching human factors related courses and participating in masters thesis work. He received the Superintendant’s Outstanding Instruction Award for receiving high student evaluations and chairing/co-chairing over 20 theses. 

At the Naval Safety Center’s request, Captain Schmidt joined the Admiral’s staff to continue his aviation safety efforts and transition them to afloat and ashore applications. He was detailed to support the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, and prior to his departure, chosen by the Surgeon General to be the 16th Specialty Leader for Naval Aerospace Experimental Psychology. Captain Schmidt then reported to the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute as a department head and led redesigning Naval Aviation’s selection system which resulted in markedly reduced administration costs and training attrition. He then filled a key Naval Operational Medicine Institute vacancy as a director for operations and training. Captain Schmidt then joined Naval Air Systems Command as the Military Director for Human Systems where he led over 800 research and engineering staff at three CONUS sites supporting acquisition of crew station, warfighter protection, and training & simulation systems for the Naval Aviation Enterprise. During this tour he facilitated standing up a local Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD Naval Postgraduate School satellite campus for the Master of Science in Systems Engineering program, taught human systems as an adjunct faculty member, and co-chaired the first Capstone Project.

Captain Schmidt has now rejoined the Naval Postgraduate School faculty where he will be teaching in the Operations Research Department as part of its Master of Science in Human Systems Integration program and will also be the Chair of the Naval Postgraduate School Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects in research.