Clarkson University Professor Elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

December 15, 2023

John Milne, Neil '64 and Karen Bonke Associate Professor in Engineering Management in Clarkson University’s David D. Reh School of Business has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Academy announced Tuesday. Election as an Academy Fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.

Headshot, John Milne

Milne is an expert in supply chain optimization planning and scheduling methods and is the inventor or co-inventor of more than 40 U.S. patents, predominantly focused on software methods for optimizing supply chain planning and scheduling. His patented innovations led to IBM reducing inventory by $80 million in 1999 alone while improving customer service.

Another set of patented work and business process changes led to the IBM Microelectronics Division asserting in 2005 that on-time deliveries had increased by 15%, asset utilization had increased by two to four percent of costs, and inventory had been reduced by 25 to 30%. At IBM, Milne was named a Master Inventor and co-chair of an Invention Review Board.

“After inventing at IBM, it’s been my pleasure to work with Clarkson Engineering & Management students,” Milne said. “Students develop their own patentable inventions using the same approaches that worked well for me at IBM. They also learn intellectual property law concepts that all inventors should know.”

More than 250 of Milne’s Clarkson University students have filed over 100 U.S. patent applications.

Milne is one of 162 new fellows announced Tuesday by the NAI. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), the world’s largest society for analytics professionals.

Since its inception in 2012, the NAI Fellows program has grown to include 1,898 exceptional researchers and innovators, who hold over 63,000 U.S. patents and 13,000 licensed technologies. NAI Fellows are known for the societal and economic impact of their inventions, contributing to major advancements in science and consumer technologies. Their innovations have generated over $3 trillion in revenue and generated 1 million jobs.  

Clarkson University is a proven leader in technological education, research, innovation and sustainable economic development. With its main campus in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley, Clarkson faculty have a direct impact on more than 7,800 students annually through nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate STEM designated degrees in engineering, business, science and health professions; executive education, industry-relevant credentials and K-12 STEM programs. Alumni earn salaries among the top 2% in the nation: one in five already leads in the c-suite. To learn more go to
Photograph for media use is available at: