Team of Experts

Randy Jones, MSU ISER Director

Mr. Randy Jones is the Mississippi State University (MSU) Director of the Institute for Systems Engineering Research at the Engineer Research and Development Center's (ERDC) campus in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Before working for MSU, he worked in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory in the field of vehicle mobility systems research where he developed comprehensive R&D products at the applied level to advance the knowledge of vehicle mobility performance for mission analysis and systems engineering processes used for vehicle design and acquisition. He also served as the Chief of the Mobility Systems Branch for five years leading a moderate-sized workforce comprised of multidisciplinary researchers holding degrees in a range of engineering and science curriculum. Mr. Jones earned a bachelor's degree from MSU in Civil Engineering and a master's degree from the University of Iowa in Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Jones is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers, and the National Defense Industry Association. His research interests include physics based high fidelity computational modeling, physical testing, validation and verification, requirements development and mission context evaluation.

Larry G. Dalton, ISER Analyst

ISER Research

  • Manufacturability

Work Experience

  • First director of the MSU Six Sigma Certificate Program
  • Engineering and business career spans more than two decades: Strategic Sourcing Manager, Industrial Engineering Manager, Materials Manager, Director of QA & Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor, Advanced Manufacturing Engineer and Industrial Engineer


  • Master of Business Administration - Mississippi College
  • Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, Mississippi State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, Mississippi State University

Professional Affiliation(s)

  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • American Society for Quality (ASQ)
  • Meeting Coordinator

J.R. Burt

Work Experience

  • Graduate Assistant, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) - University of Mississippi (UMS)
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant University of Montevallo (UM), Alabama


  • Master of Science in Mathematics - University of Mississippi (UMS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics - University of Montevallo (UM), Alabama

Professional Affiliation(s)

  • Executive Board & Founding Member, American Mathematical Society Graduate Student Chapter (UMS)

Mary Thomas, ISER Business Administrator


  • Admin Support to ERDC MSU Employees

Work Experience

  • Six Years Support of MSU Extension programs


  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • MSU Admin System
  • MSU-ES Warren County Extension Office
  • Jackson Commercial College

Professional Affiliation(s)

  • The Extension Research & Support Staff Association
  • Southwest Region MSU-ES Office Associates
  • Certified Associate Business Manager
  • Co-Founder, Vicksburg Association of Marketing Professionals
  • MSU-ES Warren County Master Gardeners