Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Relevance of Operations Management Research and the POMS Conference in Orlando with Isenberg School Supernetwork Scholars

Recently, Distinguished University Professor Chris Tang, from the UCLA Graduate School of Management shared with us through INFORMS Connect a very provocative article that he had written as Editor of the MSOM journal. The article, Making OM Research More Relevant: "Why?" and "How?" struck a chord with many readers. Interestingly, it was forwarded shortly before the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) conference, which just ended in Orlando, Florida. At this conference, the Supernetwork Center at the Isenberg School of Management had a nice presence. I was there only virtually, since I am now a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University in England and arrived here just 10 days ago. Below is a photo of several of the Supernetwork Center Associates at the POMS conference - I love the backdrop of the palm trees.

All the above: Professors Tina Wakolbinger, Amir H. Masoumi, Fuminori Toyasaki, and Min Yu, were my doctoral students in Management Science at the Isenberg School of Management and are very successful academics.  My doctoral student Shivani Shukla, also a Supernetwork Center Associate, was selected to take part in the POMS colloquium, a day long affair on Saturday, and sent the photo below. She is Isenberg's most recent Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award recipient and is with Tulay Varol Flammand, who received the Doctoral Student Researcher Award from the Isenberg School.
Chris Tang, I might also add, is the Editor of the new Springer Supply Chain Management series, in which my book with Dong "Michelle" Li, Competing on Supply Chain Quality: A Network Economics Perspective, is now in press in. Tang emphasized in his article that we should engage more with practitioners and even noted the importance  of blogging (I concur!).  If one looks at just the presentations of the Supernetwork Center Associates, I can attest to relevance. For example, Professor Masoumi, with whom I have written several papers on blood supply chains, and there were multiple on-site discussions and interviews with the Red Cross for this work, as well as followups, spoke at the POMS conference on: The Impact of Recent Demand Trends on Blood Bank Operations.
I have also hosted several speakers from the Red Cross in the Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class that I teach, including Mr. Jeff Meyer, who is responsible for the Red Cross blood supply chains in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Professor Wakolbinger, who organized the session in which Amir spoke, had the following paper at the POMS conference: Outsourcing Humanitarian Logistics Activities to Commercial Logistics Providers.
Also, her doctoral student, Christian Burkart, who was in the Humanitarian Logistics class that I taught at the Vienna University of Economics and Business a few years ago, and is now Professor Wakolbinger's doctoral student (nice to see the academic family growing), delivered the paper: Beneficiaries' Choice in Disaster Relief Logistics.
And to demonstrate the scope of relevance of research in Operations Management, Shivani Shukla's presentation was on cybersecurity and it can be downloaded here. Our research in cybersecurity has also been supported by grants from the Advanced Cyber Security Center and we organized in September 2014 a marvellous conference at the Sloan School at MIT that brought practitioners and academics together on this important topic.

Professor Min Yu forwarded the nice photos above to me and although she missed the deadline for paper presentations, her paper with me: Competitive Food Supply Chain Networks with Application to Fresh Produce, Min Yu and Anna Nagurney, European Journal of Operational Research 224(2): (2013) pp 273-282, was selected by the Editors of one of my favourite journals, the European Journal of Operational Research, as one of the most impactful papers published in the journal in recent years and I will have the honor of presenting it and some related work at the EURO conference in Poznan, Poland in July. My presentation will be delivered with another paper at a special panel of EJOR editors at this conference. Hence, research in Operations Management and, of course, Operations Research, in general, are tackling very practical and relevant problems whether it is in terms of blood supply chains, disaster relief, food supply chains, or cybersecurity, and more!