Professor Tava Maryanne Lennon Olsen

PhD, Operations Research, Stanford University, 1994


7/10 - present     The University of Auckland, Business School 

                           Ports of Auckland Chair of Logistics and Supply Chain Management

                           Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management

                           Academic Director: NZ Centre for Supply Chain Management

1/01 – 6/10         Washington University in St Louis, Olin Business School 

                           Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management

                           Faculty Development Chair 9/2008 – 6/2010

                           Associate Professor 1/2001 – 6/2008

7/00 - 12/00        The University of Auckland, Engineering Science Department 

                           Visiting Lecturer.

8/94 - 8/01          University of Michigan, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering 

                           Assistant Professor. On leave: 9/00 - 8/01.

9/90 - 7/94          Stanford University, Department of Operations Research

                           Research and Teaching Assistant.

9/90 - 7/94          Stanford University - PhD in Operations Research.

                           Dissertation title: Response-Time Approximations for Multi-Server Polling Models, with 

                           Manufacturing Applications.   

                           Dissertation Advisors: Professor Peter W. Glynn and Professor J Michael Harrison

9/90 - 6/92          Stanford University - MS in Statistics. 

2/86 - 11/89        The University of Auckland - BSc (Honours) Mathematics

Research | Current

  • Supply chain management, pricing, and inventory control
  • Stochastic models of production, service, and health systems
  • Stochastic games, stochastic control

Teaching | Current

Courses Taught at Auckland Business School:

OPSMGT 255 (Introduction to Operations and Supply Chain Management)

OPSMGT 752 (Research Methods – Modelling)

BUSADMIN 766 (Supply Chain Management) – Fletcher Building course

BUSADMIN 776 (Operations and Supply Chain Management)

Courses Taught at Olin Business School:

OMM 573 (Operations Management in the Service Industry – MBA elective)

MGT 727 (Project Management – EMBA core)

MGT 5310 (Critical Thinking for Leaders – MBA core, co-taught)

MGT 550F (Critical Thinking Processes and Modeling – MBA elective, co-taught)

MGT 322/550I (Healthcare Management – BSBA/MBA elective, co-taught)

OMM 653 (Stochastic Models for Production and Service Systems – PhD course)

OMM 5701/5702/5704 (PMBA Operations Core)

FIN 538 (Stochastic Foundations for Finance – Masters in Finance core)

OMM 5705 (Quantitative Decision Making – PMBA Core)

MGT 500M/523 (Decision Analysis & Modeling – MBA elective)

OMM 780 (Advanced Topics in Ops. & Mfg. Management – EMBA elective)

OMM 356 (Operations and Manufacturing Management – undergraduate core)

Courses Taught at the University of Michigan:

IOE 315 (Stochastic Industrial Processes)

IOE 316 (Introduction to Markov Processes)

IOE 474 (Simulation)

IOE 515 (Stochastic Processes)

IOE 591/615 (Advanced Stochastic Processes)

IOE 899 (Department Seminar)

Postgraduate supervision

  • Diep Ly (in progress)
  • Mahsa Boroushaki (in progress)
  • Rona Luo (in progress)
  • Mojtaba Mahdavi (in progress)
  • Xiaoyan (Miya) Qian, "Modelling contracts and incentives in agricultural cooperatives with an emphasis on quality and financial decisions"
  • Quan (Spring) Zhou, "Managing the Medical Reserve for Emergency Response" 
  • Samsul Islam, "Transport Capacity Improvement in and around Ports: A Perspective on the Empty-container-truck Trips Problem" (2016)
  • Haiyan Wang, “Essays on Service Capacity Management with Time and Value Sensitive Customers” (2009)
  • Eric Huggins, “Supply Chain Management with Overtime and Premium Freight,” (2002).
  • Wei-Min Lan, “Dynamic Scheduling of Multi-Product Systems: Bounds and Heuristics,” (2000)
  • Michael Fry, “Collaborative and Cooperative Agreements in the Supply Chain,” (2001) (Co-chair with Professor Roman Kapuscinski).
  • Sung-Yong Son, “Design Principles and Methodologies for Reconfigurable Machining Systems,” (2000) (Co-chair with Dr Derek Yip-Hoi)
  • Scott Grasman, “Production Strategies for Random Yield Processes,” (2000) (Co-chair with Prof. John Birge)


  • University of Auckland Business School Sustained Research Excellence Award (2012)
  • NSF CAREER Award, 1999-2004
  • Tauber Manufacturing Institute Faculty Fellow, 1998-2001
  • Manufacturing and Service Operations Society Meritorious Service Award, 2010
  • Manufacturing & Service Operations Journal Meritorious Service Award, 2009, 2011, 2012
  • Operations Research Meritorious Service Award, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010
  • IOE Department Teaching Excellence Award, 1996, 1997
  • Finalist, Nicholson Student Paper competition, 1995
  • Chosen to attend the 1993 ORSA Doctoral Colloquium
  • Thomas W Ford Fellowship from Stanford University, 1993
  • Senior Scholarship in Applied Mathematics, Univ. of Auckland, 1989
  • University Scholarship, 1985
  • Sigma Xi, Alpha Pi Mu


  • Ports of Auckland Chair of Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Academic Director: NZ Centre for Supply Chain Management

Areas of expertise

  • Supply chain management, pricing, and inventory control
  • Stochastic models of production, service, and health systems
  • Analysis and control of queueing systems with setup times (polling models)
  • Queueing theory, stochastic games, stochastic control, and applied probability

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Editorial Positions:

  • Area Editor, Operations Research (2018 to present)
  • Associate Editor, Management Science (1999-2005, 2009 to present)
  • Associate Editor, Operations Research (2003-2005, 2008-2017)
  • Associate Editor, M&SOM (2006 to present)
  • Senior Editor, Production and Operations Management (2004 to present)
  • Topical Editor for Supply Chain Management. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science (2008 to present)
  • Editorial Board Member, M&SOM (2003-2005)
  • Ad hoc reviewer for a variety of technical journals, including: Operations Research, Management Science, Queueing Systems, Mathematics of Operations Research, IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operational Research, Naval Research Logistics, and Operations Research Letters

Professional Activities:

  • Inventory Management Track co-chair, POMS Conference, Chicago, 2012
  • External advisor on University of Sydney Professorial search, 2011
  • Supply Chain Track co-chair, IFORS Conference, Melbourne, July, 2011
  • INFORMS ad hoc committee on Business Analytics, 2010-2011
  • President MSOM, 2008-2009
  • Olin Miniconference on “Customer-Oriented Operations Models”, 2007 – Co-organiser
  • INFORMS ad hoc committee on diversity, 2006-2007
  • Olin Miniconference on “Competition with Delays (Queueing Games)”, 2005 – Organiser
  • MSOM VP for Meetings (2004-2005)
  • MSOM Conference Review Board (2006)
  • INFORMS 2005 Applied Probability Conference Program Committee (2004-2005)
  • INFORMS Membership and Member Services Committee (2000-2004)
  • INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group Paper Competition Judge (2004, 2006)
  • INFORMS Advisory Board for the Summer Workshop on Teaching MS (2003-2004)
  • INFORMS Nominating Committee (2001-2002)
  • MSOM Student Paper Competition Prize Committee (2001)
  • INFORMS Nicholson Prize Committee (2000-2001)
  • Dantzig Dissertation Award Committee (member: 2000-2001; chair: 2001-2002)
  • Chair of the Multi-Echelon Inventory Conference, Ann Arbor, 2000
  • INFORMS Section on Applied Probability Council Member (1997-1999)
  • INFORMS Section on Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM) Electronic Communications Initiative Committee Member (1997-1998)
  • Cluster Organiser (co-organiser with Rachel Zhang), MSOM Track, INFORMS Seattle 1998
  • Cluster Organiser, Applied Probability Track, INFORMS Cincinnati 1999
  • Member: INFORMS, MSOM, POMS, Alpha Pi Mu

Department, School, and University Committees at UoA:

  • UoA Business School GSE Strategy Working Group (2011)
  • UoA Business School Research Working Group (2010-2011)
  • ISOM PBRF advisor for OM group (2011 to present)
  • Advisor to the ISOM HOD on Continuation (2010, 2011)
  • ISOM ad hoc Teaching Review Committee (2011 to present)
  • ISOM Departmental Staff Advisory Committee (2010)
  • ISOM Recruitment and Selection Committee (2010)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Wang, H., Olsen, T. L., & Liu, G. (2018). Service capacity competition with peak arrivals and delay sensitive customers. Omega, 77, 80-95.
  • Behzadi, G., O'Sullivan MJ, Olsen, T. L., & Zhang, A. (2017). Agribusiness supply chain risk management: A review of quantitative decision models. Omega, 79, 21-42. 10.1016/
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Michael O'Sullivan
  • Zhou, Q. S., & Olsen, T. L. (2017). Inventory rotation of medical supplies for emergency response. European Journal of Operational Research, 257 (3), 810-821. 10.1016/j.ejor.2016.08.010
  • Mahdavi, M., & Olsen, T. L. (2017). Designing effective supply chains in strategic alignment with demand characteristics and market requirements. Foundations and Trends® in Technology, Information and Operations Management, 10 (2), 89-208. 10.1561/0200000049
  • Katok, E., Olsen, T., & Pavlov, V. (2014). Wholesale pricing under mild and privately known concerns for fairness. Production and Operations Management, 23 (2), 285-302. 10.1111/j.1937-5956.2012.01388.x
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Valery Pavlov
  • Islam, S., & Olsen, T. (2014). Truck-sharing challenges for hinterland trucking companies: A case of the empty container truck trips problem. Business Process Management Journal, 20 (2), 290-334. 10.1108/BPMJ-03-2013-0042
  • Olsen, T. L., & Parker, R. P. (2014). On Markov equilibria in dynamic Inventory competition. Operations Research, 62 (2), 332-344. 10.1287/opre.2013.1250
  • Islam, S., Olsen, T., & Daud Ahmed, M. (2013). Reengineering the seaport container truck hauling process: Reducing empty slot trips for transport capacity improvement. Business Process Management Journal, 19 (5), 752-782. 10.1108/BPMJ-Jun-2012-0059


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 429
New Zealand

Web links