Professor Tava Maryanne Lennon Olsen

PhD, Operations Research, Stanford University, 1994


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

                          Deputy Dean Faculty of Business and Economics (July 2020 - present)

                          Hired as Ports of Auckland Chair of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Professorial chair)

                          Head of Department Information Systems and Operations Management (July 2017 - June 2020)

                          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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • 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