Saif Benjaafar

Saif Benjaafar photo

Saif Benjaafar

Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Ph.D., Purdue University, School of Industrial Engineering, 1992
M.S., Purdue University, School of Industrial Engineering, 1989
B.S., University of Texas at Austin, Department of Electrical Engineering, 1987


Saif Benjaafar is an internationally renowned leader in the field of operations management and supply chains. He has published ground breaking research that investigates how complex and global supply chains should be designed and managed. His work on sustainable supply chains introduced innovative ideas for reducing the environmental footprint of supply chains. His recent work on collaborative consumption is among the first to layout the foundation for the economic and environmental analysis of the sharing economy.

Benjaafar is currently Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is Head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, a university-wide initiative. He is also Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Senior Faculty Scholar at the Center for Transportation Studies, and Fellow of the Institute on the Environment. He was the founding Head of Pillar (at the rank of Dean) for Engineering Systems and Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), a new university established in collaboration with MIT. He was also Founding Director of the Program in Industrial and Systems Engineering which he led through a transformation from a small graduate program into a full-fledged department.

He was a Distinguished Senior Visiting Scientist at Honeywell Laboratories and a Visiting Professor at universities in France, Belgium, Hong Kong, China and Singapore. He is the incoming Editor in Chief of the INFORMS journal Service Science.

His papers have been published in leading journals including Management ScienceOR, and MSOM. His research has been funded by NSF, DOT, DHS, and DARPA in the US and by NRF and MOE in Singapore.  His research work and teaching have been recognized by numerous awards, including the Harold Kuhn Award, the INFORMS Distinguished Service Award, the MSOM Best Paper Award, the George Taylor Distinguished Teaching Award, and the IIE Fellow Award, among others. He has consulted widely with leading companies and organizations such as Honeywell, General Mills, 3M, and the World Bank, among many others. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hourcar, a social car sharing startup and served on Technology Advisory Board of the Keppel Corporation. His work was featured by major news outlets in the US, Asia, and Europe.

Here is a link to an interview by INFORMS, a feature story by the University of Minnesota College of Engineering, a feature story by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research, a video produced by Singapore University of Technology and Design students, and a video of a keynote speech at the International Sharing Economy Forum.

More information can be found on Benjaafar's personal website.

Research Interests

Broad research interests in operations management, supply chains, and service systems. Current research focus is on sustainable operations and innovative business models, including sharing economy and on-demand services.  

Selected Publications

Benjaafar, S., H. Bernhard, C. Courcoubetis and M. Kanakis, “Drivers, Riders, and Service Providers: The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Mobility,” accepted for publication in Management Science, 2020.

Benjaafar, S., S. Wu, H. Liu and E. Gunnarson, "Dimensioning On-Demand Vehicle Systems," accepted for publication at Management Science, 2020.

Benjaafar, S. J. Ding, G. Guangwen and T. Taylor, "Labor Welfare in On-Demand Service Platforms," accepted for publication in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 2020.

Yu, Y., S. Benjaafar, and H. Liu, “Price-Directed Cost Sharing and Demand Allocation among Service Providers with Multiple Demand Sources and Multiple Facilities,” accepted for publication in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 2020.

Benjaafar, S. and H. Ming, "Operations Management in the Age of the Sharing Economy What is Old and what is New," Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 22, 93-101, 2020 (Invited Paper for MSOM 20th Anniversary Special Issue).

Benjaafar, S., G. Kong and X. Li, "Peer-to-Peer Product Sharing: Implications for Ownership, Usage and Social Welfare in the Sharing Economy," Management Science, 65, 477-493, 2019 (Featured article and Top 10 most downloaded papers at Management Science; top 1% most downloaded paper at SSRN).

Benjaafar, S., W. Yu and D. Chen, “Managing Production-Inventory Systems with Scarce Resources,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 19, 216-229, 2017 (Winner of the INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment Best Student Paper Award).

Wang, Y., O. Jouini and S. Benjaafar, “Service Systems with Finite and Heterogeneous Customer Arrivals,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 16, 365-380, 2014 (Winner of the IIE Pritsker Best Doctoral Dissertation Award).  

Benjaafar, S., M. Elhafsi, C. Y. Lee and W. Zhou, “Optimal Control of Assembly Systems with Multiple Stages and Multiple Demand Classes,” Operations Research, 59, 522–529, 2011. 

Benjaafar, S., W. L. Cooper and S. Mardan, “Production-Inventory Systems with Imperfect Advance Demand Information and Updating,” Naval Research Logistics, 58, 88-106, 2011 (Winner of the Harold W. Kuhn Award).

Gayon, J. P., S. Benjaafar and F. de Véricourt, “Using Imperfect Demand Information in Production-Inventory Systems with Multiple Demand Classes,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 11, 128-143, 2009 (Winner of the M&SOM Best Paper Award, 2011). An article authored by Jeannette Song highlighting the contributions of the paper appeared in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 13, 419, 2011.

Hu, B. and S. Benjaafar, “On Server Partitioning in Queueing Systems during Rush Hour,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 11, 416-428, 2009 (featured in Focus on Queueing Systems, a collection of papers published by INFORMS Online in 2013). 

Gaglioppa, F., L. Miller and S. Benjaafar, “Multi-Task and Multi-Stage Production Planning and Scheduling for Process Industries,” Operations Research, 56, 110-1025, 2008.

Benjaafar, S., Y. Li, D. Xu and S. Elhedhli, “Demand Allocation in Systems with Multiple Inventory Locations and Multiple Demand Sources,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 4, 43-60, 2008. 

Benjaafar, S., E. Elahi and K. Donohue, “Outsourcing via Service Quality Competition,” Management Science, 53, 241-259, 2007.

Benjaafar, S. and M. Elhafsi, “Production and Inventory Control of a Single Product Assemble-to-Order System with Multiple Customer Classes,” Management Science, 52, 1896-1912, 2006. 

Benjaafar, S., William L. Cooper and J. S. Kim, “On the Benefits of Pooling in Production-Inventory Systems,” Management Science, 51, 548-565, 2005. 

Benjaafar, S., M. Elhafsi and F. de Véricourt, “Demand Allocation in Multi-Product, Multi-Facility Make-to-Stock Systems,” Management Science, 50, 1431–1448, 2004. 

Benjaafar, S., “Modeling and Analysis of Congestion in the Design of Facility Layouts,” Management Science, 48, 679-204, 2002.

Kim, J. S. and S. Benjaafar, “Extended Abstract: On the Benefits of Inventory Pooling in Production-Inventory Systems,” Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 4, 12-16, 2002 (M&SOM Best Student Paper Award, Honorable Mention).

Lahmar, M., Hakan, E. and S. Benjaafar, "Extended Abstract: Resequencing and Feature Assignment on a Moving Assembly Line," Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 3, 7-9, 2001 (M&SOM Best Student Paper Award, Honorable Mention).

For a full list of publications with access to electronic copies, click here.