Saif Benjaafar

Saif Benjaafar photo

Saif Benjaafar

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

Education


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

Biography

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 operations introduced innovative ideas for reducing the environmental footprint of supply chains, transportation systems, and services. His recent work on collaborative consumption and on-demand service platforms is among the first to lay out the foundation for the economic and environmental analysis of the sharing economy.

He is currently a University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Endowed Professor (one of the highest recognitions for a faculty member at the University of Minnesota) and Distinguished McKnight University Professor. He is Head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He is Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, a university-wide initiative with participation from faculty in management, engineering, public policy, industrial ecology, and law. 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 Editor in Chief of the INFORMS journal Service Science. He is a fellow of INFORMS (the Institute of Operations Research and Management Science) and of IISE (Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers). 

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 MSOM Best Paper Award, the MSOM Service SIG Best Paper Award, the George Taylor Distinguished Teaching Award, and the INFORMS Distinguished Service 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 organization and served on Technology Advisory Board of the Keppel Corporation. His work was featured by major news outlets in the US, Asia, and Europe.

He Holds PhD and MS degrees from Purdue University and a BS degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Here is a link to an interview by INFORMS, a feature story by the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, a feature story by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research, and a story in the ISyE magazine.

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., Wu, H. Liu and E. Gunnarson, “Dimensioning On-Demand Vehicle Sharing Systems,” accepted for publication at Management Science, 2021.

Benjaafar, S., H. Bernhard, C. Courcoubetis, M. Kanakakis and S. Papafragkos, “Drivers, Riders, and Service Providers: The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Mobility,” accepted for publication in Management Science, 2021.

Benjaafar, S., D. Jiang, X. Li and X. Li, “Dynamic inventory Repositioning in On-Demand Rental Networks,” accepted for publication at Management Science, 2021.

Benjaafar, S., J. Ding, G. Kong and T. Taylor, "Labor Welfare in On-Demand Service Platforms,” accepted for publication in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 2021.  

Liu, H., Y. Yu, S. Benjaafar and H. Wang, “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, 2021.

Jouini, O., S. Benjaafar, B. Liu, and B. Legros “Queueing Systems with Appointment-Driven Arrivals, Non-Punctual Customers and No-Shows,” accepted for publication in Queueing Systems, 2021.

Benjaafar, S. and M. Hu, "Introduction to the Special Issue on Sharing Economy and Innovative Marketplaces," Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 23, 549-552, 2021.

Benjaafar, S. and M. Hu, “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, ISI Highly Cited Paper).

Benjaafar, S., G. Kong, X. Li and C. Courcoubetis, “Peer-to-Peer Product Sharing: Implications for Ownership, Usage and Social Welfare in the Sharing Economy,” Management Science, 65, 477–493, 2019 (Winner of the MSOM Service SIG Best Paper Award, ISI Highly Cited Paper).

Benjaafar, S., W. Yu and D. Chen, “Managing 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; POMS-HK Best Student Paper Award, Finalist).

Yu, Y., S. Benjaafar and Y. Gerchak, “On Service Capacity Pooling and Cost Sharing among Independent Firms,” Production and Operations Management, 24, 1285–1310, 2015 (Winner of the IIE Pritsker Best Doctoral Dissertation 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).

Chen, X. and S. Benjaafar, “The Carbon-Constrained EOQ,” Operations Research Letters, 41, 172-179, 2013 (ISI Highly Cited Paper).

Hua, Z., W. Zhang and S. Benjaafar, “Optimal Inventory Control with Heterogeneous Suppliers,” Production and Operations Management, 21, 564-575, 2012.

Benjaafar, S., Y. Li and M. Daskin, “Carbon Footprint and the Management of Supply Chains: Insights from Simple Models,” IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, 10, 99-116, 2013 (Invited article for the Special Issue on Green Manufacturing; Highest cited paper in the journal, ISI Highly Cited Paper).

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, 2012).

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 MSOM 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.

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 (MSOM 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 (MSOM Best Student Paper Award, Honorable Mention).