Associate Professor Role Provides Opportunities for Long-term Research With World Impact

Jason Acimovic’s new role as associate professor allows him the opportunity for long-term impact research.

CSCR® is excited to share Jason Acimovic’s new role as associate professor and his journey into supply chain research. Acimovic has recently received tenure and has been promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems.

The journey from assistant to associate professor may have been the road less traveled by, but for Acimovic, every moment mattered. Every decision counted.

“Two events put me on this exact path to supply chain, the first being working with MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in Liberia as a logistician, and deciding that I wanted to study this field as a whole,” Acimovic said. “Second, while Googling what my career should be back in 2005, I came across a book called Operations Research and the Public Sector.” After reading the book, Acimovic was hooked on operations research.

What appealed to Acimovic most was operations research is practice-driven and provides the opportunity to work with an array of partners and organizations where lifelong learning is part of their DNA.

A special stop along his career path was the field experiment in Tanzania where Acimovic and his team tried to “empirically observe what kinds of treatments and tools would help small business owners improve inventory decisions in mobile money.”

The research required several visits to Dar es Salaam, working from the mobile money operator’s offices, visiting mobile money agents and “training folks in the tools we were developing,” Acimovic explained.

So, where does supply chain fit in?

Acimovic has always liked exploring how things work and how things get done— the role of machines, conveyer belts, trucks— how everything works together in the background to simply put, per se, crackers on a Walmart shelf.

“Supply chain merges two things that I love: business’s role in society and physical processes,” the associate professor revealed.

The new promotion is now allowing Acimovic to focus his research on long-term prospects like developing heuristics, fostering solutions for both unsolved or under-solved issues driven by applications and working with inventory for online retailing supply chains and humanitarian logistics.

Acimovic is excited to have amassed the necessary experiences to now research long-term supply chain logistics and share his passion for the field with students, especially because his new title does have some special perks.

“The research projects I’d like to undertake – like understanding where current humanitarian organizations are falling short and how to make improvements to reduce suffering after disasters – touch on how we can actually implement fundamental changes to have significant impacts on the world,” Acimovic said, passionately. “That’s a bigger type of project whose outcome is less certain and whose timelines are longer; my new role makes it a little easier to undertake such projects.”