Lavanya Marla

Lavanya Marla
Lavanya Marla
Associate Professor, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering
(217) 300-5892
216E Transportation Building

For More Information


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Transportation Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), September 2010. Thesis: Airline Schedule Planning and Operations: Optimization-based Approaches for Delay Mitigation, Advisor: Prof. Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor, MIT.
  • Master of Science (S.M.), Transportation and Operations Research (dual degree), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2007.
  • Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.), Major: Civil Engineering, Minor: Industrial Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, June 2004.

Academic Positions

  • Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, Aug 2022 - current. Zero-time appointment with Civil and Environmental Engineering, Information Trust Institute, Center for Autonomy, Center for Sustainable Aviation
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, Jan 2013-2022. Zero-time appointment with Civil and Environmental Engineering, Information Trust Institute
  • Systems Scientist and iLab Mobility Analytics Co-director, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh PA, Sep 2010-Dec 2012.
  • Visiting Faculty/Scholar, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India, 2015.

Research Statement

My research aims at the development and application of tools from large-scale optimization, data mining, statistics, simulation, applied machine learning and computational techniques to build logistics and transportation systems that are operationally flexible and dynamically adaptable to improve cost, efficiency, robustness and environmental impact -- which are crucial for a sustainable system. This vision is challenging because of the sheer size of the system, competition between multiple stakeholders and presence of significant uncertainty. To analyze and address evolving transportation infrastructure, I use tools from large-scale optimization, data mining, statistics, simulation, visualization and computational techniques. My research style involves: (i) analyzing large-scale real-world data from public agencies, operators and users to identify high-impact opportunities, (ii) developing quantitative data-driven models and algorithms to address them, and (iii) evaluating impact by testing on realistic simulation testbeds.

Research Interests

  • Critical infrastructure resilience
  • Logistics systems (routing and scheduling, last-mile transportation, cyber-physical systems)
  • Emergency medical services
  • Air transportation
  • Design and operations of transportation and logistics networks
  • Applied machine learning
  • Applied game theory
  • Robust, resilient and environmentally sustainable network design and operations
  • Data-driven statistical modeling and optimization
  • Bridging Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence for decision-making on networks
  • Decision-making under uncertainty in large-scale networks

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Xiyitao Zhu; Peng Zhang; Hyojung Kang; Lavanya Marla; Marlene Isabel Robles Granda; Rebecca A. Ebert-Allen; Sarah Stewart de Ramirez; Tenille Oderwald; Mackenzie McGee; Jonathan A. Handler. "Derivation of a Unique, Algorithm-based Approach to Cancer Patient Navigator Workload Management", Journal of Clinical Oncology: Clinical Cancer Informatics, accepted.
  • M. Baranwal, L. Marla, S.M. Salapaka and C. Beck, "A Unified Maximum Entropy Principle Approach for a Large Class of Vehicle Routing Problems". Computers and Industrial Engineering, accepted.
  • Laurie Garrow, Virgnie Lurkin and Lavanya Marla, "Airline OR Innovations Soar During COVID-19 Recovery", Operations Research Forum, Accepted.
  • Gabriel A. Weaver, Brett Feddersen, Lavanya Marla, Dan Wei and Adam Rose (2021), "Estimating Economic Losses from Cyber-Attacks on Shipping Ports: An Optimization-Based Approach", Accepted, Transportation Research - Part C.
  • Lav Varshney, Lavanya Marla, Devavrat Shah, Nirmal A. Prakash and Michael E. Gale (2021), "Short and Wide Network Paths", IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering. doi: 10.1109/TNSE.2021.3123311
  • Arinbjörn Kolbeinsson, Naman Shukla, Akhil Gupta, Lavanya Marla and Kartik Yellepeddi (2021), "Galactic Air improves airline ancillary revenues with dynamic personalized pricing", Accepted, INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics (formerly Interfaces).
  • Max Z. Li, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Hamsa Balakrishnan, Sang Hyun Shin, Darsh Jalan, Aritro Nandi and Lavanya Marla (2021). "Dynamics of Disruption and Recovery in Air Transportation Networks" Accepted, CEAS Aeronautical Journal. Invited paper.
  • Jane Lee, Lavanya Marla, and Parth Vaishnav (2021). "The Impact of Climate Change on the Recoverability of Airline Networks", Transportation Research - Part D, 95, pp. 102801.
  • Kaushik Krishnan, Lavanya Marla and Sarang Deo (2021). "Managing EMS Systems with Abandonment Behavior in Emerging Economies", IISE Transactions, 53(4), 389-906.
  • Lavanya Marla, Alexander Rikun, Gautier Stauffer, and Eleni Pratsini (2020). "Robust Modeling and Planning: Insights from Three Industrial Applications", Operations Research Perspectives, 7: 100150.
  • Jane Lee, Lavanya Marla and Alexandre Jacquillat (2020). "Dynamic Airline Disruption Management under Airport Operating Uncertainty". Transportation Science, 54(4), July-August 2020, pp. 973-997.
  • Lavanya Marla, Vikrant Vaze and Cynthia Barnhart (2018). "Robust Optimization: Lessons Learned from Aircraft Routing". Computers and Operations Research, 98: 165-184.
  • Ahmadreza Faghih-Imani, Robert Hampshire, Lavanya Marla and Naveen Eluru (2017). An Empirical Analysis of Bike Sharing Usage and Rebalancing: Evidence from Barcelona and Seville, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 97: 177-191.
  • Lavanya Marla, Bo Vaaben and Cynthia Barnhart (2017). "Integrated Airline Disruption Management and Flight Planning to Tradeoff Delays and Fuel Burn," Transportation Science, 51(1): 88-111.
  • Lavanya Marla, Cynthia Barnhart and Varun Biyani (2014). "A Decomposition Approach for Robust Commodity Pickup and Delivery with Time-Windows under Uncertainty," Journal of Scheduling, 17(5), 489-506.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Pending Articles

  • Max Z. Li, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Xiyitao Zhu, Aritro Nandi, Hamsa Balakrishnan and Lavanya Marla, "Identification and Prediction of Disruptions in Airline Networks", Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, under review.
  • Boya Hou, Shubhonmesh Bose, Lavanya Marla and Kiruba Haran, “Impact of Aviation Electrification on Airports: Flight Scheduling and Charging”, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, under review.
  • Lavanya Marla, Jungeun Shin and Sanyukta Deshpande, "Strategic Service Logistics Games with Customer-Induced Competition", 3rd Round Review, Management Science. Decision expected September 2023.

Other Scholarly Activities

  • Invited referee for the following journals: Operations Research, Management Science, Mathematics of Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, Transportation Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Transportation Research-Part B, Decision Sciences, Networks, Transportation Research-Part E, Transportation Research-Part C, Transportation Research-Part A, Transportation Research-Part D, Journal of Scheduling, Journal of Air Transport Management, COmputers and Industrial Engineering, Annals of Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, Networks and Spatial Economics, Socio-Economic and Planning Sciences, Flexible Services and Manufacturing, Decision Analysis, 4OR.

Professional Societies

  • Invited to judge the INFORMS Aviation Applications Section's Best Dissertation Award for 2014.

Other Outside Service

  • Invited to judge the IIE Transactions' Best paper Award, 2013
  • Invited to serve on the National Science Foundation's CMMI Panel, 2013
  • Invited to serve on the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Physical Systems Panel, 2013.
  • Invited International Referee, Hong Kong Research Council - 2014, 2017.
  • Invited International Referee, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, 2018.
  • Invited to serve on the National Science Foundation's CMMI Panel, 2020


  • National Merit Scholarship Fellow, National Council for Educational Research and Training. (1998-2004 (awarded in 1998).)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. (2008-2009)
  • Ann Hershfang Graduate Scholarship. (2010)
  • US Department of Transportation Grant to establish a University Transportation Center (UTC) at Carnegie Mellon University (January 2012)
  • Invited Keynote speaker, Society of Women Engineers (Fall 2015)
  • Winner, Cross-Regional Collaboration Grant for 2017-2018 by the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics (TSL) Society, sponsored by Kalyx Warehousing; with Prof. Gitakrishnan Ramadurai as Co-PI. (Nov 2017)
  • Honorable Mention in AGIFORS Anna Valicek Competition 2018. (August 2018)
  • Best Technical Presentation Award, AGIFORS Revenue Management Study Group Conference, AGIFORS 2019. (May 2019)
  • Top-10 most cited paper in Transportation Research: Part A, 2016-2019, "An Empirical Analysis of Bike Sharing Usage and Rebalancing: Evidence from Barcelona and Seville" (July 2019)
  • KDD Startup Research Award, with Deepair Solutions, 25th ACM SIGKDD, 2019 (August 2019)
  • Best Paper Award, System Performance Track, 2020 (September 2020)
  • Semi-finalist, INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award, 2021
  • Center for Advanced Study Fellow, 2021-22, University of Illinois (November 2020)
  • Feature article, "Managing EMS Systems with User Abandonment in Emerging Economies" IISE Transactions (March 2021)
  • Invited member, Senior Advisory Board, AGIFORS (Jan 2021-)

Recent Courses Taught

  • IE 360 - Facilities Planning and Design
  • IE 411 - Optimization of Large Systems
  • IE 514 - Optimiz Mthds Lrg Scale Ntwk

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