Lavanya Marla

Lavanya Marla

Primary Research Area

  • Data Analytics

Assistant Professor

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

  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Jan 2013-present. Zero-time appointment with Civil and Environmental Engineering and 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, Feb-August 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

  • Shared transportation systems
  • Logistics systems (routing and scheduling, last-mile transportation, cyber-physical systems)
  • Emergency medical systems
  • Air transportation systems
  • Transportation and logistics networks
  • Applied machine learning
  • Game theory
  • Robust network design and operations
  • Data-driven statistical modeling and optimization
  • Decision-making under uncertainty in large-scale networks

Research Areas

  • Data Analytics
  • Operations Research

Selected Articles in Journals

  • K. Krishnan, L. Marla and S. Deo (2020). "Managing EMS Systems with Abandonment Behavior in Emerging Economies", Accepted, IISE Transactions.
  • L. Marla, A. Rikun, G. Stauffer, and E. Pratsini (2020). “Robust Modeling and Planning: Insights from Three Industrial Applications”, Operations Research Perspectives, 7: 100150.
  • J. Lee, L. Marla and A. Jacquillat (2020). “Dynamic Airline Disruption Management under Airport Operating Uncertainty”. Transportation Science, Articles in Advance, June 2020.
  • L. Marla, V. Vaze and C. Barnhart (2018). “Robust Optimization: Lessons Learned from Aircraft Routing,” Computers and Operations Research, 98: 165-184.
  • A. Faghih-Imani, R. Hampshire, L. Marla and N. 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.
  • L. Marla, B. Vaaben and C. Barnhart (2017). "Integrated Airline Disruption Management and Flight Planning to Tradeoff Delays and Fuel Burn," Transportation Science, 51(1): 88-111.
  • L. Marla, C. Barnhart and V. 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

  • P. McLaughlin, J. Shin and L. Marla, "Strategic Service Logistics Games with Customer-Induced Competition", invited for Major Revision, Management Science.

Other Scholarly Activities

  • Invited referee for the following journals: Management Science, 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.

Other Outside Service

  • Invited to judge the IIE Transactions' Best paper Award for INFORMS
  • Invited to serve on the National Science Foundation's CMMI Panel
  • Invited to judge the INFORMS Aviation Applications Section's Best Dissertation Award for 2014.
  • Invited to serve on the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Physical Systems Panel


  • 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, for paper “Dynamic Airline Disruption Management under Airport Operating Uncertainty”. (August 2018)
  • Best Technical Presentation Award, AGIFORS Revenue Management Study Group Conference, AGIFORS 2019. (May 2019)
  • KDD Startup Research Award, with Deepair Solutions, 25th ACM SIGKDD, 2019. (August 2019)
  • Best Paper Award, System Performance Track, 2020 (September 2020)

Courses Taught

  • IE 360 - Facilities Planning and Design
  • IE 514 - Optimiz Mthds Lrg Scale Ntwk
  • IE 598 - Large-scale Ntwrk Optimization
  • IE 598 - Optimiz Mthds Lrg Scale Ntwk

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