Current Projects


Non-Profit Food Distribution

Food Supply Chain Security

Port  Operations & Security

Constrained MDPs


We are primarily concerned with understanding and characterizing the non-profit food distribution environment, and developing policies that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. Inventory planning, distribution planning and equity issues are considered.  This research is supported by the National Science Foundation (CMMI 1000018/1000828) and is joint work with Drs. Julie Ivy and Reha Uzsoy at North Carolina State University. Specific focus areas are listed below.


Transportation Scheduling

This research area focuses on  developing  optimization models that address collection and delivery of donated food.

Supply and Demand Prediction

This research area focuses on developing prediction models  for in-kind donations. We also are developing models for characterizing hunger need.



This research project develops models to determine the  number of consumers that could be affected by intentionally contaminated product.  The models quantify the impact to the consumer as a function of  the  product  distribution location and the type of contaminant used.  This research is supported by the Department of  Homeland Security (National Center for Food Protection and Defense) and is a collaborative project with researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology.


Link to NCFPD site


This research uses simulation to examine the impact of port disruptions emanating from man-made and natural threats.  Of particular interest is the efficacy of various screening protocols and the trade-off between productivity, cost, and threat detection.

We also investigate emergency preparedness at ports. In particular, we examine the optimal timing of preparation activities and the inventory management decisions that are necessary to return the port to a fully functional condition, post hurricane.

This research has been funded by the Department of Homeland Security (2008-ST-062-000010  and 2009-ST-062-000027).


This research is concerned with  developing efficient techniques for solving Markov Decision processes with constrained observations.  Both decentralized and centralized decision making models are investigated. These  models have been used to quantity the value of information sharing in supply chains under partial inventory information visibility.

Link to Publications

Recognition and Awards


. Raquel Teasley, Jessye Bemley,  Lauren Davis , ”A Markov chain model to estimate casualties from food supply chain contamination”, National Center for Food Protection and Defense Biennial Meeting, October 2012. (2nd place winner – poster competition)

. Luther Brock, Lauren  Davis,”An approach to approximating contributions received through food bank collections at grocery stores”, INFORMS Annual Conference, October 2012. (poster finalist)

.  Jessye Bemley, Lauren Davis, Xiuli Qu, “Prepositioning Repair items for Aids to Navigation due to Natural Disaster”, INFORMS Annual Conference, November 2011. (poster semi-finalist)

. Husniyah Abdus-Salaam, "Modeling dependent demand arrivals under an open-access scheduling system",  5/2011. Winner of Best Doctoral Dissertation Award- NCAT Division of Research.

. Lauren Davis,  Outstanding Young Investigator Award,  North Carolina A&T State University - Division of Research, 2007.