Lavanya Marla
Assistant Professor, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Google Scholar, Department page
lavanyam [at] illinois [dot] edu
Ph: +1 217-300-5892



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Transportation Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Master of Science (S.M.), Transportation and Operations Research (dual degrees), MIT
Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.), Major: Civil Engineering, Minor: Industrial Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Research Interests

  • Methodological areas: Decision-making under uncertainty in large-scale networks; robust network design and operations; data-driven statistical modeling and optimization; game theory; machine learning
  • Application areas: air transportation systems, emergency medical systems, logistics (routing and scheduling, last-mile transportation), shared transportation systems

Research Goals

My research aims at the development of tools and methods that effectively combine large-scale optimization, data mining, statistics, simulation and computational techniques to build logistics and transportation systems that are operationally flexible and dynamically adaptable to improve cost, efficiency, robustness and environmental impact. I focus on settings in both developed and emerging economies, in which this vision poses different challenges because of differences in the sheer size of the systems, varying levels of competition between multiple stakeholders and the presence of significant uncertainty. Applications that my research has evolved to encompass include: (a) aviation, (b) transportation logistics and (c) emergency medical systems. My research style involves: (i) analyzing large-scale real-world data from 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 test-beds.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

I am committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among students in my research group, in my teaching, within the ISE Department, at UIUC, as well as in my broader research community.

  • Diversity: I am cognizant of the fact that diversity strengthens us culturally, intellectually, and as a society.
  • Equity: I will work for equal treatment of all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other attributes that are not related to academic and research potential.
  • Inclusion: I will strive to create an inclusive working environment so that everyone’s voices are heard and their contributions¬† recognized.

Lavanya explains her EMS research

First Practice-based Workshop on EMS in India is here. We thank the generosity of the US-India Educational Foundation’s 21st Century Knowledge Initiative.

Recent News

Lavanya speaks at Georgia Tech ISyE seminar, on “Strategic Service Games with Customer-induced Competition”.
March 2021

ORMS Today, INFORMS’ bimonthly magazine, publishes Lavanya’s article on aviation during and beyond COVID-19.
February 2021

Lavanya awarded the prestigious CAS Fellowship from the University of Illinois, approved by the Board of Trustees at the January 2021 meeting!
January 2021

Lavanya invited to serve on the Senior Advisory Board of AGIFORS, the international aviation OR society.
January 2021

Paper “PenDer: Incorporating Shape Constraints via Penalized Derivatives” is accepted to AAAI 2021. Congratulations to Akhil, Ruoyu, Naman and Aninbjorn!
December 2020

Paper “Dynamics of Disruption and Recovery in Air Transportation Networks” wins Best Paper Award in the System Performance track at ICRAT 2020. Three UIUC undergrads are co-authors. Congratulations Max, Karthik, Hamsa, and UIUC undergrads Sang, Darsh and Aritro!
August 2020

Jane Lee deposits her dissertation “New Approaches to Airline Recovery Problems”. Congratulations Jane!
July 2020

Paper “Managing EMS Systems with User Abandonment in Emerging Economies” accepted to IISE Transactions.
July 2020

U of I News Bureau features Lavanya’s work joint with student Jane Lee and collaborator Alexandre Jacquillat: “Recovery from airline delays works best with future disruptions in mind“.
June 2020

Paper “Dynamic Airline Disruption Management under Airport Operating Uncertainty” published in Transportation Science: Articles in Advance [DOI]. Congratulations to Jane for her first paper.
June 2020

JUMP Arches grant for “Supply-driven Hospital Resource Planning and Community Engagement for COVID-19 Treatment” awarded to Lavanya and Prof. Qiong Wang.
May 2020

Paper “Robust Modeling and Planning: Insights from Three Industrial Applications” accepted to Operations Research Perspectives [DOI].
March 2020

Lavanya gives an invited talk in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California at Berkeley.
February 2020

Lavanya gives an invited talk in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University.
February 2020

Paper “Dynamic Airline Disruption Management under Airport Operating Uncertainty” accepted to Transportation Science.
January 2020

JUMP Arches grant for “Optimizing Deployment of Community Health Workers” awarded to Lavanya and collaborators.
January 2020

Lavanya gives an invited talk in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University.
January 2020

Arinbj√∂rn Kolbeinsson and Naman Shukla present our paper on “Leveraging Time Dependency in Graphs”, invited for Spotlight Presentation, at the Graph Representation Learning Workshop at NeurIPS 2019.
December 2019

Lavanya gives an invited talk in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Lehigh University.
December 2019

Lavanya conducts workshop on “Drone-enabled Emergency Services” at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, with Prof. Gitakrishnan Ramadurai.
November 2019

Lavanya gives an invited talk at the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS) and the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan.
November 2019

Lavanya gives an invited talk in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Minnesota.
October 2019

Jane Lee defends her PhD Thesis, with only dissertation pending. Congratulations Jane!
August 2019