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Dr. Zhili Tian

Dr. Zhili Tian

Dr. Zhili Tian

Associate Professor of Supply Chain ManagementGeneral Business, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management
B 463


Dr. Zhili Tian's research focuses on solving practical business problems and deriving managerial insights using analytical and empirical research methodologies. He conducts research in the fields of new product development project management with learning product quality, quality and process improvement, innovation and technology management in healthcare, supply chain management, collaboration in new product development, drug diffusion, marketing communications, and resource allocation between marketing and product development.
His research methodologies include reinforcement learning, machine learning, stochastic process, linear and nonlinear programming, mixed integer linear and nonlinear programming, optimal control, dynamic programming, econometrics, and large-scale database management.
His research results published in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production & Operations Management Journal, Decision Sciences, IIE Transaction, and European Journal of Operational Research. He taught Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Healthcare Quality Assessment and Control, Healthcare Quality Management, Healthcare Operations Management, Business Intelligence and Business Analytics in Healthcare, Decision Analysis, Quantitative Method in Business, Project Management Overview, and Project Management Life Cycle Management. He also has more than ten years of industry experiences in transportation, software product development, supply chain management, product development, and process improvement.

Degrees Earned

Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Ph.D. in Supply Chain, Operations, and Technology.

UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles, CA
M.S. in Management.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
M.S. in Transportation.

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
B.E. in Civil Engineering.

Courses Taught

Project Management Overview
Project Life Cycle Management: Initiation, Planning, and Execution
Quality Assessment and Outcomes in Healthcare
Healthcare Quality Management
Healthcare Operations Management
Operations Management
Supply Chain Management
Business Statistics
Decision Analysis / Management Sciences

Experience Qualifications

Selected Publications

  • Z. Tian, G. Hazen, H. Li. Optimal investment and the value of interim analyses in late-stage new drug development with learning of drug's efficacy (Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM), Published online in advance in December, 2022)

  • Liu, K., Liu, C., Xiang, X., and Tian, Z. (2023) Testing facility location and dynamic capacity planning for pandemics with demand uncertainty. Eur J Oper Res. (EJOR), Vol. 304, No. 1, 150-168).

  • Z. Tian, W. Han, W. Powell. (2022). Adaptive Learning of Drug Quality and Optimization of Patient Recruitment for Clinical Trials with Dropouts. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM), Vol. 24, No. 1, 2022.

  • Z. Tian, H. Gurnani and Y. Xu. (2021) Collaboration in Development of New Drug. POM Journal, Vol. 30, No. 11, 3841-4333.

  • Z. Tian, Y. Tang, P. Kouvelis (2019). Managing Soft Orders in Supply Chains: Roles of Penalties and Rationing Rules. Decision Sciences, 340-373.

  • P. Kouvelis, J. Milner, Z. Tian (2017). Clinical Trials and New Drug Development: Optimal Investment Policies and Application. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM), Volume 19, No. 3, 437-452.

  • Z. Tian. Optimization of logistics network of a multinational firm under uncertainty. International Journal of Revenue Management, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2016.

  • Z. Tian, P. Kouvelis, and C. L. Munson (2015). Understanding and Management of Product Line Complexity: Applying sensitivity analysis to a large-scale MILP model to price and schedule new customer orders. IIE Transaction. 47, 1-22.

  • Rajaram, K. and Tian, Z. (2009). Buffer Location and Sizing to Optimize Cost and Quality in Semi Continuous Manufacturing Processes: Methodology and Application. IIE Transactions. (2009) 41, 1- 14.

  • Tian, Z., Yang, H., and Lam, W. (1997). Transit Assignment Under Crowded Conditions. Journal of Advanced Transportation. 31(1). Citations: 9, checked in November 2022

  • Kawakami, S. and Tian, Z. (1996). An Equilibrium Model of Motorists' Parking Choice Behavior and Parking Demand in Central Area. Studies in Regional Science. 26 (2), 53-66. Citations: 1, checked Sept, 2021

More Information

Dr. Tian was awarded the IIE Transaction 2011 Best Applied Paper Prize in Scheduling and Logistics


Production & Operations Management Journal, Manufacturing & Science Operations Management, Decision Sciences, Operations Research, Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, IMA Journal of Management Mathematics, ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, International Journal of Revenue Management