Cameron MacKenzie

MacKenzie medCameron MacKenzie joined the IMSE Department at Iowa State University (ISU) in fall 2015 as an assistant professor. His graduate courses satisfy requirements for the Industrial Engineering degree as well as the Systems Engineering and Engineering Management degrees. He is teaching engineering economics for undergraduates and engineering risk analysis for graduate students in Fall 2017.

Cameron’s research focuses on decision and risk analysis, with a particular emphasis on modeling the economic and business impacts caused by disruptions and building resilience within organizations. He has analyzed the economic impacts caused by the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and he has developed a resource allocation model to help an economic region recover from a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Before coming to Iowa State, he was an assistant professor in the Defense Resources Management Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School, and he previously consulted in the areas of defense and homeland security for former Defense Secretary William Cohen. He received his BS and BA from Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (2001), an MA in International Affairs from The George Washington University (2003), an MS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University (2009), and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma (2012). Cameron is also a research associate at Ames Lab as part of Mark Bryden’s Simulation, Modeling, & Decision Science program.

Recent news

Sarat Sivaprasad and Lei Yao each graduated in December with a M.S. degree. You can read more about each student’s thesis here. Congratulations to both of them!

Sarat’s paper on comparing the Hurwicz decision rule with subjective expected utility decision making was accepted for publication in Decision Analysis.

I spoke at IMSE’s grad seminar in October, focusing on supply chain risks and allocating resources for emergency preparedness.

Two book chapters written by masters’ students have just been published in a book Supply Chain Risk Management: Advanced Tools, Models, and Developments, edited by Yacob Khojasteh: Arun Vinayak on modeling the market response to a supply chain disruption and Amit Sonar on using the Wagner-Whitin model to evaluate supply chain preparedness measures.

In September, I was named a Black & Veatch Building a World of Difference Faculty Fellow in Engineering. It was quite an honor to receive this award from Dean Sarah Rajala along with several other wonderful assistant professors in engineering.

Cameron MacKenzie with Dean Sarah Pajala

In July, I discussed my research on supply chain risk with General Mills and talk with them about some of their challenges in supply chain. Thank you for the opportunity!

Several master’s students graduated in the spring and summer of 2017. Minxiang Zhang, Xue Lei, Aditya Pathak, Alex Stewart, and Arun Vinayak all did excellent work on their theses. See a little bit about them on my student page and read a summary of their theses with links to their theses on my thesis supervision page. Congratulations on their success and my best wishes in their future careers!

My work with Eva Regnier at the Naval Postgraduate School on designing a hurricane simulation decision tool was named a finalist for the Manufacturing & Service Operations Management (MSOM) Practice-Based Competition this past summer. Congratulations to Turgay Ayer of Georgia Tech for winning the competition and helping the Red Cross collect blood more efficiently!

Amro Al-Kazimi, who was an excellent undergrad research assistant for me, was named the 2017 IMSE Outstanding Graduating Senior. Congratulations Amro!

Amro Al-Kazimi with an associate dean

Several graduate students and I attended the annual meeting for the Institute for Industrial and Systems Engineering in Pittsburgh in May 2017. I presented on work with Boeing analyzing its painting capacity for the future, and Minxiang Zhang described new probabilistic methods to forecast future airplane demand for Boeing. Lei Yao presented his work on making decisions for deep uncertainty using intervals, and Arun Vinayak presented a new model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of suppliers using value-focused thinking. A big thank you to the students for their presentations and research this year!

My work on designing a hurricane decision simulator training tool for the U.S. Marine Forces Reserve was profiled in an ISU Engineering video.

IMSE hosted a research day on April 20 for its undergraduate and graduate students to present posters on their research to the Industrial Advisory Board, faculty, students, and other guests. Several students with whom I am working presented their work:

I recently gave a couple of talks: a presentation on decision making for disruptions as part of the graduate seminar at University of Texas at Austin and a presentation on simulating severe supply chain disruptions as part of the Production Operations Management Society Annual Meeting. A big thanks to undergraduate researchers Andre Fristo and Xue Bai for researching a lot of the data for the supply chain disruption work!

With all the news on the U.S. presidential election, I recently gave this lecture as part of my course on quality looking at polls and mathematical models and how we need to think about the assumptions that go into the models and not to forget about uncertainty!



  • Risk analysis
  • Multi-criteria decision making
  • Supply chain risk management
  • Disruption planning and response



Cameron MacKenzie

Assistant Professor

Thanksgiving break office hours

7:30am - 4pm: Monday, November 21 - Wednesday, November 23
Closed: Thursday, November 24 - Friday, November 25

December break office hours

7:30am - 4pm: Monday, December 19 - Friday, January 6
Closed: Friday, December 23 and Monday, December 26


3029 Black Engineering
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011