2019 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Amrou Awaysheh, Indiana University (Kelley)

Amrou Awaysheh

Assistant Professor of Operations Management

Indiana University Kelley School of Business

He’s been named professor of the year by The Economist, professor of the week by The Financial Times, and is the 2018 winner of the Evening MBA Program Teaching Excellence Award. Amrou Awaysheh of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business has co-founded two startups, been a guest host on CNBC program “Worldwide Exchange,” and received over $1.1 million in grant funding for his research.

Awaysheh’s research focuses on big data analytics, operations management, corporate social responsibility, and supply chain management. He holds an MBA and Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario and his work has been cited almost 560 times by other scholars and published in renowned journals including the International Journal of Production Research and Decision Sciences Journal. On top of his teaching and research work, Awaysheh is also the faculty director for the Global Supply Chain Enterprise, an experiential-learning project where MBA students act as consultants for Fortune 500 companies.

“Since his arrival at Kelley in 2014, Amrou has been an excellent colleague, researcher, and teacher,” one nominator said. “His research has been well-received by both his academic peers and the business community, as evidenced by his publication record and the grants he has received. In addition, his ongoing work with our MBA students through his leadership of the gSCIE program provides incredible experiences to our students with large multinational corporations. Given all that Amrou does, I do not know when he sleeps!”

Current Age: 39

At current institution since what year? 2014

Education: Ph.D. Ivey School of Business, Western University

List of current MBA courses you currently teach:

Operations Management

Sustainable Operations

Strategic Management Consulting

Business Innovation and Disruptive Technology

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS A PROFESSOR:

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was in business school, and I saw what the faculty were doing and how they were interacting with students. I wanted to be able to have an impact on future business leaders.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?

I’m currently looking at how companies leverage the data that they have and how they can use advanced analytics to help them drive managerial decision making. Most of my research focuses on corporate social responsibility. One of the things we look at is energy consumption and cost for the firm. What is incredible is the sheer amount of value to the firm with such a large line item — Any reduction has a substantial impact. For instance, one company I’ve worked with spends over $1.2 billion on energy annually. So, as we leveraged their data to understand when energy could be reduced, we were able to achieve a 10% savings in energy. That results in $120 million in cost reductions.

If I weren’t a business school professor… A management consultant

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?

My commitment to student learning.

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Excited

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: How much fun yet time-consuming it is.

Professor you most admire and why: The OM faculty group at Ivey that taught me when I was a student. The way they teach operations and interact with students was incredible. I try and emulate that all the time.

STUDENTS:

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

Going through a case discussion and watching the students learn, and seeing their knowledge grow.

What is most challenging?

Trying to move a case discussion along when everyone is not on the same page.

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: prepared

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: lazy

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… fair.

LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM:

What are your hobbies?

Spending time with my kids: reading stories with them, going to the pool, etc. Pretty much anything where I can spend time with them.

How will you spend your summer?

Relaxing with family and spending time with our third child.

Favorite place(s) to vacation:

Unplanned road trip across Europe. My wife and I have done this a few times. We just start in a city and know where we need to be in two weeks for our return flight. Then we take detours to spend more time in certain places. We’ve discovered so many wonderful places.

Favorite book(s):

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?

Game of Thrones. It’s something my wife and I can watch together – we look forward to it!

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist:

I really listen to everything. I kind of just go with the flow.

THOUGHTS OF REFLECTIONS:

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…

Student interaction and experiential learning. We really need to make sure students can translate what we talk about in class and ensure that it is applicable in the corporate world. We also need to make sure that our students have the ability to communicate and collaborate.

In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what?

Understanding the value of the data that they have and what can they do to leverage this data to help enhance managerial decision making.

Faculty and administrators say:

“I am proud to work alongside Professor Amrou Awaysheh as he is recognized for excellence by students and faculty through this 40 Under 40 recognition. He has the distinct combination of skill sets to successfully manage grants, enhance our understanding through publishing at the most influential journals and actively engage students in projects to motivate student success. In his unique consulting experience, Amrou guides our MBA students as consultants to large manufacturing firms. This allows our MBA students to take these experiences solving complicated supply chain and sustainability questions back to their workplaces — helping to make these companies globally competitive.” – Ken Carow, Executive Associate Dean of Faculty and Research

“Dr. Awaysheh is my faculty colleague in the Evening MBA Program at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Foremost, I must acknowledge Amrou’s immense, positive impact thus far on a few hundred students in our MBA Program. His course ratings regularly rank at (or near) the top for our entire program, while his coursework remains both rigorous and challenging. Prof. Awaysheh is also a highly competent researcher. Business-school research does not commonly draw grant money, yet Amrou has received over $1 million to support his work. His research has important public-policy implications, in areas such as energy efficiency and carbon-dioxide emissions. I cannot think of another faculty member who is any more deserving of this “Best” recognition.”

“I nominate Amrou Awaysheh as an innovator who transforms his professional work into both local and global community impact. He teaches students to return to their employers and implement new practices that both improve the environment and make companies more competitive. His MBA consulting teams have saved Fortune 500 companies tens of millions of dollars in process improvements. He was the MBA Teaching Award recipient at the Kelley School of Business in 2018, Professor of the Year nominee for the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2012, and was Professor of the Week in the Financial Times in 2011. His scholarly work globally redefines the role environmental sustainability plays in corporate strategy. He is principal investigator for grants in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that fund translation of research into practice within manufacturing environments. He is associate editor for the premier research journal in his field, the Journal of Operations Management.”

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