September Supply Chain & Analytics Spotlight

By Cassie Bianculli

This month we want to introduce you to our two new Supply Chain and Analytics professors at UMSL! We are thrilled to have Dr. Enayati and Dr. Encarnacion joining the department. We are excited about the wealth of knowledge and experience each of them brings and know they will be a great fit for our students. Keep reading to hear from these distinguished professionals and UMSL professors.

Pictured left: DR. Encarnacion, Pictured right: Dr. Enayati

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What is your education and career background?

A (Dr. Encarnacion): I completed a PhD in Transportation Engineering in the Fall of 2019 at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, working at the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment. Prior to my academic career, I worked in industry for close to a decade, working as a consultant and holding management positions in Business Analytics. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and Systems Engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra. I also have an M.S. in Scientific Computing from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and an M.E. in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer.

A (Dr. Enayati): I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and moved to the US in 2012 for my Ph.D. studies in Operations Research at North Carolina State University. I received my B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering. I was previously employed as Assistant Professor of Analytics in the Management, Information System and Analytics Department at the State University of New York (SUNY), Plattsburgh. My teaching interest include Mathematical Modeling, Optimization Techniques, Operations Management, and Predictive Modeling. My primary research interests are in analytical modeling and optimization of stochastic/dynamic complex systems as applied to healthcare and service systems. In my research, I address computational and operational aspects of problems arising in public health policy making, health systems management, and medical decision making via incorporating individual patient data. I am also interested in predictive analytics to evaluate, anticipate, and recommend actions for health outcomes at both individual and system levels.


Q: What influenced your passion for supply chain?

A (Dr. Encarnacion): My passion for supply chain is grounded in my research interests: disaster response logistics. In my research, I visit disaster impacted areas to learn from the relief operations and propose strategies to improve these operations in the future. This area has led to work on many interesting research questions, from working on how to best engage and educate disaster donors to the work I am doing right now which seeks to understand the reasons behind “panic buying” behaviors during the COVID crisis.

A (Dr. Enayati): Smart supply chain management has a direct effect on any organization’s overall performance and plays a critical role in society. Educating students in this field is exciting as it is a fantastic career for young people to embark on due to the real-life challenges and the opportunities for growth. With my teaching and research concentration on analytics, I can help build a foundation for a career that provides so much flexibility and includes skill sets applicable across almost any industry you can think of. Whether it is in the classroom or in academic research, there is hardly a dull moment and every day is different than the next; it is very rewarding when a business problem is solved, or a project is executed well and you can see tangible results in the world.


Q: Why UMSL? What are you most excited about?

A (Dr. Encarnacion): I am excited to engage with a very diverse student body, the fact that UMSL is a top performer in social mobility makes me very proud to be a part of this institution. I look forward to working with students outside the classroom in research as mentoring student researchers is my favorite aspect of academia.

A (Dr. Enayati): UMSL is a research university where I can get the chance to further grow my academic network to collaborate on interdisciplinary research projects. In particular, I am very excited about the solid supply chain and analytics advisory board through which we can enrich the curriculum and take on collaborative research projects that involve students in solving real business problems.


Q: Do you have any advice you can share with students pursuing a degree in Supply Chain and Analytics?

A (Dr. Encarnacion): The key advice I have would be to become involved in student organizations early on and remain engaged with alumni and/or professional organizations throughout your career. Joining these organizations will foster strong connections that will serve students well in their careers.

A (Dr. Enayati): Improve your quantitative skill set and take as many analytics-related coursework as possible! We are living in the era of big data. Data is important to all businesses in determining strategies, streamlining operations, launching new products or services, and improving customer satisfaction. If you seek an exciting career path in supply chain (more broadly in business field) with competitive job advancement possibilities, you should hone your skill sets in critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis.


Q: Before you go can you share a fun fact about yourself with us?

A (Dr. Encarnacion): My name Trilce, (pronounced in english tree-il-see)) is a neologism coined by the Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo. It was created by combining the Spanish words TRIste (Sad) and duLCE (Sweet).

A (Dr. Enayati): Dr. Enayati is new to St. Louis and was able to explore the city a bit this summer! Here is a picture from her visit to Chicken Out in the Delmar Loop!