BY PELİN SU UZUNCAGİL (AMER/III)
Assoc. Prof. Fehmi Tanrısever received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University. He received his PhD in Supply Chain and Operations Management from the McCombs School of Business of the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. After receiving his PhD, he worked as an assistant professor of Operations Management and Finance at the Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences Department at Eindhoven University of Technology until 2013. His research interests include start-up operations, risk management, supply chain finance, fintech, energy operations management and business analytics. He teaches graduate and undergraduate level courses in integrated operational and financial risk management, energy operations management, management science, business finance and financial accounting. His scholarly work has appeared in premier journals, including “Operations Research,” “Manufacturing and Service Operations Management,” “Production and Operations Management,” “Journal of Operations Management” and “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.” He is a senior editor for “Production and Operations Management.” He has been teaching in Bilkent since 2013. Currently, he is teaching EMBA525 (Managing Systems Effectively), EMBA547 (Decision Analysis) and MAN341 (Production Management).
Why did you choose an academic career?
I’ve always enjoyed teaching. My passion for contributing knowledge and guiding students has been the driving force behind my career choice in teaching and research.
Why/how did you choose Bilkent? What do you like the most about being at Bilkent?
Bilkent’s commitment to academic excellence and its vibrant, diverse community attracted me. The dynamic intellectual environment here fosters both impactful research and effective teaching.
What projects are you working on currently?
My current research projects span a range of areas, including start-up operations, risk management, fintech, and big data analytics.
In my current research project with Trendyol, I’m engaged in managing and predicting online returns within the apparel industry. It’s a compelling challenge considering that 30 percent of online apparel purchases are returned. Beyond the financial implications, my work is positioned to make a meaningful impact on both the company’s efficiency and environmental sustainability. By effectively predicting and managing returns, we not only save costs but also contribute to a more eco-conscious approach in online retail. The environmental footprint associated with returned goods, from unnecessary transportation to packaging waste, is substantial. Consequently, my efforts aim to reshape industry practices, fostering a more sustainable and responsible approach to online retail that stands to benefit both the business and the environment.
What’s your best work?
My notable contributions include publications in premier journals such as “Operations Research, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management,” “Production and Operations Management,” “Journal of Operations Management” and “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.”
I regard my work on “Optimizing Day-Ahead Electricity Market Prices: Increasing the Total Surplus for Energy Exchange İstanbul” as my most significant achievement for two reasons. First, it has been published in a premier journal, attesting to its academic merit. Second, the practical impact of this work is particularly noteworthy as the findings have been actively utilized by EXIST to enhance the efficiency of their online market, leading to a substantial increase in social welfare within electricity markets. I take pride in the tangible industry impact this research has achieved, underscoring its real-world relevance and contribution to the field.
What excites you about your work? What’s the coolest thing about your work?
I enjoy the process of exploring innovative solutions to complex real-life problems, and witnessing the practical impact of my research in real-world applications is truly exhilarating.
Could you share a turning point or defining moment in your career?
My decision to accept an academic position at Bilkent was the best decision I have ever made.
What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?
Witnessing the practical application of my research findings and their contribution to real-world problem-solving has been a particularly rewarding and exciting aspect of my career.
Receiving the BAGEP award for young scientists given by “Bilim Akademisi” in 2019.
What’s one piece of information from your field that you think everyone should know?
One crucial insight in operations management that everyone should be aware of is the profound impact of effective supply chain management on overall business success. A well-optimized supply chain not only enhances operational efficiency but also significantly contributes to customer satisfaction, cost reduction and overall organizational resilience. Understanding the strategic importance of supply chain dynamics is essential for navigating the complexities of modern business environments.
For instance, Apple Inc. doesn’t directly manufacture individual components for iPhones but effectively captures nearly 60 percent of the overall value created through adept supply chain management and innovative design.
When and where do you do your best thinking?
I find that my best thinking often occurs when I have dedicated time for reflection in serene settings, such as a country house or a tranquil beach.
What distracts you?
Starbucks downstairs in the MA Building.
What are you most curious about?
The evolving intersection of technology, finance and operations management continues to fuel my curiosity, driving me to explore innovative approaches and solutions.
What’s the most common misconception about your work?
One common misconception is that supply chain and operations management are solely about logistics, whereas they encompass a broader spectrum of strategic and interconnected processes.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Outside of work, I enjoy sports and traveling. They provide a balanced and rejuvenating complement to my professional endeavors.
Which books have influenced you the most, and why?
I find myself influenced by Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” as it provokes contemplation on themes of morality, existentialism and the pursuit of purpose.
If you weren’t an academic, what career would you choose?
If not in academia, I would likely pursue a career in entrepreneurship.
What’s the secret to leading a happy life?
Having as many “connections” in life as possible.
If you could go back to your undergraduate/graduate student years, what advice would you give to your younger-self?
I would advise my younger self about the importance of resilience in the face of challenges. Understanding that setbacks are valuable lessons rather than obstacles would have been a valuable perspective to cultivate earlier in my academic journey.