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Darla Moore School of Business


Sanjay Ahire

Title: Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor
Co-Director, Operations and Supply Chain Center
Department: Management Science
Darla Moore School of Business
Phone: 803-777-2647
Office: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 401F
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [PDF]
Sanjay Ahire headshot


Sanjay L. Ahire is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina (UofSC).  Dr. Ahire holds a Ph.D. in management science from the University of Alabama (1992).  He also holds a master’s degree in management studies (1985) and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering (1982), both from the University of Bombay (India).  Dr. Ahire is the Co-Director of the UofSC-Operations and Supply Chain Center.   He heads the unique industry-validated Sonoco-UofSC Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification initiative that has graduated more than 1,300 students with this valuable certification before graduation.  

Dr. Ahire was a co-founder of the UofSC - Operations and Supply Chain undergraduate program, and he has played a prominent leadership role in designing, implementing, growing, and propelling the program within just 12 years to Rank 5 in North America in 2020 Gartner Research Rankings of Undergraduate Supply Chain Programs.  His personal efforts have resulted in the program’s graduates winning the prestigious R. Gene Richter Scholarship for Top 10 Undergraduate Supply Chain Students in the nation.  Dr. Ahire has helped graduates secure attractive careers in leading global firms like 3M, Accenture, Amazon, Bank of America, BMW, Boeing, Cummins, Deloitte, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey Consulting, Michelin, PwC, Raytheon, and Rolls Royce.  

In March 2012, Dr. Ahire became the first tenured university professor to be certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt by the American Society for Quality.  This was in recognition for his demonstrated expertise in strategic and tactical supply chain and internal operations consulting to manufacturing and service firms, his mentoring experience, and his research accomplishments.  He has led more than 100 operations/process improvement consulting projects for diverse clients, such as Avaya Telecom, Carolinas Healthcare System, Collins Aerospace, Colonial Life, Cummins, General Electric, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, McLeod Health, MeadWestvaco, Michelin-Snider, NCR, Palmetto Health, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Siemens, Sonoco Products Company, UPS, Walmart, and Westinghouse Electric.  These projects have helped the client firms tackle diverse challenges, including sourcing strategies, supplier collaboration, logistics and distribution networks design and optimization, and internal operations improvement in manufacturing and service organizations. Dr. Ahire has also conducted numerous significant operations improvement projects in non-profit social organizations such as American Red Cross, EdVenture Children’s Science Museum, Family Shelters, Free Medical Clinics, Harvest Hope Food Banks, Ronald McDonald House of Charity, SC Immigrant Violence Network, SC HIV-AIDS Council, SC Thrive, Sisters of Charity of South Carolina, and Soup Kitchens.

Dr. Ahire has published several research articles in various leading journals, including Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Decision Sciences, and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.  With 7,000 Google Scholar citations, his research has recognized and used by researchers and practicing managers globally. One of his articles on quality management has accrued more than 2,700 citations in scholarly literature (, and has been judged as the 5th most cited refereed research article published in the reputed Decision Sciences Journal over its 50-year publication history.  Dr. Ahire has also published extensively (9 articles) in Interfaces, the flagship refereed applied research journal of INFORMS.

Dr. Ahire is an accomplished teacher of operations and supply chain improvement strategies and techniques.  He received the 2002 Wickham Skinner Award for Teaching Innovation Achievements from the Production and Operations Management Society, the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Dayton, the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the Southwestern Ohio Council on Higher Education, and the 2015 Alfred Smith Award for Best Professor of the Darla Moore School of Business and the university-wide 2015 Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, both from the University of South Carolina.  These awards are based on his ability to link teaching and students in his operations management classes with real-world consulting projects in a wide range of manufacturing and service firms.  Dr. Ahire recently received the prestigious global 2018 INFORMS Award for Teaching of OR/MS Practice.  In 2019 and 2020, Dr. Ahire led the Operations and Supply Chain Program to the Final Round (one of three Finalists) in the prestigious INFORMS UPS George Smith Prize for the most practical and innovative program preparing students for practice of operations research/management science and analytics. With more than 40 humanitarian projects under his belt, Dr. Ahire is currently leading Moore School’s Operations and Supply Chain Humanitarian Initiative to improve the operations and supply chain capabilities of socially-missioned non-profits such as food banks, homeless shelters, and other social service organizations.

In 2005 INFORMS annual conference, Dr. Ahire was a finalist in the prestigious Harvey Wagner Prize global competition for operations research consulting for his consulting work on inventory optimization with GE consumer products.  He was nominated by the University of South Carolina for the national US Professor of the Year Award (Council for Advancement and Support of Education; Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching) for 2015. Dr. Ahire has also delivered executive education to various organizations including Home Depot, J.B. Hunt, and McLeod Health.


Empirical evaluation of operations improvement strategies; practical application of operations improvement techniques; application of operations strategy and supply chain management principles to OM academics; high-value consulting for enhancing returns from Lean Six Sigma campaigns.


  • Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 1992
  • M.M.B., University of Bombay, India, 1985
  • B. Chem., University of Bombay, India, 1982

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