Dr. Laird Burns

Associate Professor, Management Science Department


Laird Burns is an Associate Professor of Management Science in the Management, Marketing and Information Systems Department at UAH, where he joined UAH in 2009 as the first group hire between the College of Business and College of Engineering.

His research interests focus on various aspects of supply chain design, and include related work in risk and resilience in supply networks, dynamics of integrated supply networks, supply chain management, systems engineering, agent based modeling, production/operations management, and complex systems. Dr. Burns’ research includes funded research through the U.S. Army Material Command and subordinate commands. Dr. Burns is also involved in a NASA funded research project for space launch systems affordability.

His executive management and consulting experience spans more than 80 companies in over 30 industries in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and South America. Dr. Burns’ background includes experience in growth, mature market, start-up and turnaround companies. Dr. Burns has been co-owner and Chief Executive Officer of a design engineering and manufacturing firm, Chief Operating Officer of a start-up division in the material handling industry, and Chief Operating Officer of an automotive equipment supplier in a turnaround situation. He has over 15 years of consulting experience, specializing in the areas of strategy, supply chain management, business process reengineering, operations, engineering, new product development, total quality management, executive coaching and executive education.

Dr. Burns' Complete Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Operations and Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University
  • Graduate School, Complex Systems, University of Michigan Center for the Study of Complex Systems
  • M.B.A, Finance and Economics, University of Michigan,
  • B.B.A., Management and Personnel and Labor Relations, Grand Valley State University

Classes Taught

Selected Publications

  • Laird Burns, “An extended framework for supply chain risk management: Incorporating the complexities of emerging industries and large scale systems." In International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, Special Issue on Emerging Industries, (forthcoming).
  • Laird Burns, Wai Mok and Wes Colley (2014). "Introducing Concurrency to Workflows: Theory and A Real-World Case Study." International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, Special Issue on Extended Papers from Science and Information Conference 2014, (2014).
  • Allen Wilhite, Laird Burns, Ravi Patnayakuni, Fan Tseng, “Military supply chains and closed-loop weapon systems” in International Journal of Production Research, Special Issue on Supply Chain Design, (2014).
  • Steven A. Melnyk, Thomas J. Page, Sarah Jinhui Wu, and Laird Burns, “Would you mind completing this survey: Assessing the state of survey research in supply chain management”, in Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management (2012).
  • Steven Melnyk, Rhonda Lummus, Robert Vokurka, Laird Burns, and Joe Sandor, "Mapping the Future of Supply Chain Management: A Delphi Study", International Journal of Production Research (2010).
  • George Zsidisin, Stephan Wagner, Steven Melnyk, Gary Ragatz and Laird Burns, “Supply Risk Perceptions and Practices: An Exploratory Comparison of German and U.S. Supply Management Professionals”, International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management (2008).
  • Steven Melnyk, Roger Calantone, Joan Luft, Douglas Stewart, George Zsidisin, John Hanson, and Laird Burns, “An Empirical Investigation of the Metrics Alignment Process”, International Journal of Performance Measurement and Metrics (2005).   
  • Rhonda Lummus, Steven Melnyk, Robert Vokurka, Laird Burns, and Joe Sandor, “Getting Ready for Tomorrow's Supply Chain”, Supply Chain Management Review (Sept 2007).