Faculty Directory
Michael Watson


PhD 1996, Industrial Engineering and Management Science, Northwestern University

MS 1993, Industrial Engineering and Management Science, Northwestern University

BA 1992, Math and Economics, Bellarmine University


I taught at Northwestern University as an adjunct professor since 1999. However, up until 2023, I was working full-time in industry. I started as a full-time faculty member in the fall of 2023.

My career has been implementing ideas we teach in IEMS, MEM, and MLDS (using data and math to solve business problems). I've done this in software, consulting, and start-ups.

The first start-up was LogicTools, a supply chain optimization software company where I was early on the leadership team. The second, Opex Analytics was an AI company (data science and optimization) doing consulting and building software. I was the CEO and co-founder of this firm. 

Both start-ups went through back-to-back acquisitions. So, I've worked at large companies, too-- ILOG (CPLEX), IBM, LLamasoft, and Coupa Software.

I'm hoping to bring these industry experiences to the students and to my classes.

Courses Taught

  • Current:
  • IEMS Client Project Challenge
  • MEM Operations Excellence
  • MLDS Optimization
  • MEM Management Analytics
  • Potential:
  • Supply Chain Management and Analytics
  • Supply Chain Network Design
  • Inventory Control and Optimization

For Students

Please feel free to stop by or set up a meeting to talk about careers. I'm happy to talk about the software and consulting industries as well as Fortune 500-type companies (especially manufacturers, retailers, and transportation providers). I can talk about working for start-ups, creating a start-up, or working for a more established company. I can share my experience with supply chain and especially supply chain design and inventory.

For Our Industry Partners

I'll be working to maintain IEMS's connection to industry partners. We've done great work on these projects. Here is a 5-minute video on projects for Lurie Children’s Hospital (optimizing scheduling in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit), QSIDE (identifying sentencing biases in the Illinois court system), and UPS (network and capacity design for a large hub). In addition, teams have helped Ferrara Candy Company develop better ways to fill bags of candy and helped Sunairio develop a sophisticated model to predict loss of wind turbine power due to icing.


Supply Chain Network Design (on Amazon)

Managerial Analytics (on Amazon)