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Washburn Shops, 308
Phone: +1-508-831-6117
Fax: +1-508-831-5720

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“A failure can be temporary and become an opportunity as time progresses and persistent effort is devoted.”

Amy Z. Zeng

Teaching is the most influential of all professions in the world – it touches minds of every sort and provides profound impacts on one’s life. I fully enjoy the academic life and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to guide and influence students at various age groups. I love to work with all kinds of students and see them grow and prosper under my guidance. I like WPI’s project-based educational model, which enriches not only learning but also teaching. I enjoy traditional teaching as well as the close interactions with students during project advising. I find it exciting and fulfilling to work with students on searching solutions and better ways of doing things for project sponsors. The students and I grow stronger together, professionally and socially.

My research is strongly rooted in business practices and achieving a nice balance between theory and practice is my research focus. I get inspired by new practices that provide me with new research ideas and directions, and I especially feel excited to receive feedback and inquiry from industry practitioners about my publications.

I have been working on two areas at the forefront of today’s supply chain management – disruption management and global aspect. In the former, I focus on supply-base management and tactics under disruption risks, because over 75 percent of supply chain failures are caused by suppliers. In the latter, my interest concentrates on global supply chain design and analysis for industries such as agriculture, aviation, retail, and third-party logistics providers.

Research Interests

  • Risk and disruption management strategies and tactics in supply chains
  • Global supply chain design, process, and total-cost based decision analysis
  • Coordination mechanisms in reverse supply chains for profitable returns


  • BE, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1990
  • MSE, University of Washington, 1992
  • PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1996

Featured Publications

  • Hou, J., Zeng, A.Z. (2011), “The Decisions on Backup Supply in the Presence of Supply Disruptions,” International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, in press.
  • Hou, J., Zeng, A.Z. (2010), “Coordination with a Backup Supplier through Buy-back Contract under Supply Disruption,” Transportation Research Part E, Vol. 46, No. 6, 881-895.
  • Hou, J., Zeng, A.Z. (2009), “Achieving Better Coordination through Revenue Sharing and Bargaining in a Two-Stage Supply Chain,” Computers and Industrial Engineering, Vol. 57, 383-394.
  • Yu, H., Zeng, A.Z., (2009), “Single versus Dual Sourcing in the Presence of Supply Chain Disruptions,” Omega: An International Journal of Management Science, Vol. 37, No. 4, 288-300.
  • Berger, P. D. and Zeng, A. Z. (2006), “Single versus Multiple Sourcing in the Presence of Risks,” Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol. 57, No. 3, 250-261

Professional Highlights

  • Six keynote/plenary speeches at renowned international conferences
  • Project advisor of semi-finalist for annual “Provost’s Best MQP Award”, 2008, 2009
  • Full Membership of WPI Chapter of Sigma Xi – the Scientific Research Society, inducted on Apr. 18, 2008
  • Winner of the CIBER International Case Writing Competition Award, Production and Operations Management Society 2007 Annual Conference
  • Sea-sky Scholarship, School of Management, Dalian University of Technology, China (2005 – 2008)
  • Runner-up for the 2004 Production and Operations Management Society Teaching Innovation Achievement Award
  • Best paper reviewer award, OM Division of Academy of Management, 2002 Academy of Management Conference, August 9-14, Denver, CO
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