Graduate Student Resource Center

10 Questions! with Dr. Oya Tukel

Oya Tukel, Chair and Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSM), teaches innovation management, supply chain management and project management. Tukel, born and raised in Ankara, Turkey, is actively involved in international programs and corporate training in the United States and Europe. She regularly publishes basic and applied research in the areas of project management and supply chain management.

Tukel holds a B.S. from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and a Ph.D. from University of Florida in Gainesville.

1. Why did you decide to study in the United States?

I wanted to get my doctoral degree in a field related to Industrial Engineering and applied to many schools in the USA, knowing that the graduate schools were the best here.  I received a teaching assistantship position at the University of Florida and attended their doctoral program in Decision and Information Sciences.  This was 26 years ago.

2. What are a few of your favorite memories as an international student?

As an international student coming from Turkey, I got involved in the Turkish Student Association in Florida.  We organized many events introducing traditional Turkish food along with music and dance for locals and for students.  We had fun learning and performing Turkish folk dance, although none of us knew anything about how to dance.

3.   What was your biggest challenge as a graduate student?

Ph.D. program was very challenging and demanding, especially for me.  They accepted me to the program when I had only a BS degree at the time. In four years I had to complete both the masters and the Ph.D. program requirements. 

4.  You have been at teaching at CSU since 1992.  What do you like most about living in Cleveland, Ohio?

Cleveland reminds me of Ankara where I lived before coming to United States.  I like the history, the location, and the diversity the city offers. 

5.  Do you have a favorite hobby/interest or favorite place to go in the city?

I like the university circle area.  I like visiting museums and special exhibitions.  I also like cooking so I like to visit the Westside market and fresh food markets in different neighborhoods. 

6.  What is your greatest success to date with CSU's OSM program?

I think it is the growth we have seen in OSM majors during the last five years and the community we created as faculty and students in the program.

7.  Tell us about your current projects and aspirations?

Currently we are working on a research project to design a supply chain network for pre-processing facilities that feed polymer to polymer processing plants.  These plants have innovative technology  that converts polymer back to crude oil. 

8.  What is it that most people do not know about the OSM program?
  • Operations and supply chain management program in the Business College is a fast growing program with enrollment increasing by 30% yearly. 
  • We have over a 90% job placement rate for our graduates. 
  • We are well recognized in the business community as one of the best supply chain programs. 
  • All of our students complete at least one internship before graduating.   
9.   In your opinion, what's the greatest employment opportunity for graduate students in OSM?

Supply chain analytics skills are in high demand in companies like American Greetings, Eaton, and Parker Hannifin.  Consulting companies are also seeking graduate students in supply chain management.  They usually require programming and statistical analysis skills. 

10.  What significant changes do you see coming to your field within the next 5-10 years?

Supply chain management will continue to grow at a rapid pace because of global trade.  It is getting more complex and competitive in the marketplace.  U.S. companies realize that in order to make their operations efficient they have to rely on their suppliers, their distributors and their retailers.  It is about the total efficiency of all of your business partners and it is not only up to you anymore to be profitable.  Asia is at the center of supply chain and manufacturing activities and it will continue to be.   

For additional information about Operations and Supply Chain Management or the Monte Ahuja College of Business, contact the Monte Ahuja College of Business Advising Office: 216-687-3786 or e-mail

Visit the Ahuja College of Business online at