Faculty Profile: Shaya Sheikh

Associate Professor
Supply Chain & Business Analytics
Joined New York Tech
New York City
Faculty Profile: Shaya Sheikh

Talking Business Analytics

As associate professor of supply chain and business analytics, Shaya Sheikh, Ph.D., focuses his research interests on supply chain analytics and the application of state-of-the-art data-driven models for a variety of business challenges. He spoke to New York Tech News about his work at the university, what impresses him most about New York Tech’s students, and what specific challenges he sees facing business analytics and supply chains in the future.

Can you talk about your background? Where are you from, and how did you decide to go into business analytics?
I was born and grew up in Tehran, Iran. I came to the United States in late 2007 to study systems engineering and graduated from Case Western Reserve University in January 2013. I was drawn to the School of Management at New York Tech for a variety of reasons. The school has a reputation for excellence in business education. Its location in the vibrant hub of New York City also attracted me; the proximity to the epicenter of global business activity provided opportunities for networking and exposure to real-world challenges. Additionally, the dynamic and diverse faculty and student body drew me in. Interacting with students from different cultural backgrounds and learning from their perspectives enriched my educational experience and broadened my horizons.  

During my first few years at New York Tech, I was drawn to business analytics and its interdisciplinary nature through collaborative research with my colleagues at the School of Management, College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, and several colleges at other universities. These ongoing collaborations have resulted in several journal and conference publications. One of my most recent collaborations is tackling the energy burden gap between low- and non-low-income families in the United States. The rapid advancements in machine learning and the increasing importance of data for businesses further solidified my decision to expand my research in the business analytics field.

What do you think will have the largest effect on supply chain issues moving forward?
It is difficult to predict a single factor that will have the largest effect on the supply chain. The complex and interconnected nature of global supply chains means several factors are likely to play significant roles, including:

  • Disrupting events such as global pandemics and health crises. Events like the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the vulnerability of supply chains. Health emergencies could continue to disrupt supply chains, leading to shortages, delays, and increased costs on different scales.
  • Geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and changes in trade policies and tariffs can impact the flow of goods and materials across borders.
  • Climate change and extreme weather events threaten supply chains. Increased frequency and severity of weather-related events, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, can disrupt supply chains and increase costs.
  • Advances in artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, and the Internet of Things are transforming supply chain operations. While these technologies can enhance efficiency, visibility, and resilience, their implementation may also introduce new challenges and risks, such as cybersecurity threats and disruptions from technology failures.

How do you approach your lessons?
I incorporate relevant case studies in my business analytics and supply chain courses. This helps students understand the applications of the concepts they are learning. “I like to involve students in my work by offering research opportunities and collaborative projects in business analytics,” he says. “It allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, developing critical skills in data analysis and problem-solving. There is no lack of current events and news to provide real-world examples that enrich discussions and projects.

What is your impression of the students you have encountered at New York Tech?
What strikes me most about New York Tech students is their eagerness, dedication to academic excellence, and collaborative spirit in tackling challenges. It’s inspiring to see students actively involved in projects and extracurricular activities, showcasing their passion for their chosen fields and their commitment to personal and professional growth.

This interview has been edited and condensed.