The award recognizes educators who have contributed significantly to the profession through teaching, research and publication, extension, innovation, or administration. Only one award is given per year.
Batta, a SUNY distinguished professor and IIE Fellow, has been enthusiastically teaching classes for more than 30 years in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ industrial and systems engineering department. He has supervised or co-supervised 41 doctoral students, and currently teaches graduate classes in stochastic methods, facilities design and urban operations research.
“Rajan’s students consistently emphasize his caring attitude and the tremendous impact his mentorship has had on their careers,” said Ann Bisantz, professor and chair of the industrial and systems engineering department. “His teaching excellence and concern for students have also been recognized by numerous awards including a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as UB’s Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring award.”
In addition to teaching, Batta has provided strong educational leadership as part of SEAS’ administrative team. He currently serves in the newly created role of associate dean for faculty affairs, where he provides schoolwide support for faculty recruitment, diversity, mentoring, promotion, tenure, and honors and awards. He formerly served as associate dean for research and graduate education (2013-2014), acting/interim dean (2011-2012) and associate dean for graduate education (2006-2011).
Batta uses industrial engineering techniques, such as operations research, to develop and analyze mathematical models of systems critical to society. His current work includes hazardous materials routing/logistics, UAV routing/scheduling for search missions, convoy routing, routing/scheduling of automated guided vehicles, modeling repair of a transportation network, gasoline supply logistics, and electric vehicle routing and location of charging stations.
He has a sustained record of research funding, receiving more than $13 million in awards from federal agencies, among them the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice; local governments, including the city of Buffalo; and private industry, such as Boeing, United Airlines and Lockheed Martin. He is a recipient of IIE’s David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award and the SUNY Research Foundation Award for Research and Scholarship, the Research Foundation’s highest award.
Batta recently co-edited the “Handbook of OR/MS Models in Hazardous Materials Transportation,” with Changhyun Kwon, assistant professor and colleague in the industrial and systems engineering department. He has authored or co-authored over 120 publications in the top journals in his field, and serves on the editorial boards of Computers and Operations Research, the Journal of Enterprise Transformation and Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. He is a department editor for IIE Transactions.
He received his PhD in operations research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984, and a bachelor of technology in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, in 1980.