INFORMS News: In Memoriam - Tayfur Altiok (1954-2012)

Tayfur Altiok

Tayfur Altiok, a professor of industrial and systems engineering in Rutgers School of Engineering and director of the Laboratory for Port Security at CAIT, died of a heart attack on April 14.

Professor Altiok was born in Kutahya, Turkey, in 1954. He received his B.S. and M.S. both in industrial engineering from the Middle East Technical University. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the North Carolina State University.

Prior to joining the faculty of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rutgers in 1983, Professor Altiok worked as an assistant professor of Industrial Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University from 1982 to 1983. He was promoted to full professor in 1996. He was the founding director of the Laboratory for Port Security at Rutgers University since 2008.

Professor Altiok served as chairman of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rutgers University from 2001 to 2007. He was a Fulbright awardee and had numerous publications including two books in the areas of simulation modeling and performance analysis of manufacturing systems. Professor Altiok’s research and teaching activities included queueing theory, simulation modeling, risk analysis with applications to homeland security, marine ports logistics, safety and security, production lines and supply chain logistics and performance analysis. He developed numerous decomposition algorithms to analyze complex queueing networks.

Professor Altiok also served as an advisor to governmental organizations and consultant to various industries in the fields of capacity planning, performance analysis and port security.

Professor Altiok was not just an academic; his passions ranged from world history to playing guitar, hiking and climbing, watching Turkish soccer and traveling the world. In the eyes of his students and colleagues, he was respected as a brilliant engineer, enthusiastic mentor, committed educator, a leader in his community and a true friend. During his time in New Jersey, Tayfur and his wife Binnur raised two wonderful daughters, Eda and Selen.

Professor Altiok will always be remembered for his unquenchable optimism, passion for teaching, and incredibly loving spirit. He will be greatly missed.