Timothy L. Jacobs

Timothy L. Jacobs
BSCE 1984, MSCE 1985, PhD 1988
Director of Research Science

“Success and innovation depend on what we learn from failures. Be curious, learn and never be afraid to try something new.”

Tim Jacobs is a native Hoosier and grew up near Centerville, Indiana. Following in his father’s footsteps, he entered Purdue University as a freshman in 1980, majoring in engineering. As an undergraduate, Tim majored in Structural Engineering with minors in Geotechnical Engineering and a new discipline known as Engineering Systems and Operations Research. After graduation, he continued on at Purdue and received his Master’s and doctorate in Engineering Systems and Operations Research.

Tim started his professional career as an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Duke University. In 1993, he was awarded the Collingwood Prize by the American Society of Civil Engineering for his work on optimal bridge deck replacement and rehabilitation.

In 1996, he joined the newly-formed research group at Sabre, Inc. At Sabre, Tim’s research focused on revenue management, pricing optimization and airline scheduling and fleeting. As part of this work, Tim helped develop and implement some of the first revenue management, scheduling and fleet assignment models and practices used in the airline and hotel industries today.

In 2000, Tim joined American Airlines as a senior principal to help launch a new Operations Research Department. There, his work focused on a number of innovative initiatives across the company including network planning, crew scheduling, operations planning and performance, and revenue management.

In 2010, Tim joined U.S. Airways as the Director of Operations Research where his team developed an innovative revenue management system that increased revenues by 3% and a reserve crew planning optimizer that reduced daily flight cancellations due to crew availability by more than 90 percent. In 2012, he was one of the executives who helped negotiate U.S. Airways’ take-over of American Airlines.

In 2016, Tim joined Amazon as the director of research science, leading the Planning Research and Optimization Science Group, where he directs numerous strategic development efforts world wide. In 2019, he was inducted as a Fellow in the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operations Research Societies.

Tim continues to pursue new research initiatives, has authored more than 35 refereed publications, holds several U.S. patents within the airline industry, and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He and his wife, Judi, currently split their time between Phoenix and Seattle and have three children, all in college.