Cardiff Business School People

Professor Stephen Disney

Professor of Operations Management

+44 (0) 29 208 76310
S07, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Professor Disney teaches Operations Management, Operations Analytics and Lean Operations to MSc and Executive MBA students at Cardiff Business School.

He recently spent 12 months on Research Leave at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Disney has previously held Visiting Positions at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Boston University. He has extensive experience of teaching in-class, on-line and on-site to both Postgraduate and Executive audiences.

Professor Disney's current research interests involve the application of control theory and statistical techniques to operations management and supply chain scenarios in order to investigate their dynamic and economic performance. Stephen has a particular interest in the bullwhip effect.

Stephen has advised several of the world's largest corporations on the bullwhip effect and his research has influenced the material flow of at least 1 in every 7 pound of UK retail sales. He has worked with many companies in the UK, US and Europe and on supply chains that operate globally.

  • PhD entitled "The production and inventory control problem in Vendor Managed Inventory supply chains"
  • MSc in Systems Engineering
  • BEng in Manufacturing Systems and Manufacturing Management

Teaching commitments

  • BST135 Operations Management
  • BST514 Operations Analysis
  • MAT006 Supply Chain Modelling

Additional teaching activities

Stephen supervises PhD students Carl Philip Hedenstierna, Qin Li and Virginia Marques.

Research interests

  • Bullwhip Effect
  • Forecasting
  • Inventory Management

Stephen has led the following projects

The impact of information errors and RFID (radio frequency identification) on the dynamics and economic performance of supply chains

13 March 2010 to 11 May 2010

Sponsored by Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Led by Professor Stephen Disney

Award type: Research

Stephen has contributed to the following projects

To design, develop, and implement business and manufacturing systems which are capable of supporting the full-service business models of manufacturing SMEs

30 June 2013 to 16 December 2014

Sponsored by Welsh Government, Technology Strategy Board and Reid Lifting

Led by Dr Daniel Eyers with Professor Stephen Disney

Award type: Knowledge Transfer Partnership

PhD supervision research interests

  • ARIMA modelling
  • Bullwhip
  • Economics and statistics of supply chains
  • EOQ
  • Inventory theory
  • Order-up-to policy
  • Supply chain collaboration
  • Supply chain dynamics

Winter Seminar series - Generating electricity from coal in 2015

Thursday 22 January 2015

On the 21st January 2015, the Logistics and Operations Management section welcomed John Burnett, Operations Section Head Aberthaw Power Station (part of RWE Group), to the School. He gave an informative and entertaining talk about the operational and logistical challenges of generating electricity from coal.

LOMSAC 2015 - Logistics and Operations Management holds 1st annual conference

Wednesday 14 January 2015

The first Logistics and Operations Management Section Annual Conference (LOMSAC 2015) was held on Friday, January 9 2015, in the new Postgraduate Teaching Centre. The conference, which is to become an annual event, featured 23 presentations over four sessions, delivered by LOM staff, PhD students and ASTUTE officers.

LOM provides strategy for operational improvement at Aberthaw Power Station

Monday 3 November 2014

Professor Stephen Disney, Professor of Operations Management and Head of Logistics and Operations Management Section, recently completed a highly successful Strategic Impact Programme (SIP), awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. The SIP project allowed Professor Disney to work with Aberthaw Power Station (APS), part of RWE Generation, the parent company of th

Awards and scholarships

Research awards: Stephen received the Best Paper of the 2008 from the journal Production Planning and Control, a "Citation of Excellence" for one of the Top 50 articles published in 2005 on Management and a "Highly Commended" award from the Literati Club. 

Editorial work

Associate Editor for the:

  • European Journal of Industrial Engineering
  • IMA Journal of Management Mathematics

Member of the Editorial Board of the:

  • Journal of Business Logistics
  • European Journal of Operational Research
  • International Journal of Production Economics
  • International Journal of Applied Management Sciences
  • Open Management Journal

Media contributions

A short film of Stephen talking about his research is available from UKfutureTV.


  • The Operations Research Society (ORS) of the UK
  • The International Society for Inventory Research (ISIR)
  • The Institute for Operators Research and Management Science (INFORMS)
  • The European Operations Management Society (EUROMA) 
  • The Production and Operations Management Society (POMS)