Laura Albert

Laura Albert
Associate Professor
330 North Orchard Street
Madison WI 53715

Years at WID

2015 - present


  • B.S., General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S., General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Description

Professor Laura Albert’s research focuses on modeling and solving real-world discrete optimization problems with application to homeland security, disasters, public services, and healthcare.


  • President-Elect/President/Past-President, INFORMS Section on Public Programs, Service and Needs (SPPSN), 2013 – 2015.
  • President-Elect/President/Past-President, Women in OR/MS (WORMS), a forum of INFORMS, 2012 – 2014.
  • Member of the Doing Good with Good O.R. Committee, INFORMS, 2012 – 2014, and co-chair of the committee in 2013.
  • Cluster chair for the Healthcare systems/Informatics, INFORMS Annual Meeting, October 6-9, 2013, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Member of the INFORMS nominating committee, 2013.
  • Member of the IT committee, INFORMS, 2011 – 2012.
  • Cluster chair, Women in OR/MS (WORMS), 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, October 2012.
  • Vice-President of Communications, INFORMS Section on Public Programs, Service and Needs (SPPSN), 2010 – 2012.
  • Vice-President of Meetings, Women in OR/MS (WORMS), a forum of INFORMS, 2008-2010.


  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011.
  • Young Investigator Award, Department of the Army-Materiel Command, Army Research Office, 2010.
  • Operations Research Challenge Competition Winner, First Symposium on Operations Research and the Criminal Justice System, US National Institute of Justice 2006.
  • INFORMS Computing Society Student Paper Competition, Runner-up, 2006.
  • Fellow, National Science Foundation, Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers Fellows Program, 2009.
  • Outstanding IIE Publication Award (with Sheldon H. Jacobson), 2009.
  • Best paper award, 2009 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, Operations Research track (with Sunarin Chanta, Maria Mayorga, and Margaret Wiecek), 2009.
  • Achievement Award Winner for Next-Generation Emergency Medical Response Through Data Analysis & Planning (Best in Category winner, as part of the Hanover County Fire & EMS team), National Association of Counties, 2010.
  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, College of Humanities and Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012.
  • Best paper award from Risk Analysis, Society of Risk Analysis (with Casey Rothschild and Seth Guikema), 2012.

Selected Publications

  • Dreiding, R.A., McLay, L.A., 2013.  An Integrated Screening Model for Screening Cargo Containers for Nuclear Weapons. European Journal of Operational Research 230, 181 – 189.
  • McLay, L.A., Mayorga, M.E., 2013.  A model for optimally dispatching ambulances to emergency calls with classification errors in patient priorities. IIE Transactions 45(1), 1—24.
  • McLay, L.A., Mayorga, M.E., 2013.  A dispatching model for server-to-customer systems that balances efficiency and equity. To appear in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, doi:10.1287/msom.1120.0411.
  • Mayorga, M.E., Bandara, D., McLay, L.A., 2013. Districting and dispatching policies for emergency medical service systems to improve patient survival, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering 3(1), 39 – 56.
  • Toro-Diaz, H., Mayorga, M.E., Chanta, S., McLay, L.A., 2013. Joint location and dispatching decisions for Emergency Medical Services. Computers & Industrial Engineering 64(4), 917 – 928.
  • McLay, L.A., Moore, H. 2012. Hanover County Improves Its Response to Emergency Medical 911 Calls. Interfaces 42(4), 380-394.
  • Rothschild, C., McLay, L.A., Guikema, S., 2012. Adversarial risk analysis with incomplete information: A level-k approach. Risk Analysis 32(7), 1219 – 1231. This paper was selected as a Best Paper of 2012 for Risk Analysis.
  • Chanta, S., Mayorga, M. E., McLay, L. A., 2013.  Improving Rural Emergency Services without Sacrificing Coverage: A Bi-Objective Covering Location Model for EMS Systems. To appear inAnnals of Operations Research.