Ron Lembke Headshot

Ron Lembke

Department Chair, Professor, Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics


My research is in Reverse Logistics and Sustainability. What is Reverse Logistics? Well, Logistics is the process of getting products from where they are produced, into the hands of the customers who want them. Reverse Logistics refers to all of the products that are going the "wrong way." These may be customer returns, or products that have reached the end of their lives and need to be recycled or disposed of properly.

I am the Chair of the Standards Committee of the Reverse Logistics Association, and in 2016 we got a new standard approved for including multiple pieces of product information in a single 2D barcode, which we call SQRL codes (for Standardized QR for Logistics). We are currently working with leading companies to bring this new technology to customers.

For example, using this new ANSI-approved standard, you could scan a QR code on the back of your TV to download the product manual, contact support, order a keyboard or sound bar, or learn how to properly dispose of the TV, if it has reached the end of its life.

Recent Professional Papers and Presentations

  • Ronald S. Lembke, "Sustainability is Free," Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Oct. 7, 2016.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, Dale S. Rogers, and Curtis Greve, "Reverse  Logistics & Secondary Markets," WERC 39th Annual Meeting, Providence, RI, May 17, 2016.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "SQRL Codes: Simplifying Customer Service, Returns and Refurbishing," Reverse Logistics Association annual meeting, April 6, 2016
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "Smart QR Codes for Logistics & the Logistics Managers' Index," Northern California WERCouncil - Supply Chain Connections, Grand Sierra Resort, , April 1, 2016
  • Panelist, "Reverse Logistics Trends," Reverse Logistics and Sustainability Council, Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, Mar 1, 2016
  • Ronald S. Lembke, Kenneth Jacobsen, "Exploring the new sQRrl Codes," Reverse Logsitics Webinar, May 8, 2015.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "Electronics Value Recovery: Changing Focus?" Reverse Logistics Association Las Vegas, Feb 11, 2015.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "Streamlining Reverse Logistics Processes with sQRrl Codes," Reverse Logistics Association Las Vegas, Feb 11, 2015.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "What Do They Do with the Stuff Nobody Wants?" Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Sept. 19, 2014.


Teaching load is 3-2 and consists entirely of sections of SCM 352 Operations Management, and BADM 701 Operations Management. Prior to the elimination of the Supply Chain Management major in 2011, my teaching responsibilities also included SCM 461, SCM 462, and SCM 463 every year. Also, for 12 years, I taught SCM 476, the Logistics Practicum course.

Courses Taught

  • MGRS 320 - Intro to e-Business (team taught)
  • SCM 352 - Operations Management (undergraduate)
  • SCM 461 - Advanced Operations Management
  • SCM 462 - Managing for Quality, since Fall, 2004 (created course)
  • SCM 463 - Inventory Management, since Fall, 1996 (created course)
  • SCM 476 - Logistics Practicum (internship) SCM 494 - Reverse Logistics and Sustainability (special topics course)
  • BADM 701 - Operations Management (MBA required course)
  • BADM 791 - Special Topics (Sustainability) Fall, 2009 (created course)

Recent Publications

  • Ronald S. Lembke, "Using SQRL codes to bring the power of Big Data to Reverse Logistics," 79, March, 2017, 10-18.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "SQRL Codes Now Part of ANSI Standards," Reverse Logistics, edition 77, Jan, 2017, 18-20.
  • Kenneth Jacobsen and Ronald Lembke, "Cracking the QR Code," Electronic Scrap News, June 2015, pp. 28-31.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "RLA Members Welcome the New sQRrl Codes," Reverse Logistics, Edition 73, Mar. 2015, p. 12.
  • Ronald S. Lembke, "Standards Committee - Standardizing Warranty Data," Reverse Logistics, Edition 24, Dec. 2010, pp. 34-35.


  • Ph.D., Industrial Engineering and Management Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1995
  • M.S., Industrial Engineering and Management Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1992
  • B.A., Mathematics, Computer Science Concentration, St. Olaf College, Northfield MN, 1990