PhD Workshop: Advances in Operations Research Applied to Transportation and Logistics
The Quinlan School of Business (QSB) at Loyola University Chicago is committed to the development of supply chain academics and practitioners who will have the academic expertise and industry understanding to meet these challenges and opportunities. As part of that commitment, Drs. Mike Hewitt and Maciek Nowak at QSB hosted a three-day workshop at Quinlan’s Schreiber Center for PhD students whose dissertation research is focused on supply chain management. This workshop was made possible by funding from both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Uber, as well as support from QSB. During this workshop, students were exposed to the latest developments in the theory of supply chain management from a variety of research experts. Concepts included insights into developing and managing an academic career from experienced academics and the needs of today’s supply chains for individuals with advanced analytical skills from industry professionals.
Funding from NSF was used to provide scholarships for students to cover a portion of their lodging and meals while in Chicago. Of the 60 students that applied for a scholarship, 35 were granted. In total, forty-two students from 25 different universities and four different countries attended the workshop. The workshop was designed for both PhD students who want an academic career and those who want to work in industry. As a result, the speaker list was designed to include individuals who could discuss both career paths. Speakers included Irina Dolinskava of the NSF; industry speakers from Amazon, Manhattan Associates, and Uber; and 13 members of the academic community.
Given the scale and scope of today’s challenges and opportunities for SCM researchers, many will be best addressed by teams of expert researchers with an understanding of how their in-depth expertise can be applied to practice. Thus, one objective of the workshop was to integrate these future academics and practitioners into the existing community of SCM researchers. With support from Uber, Drs. Hewitt and Nowak planned social activities such as a conference dinner and a ride on the Chicago architectural river cruise to foster those connections.
Feedback from student attendees was very positive:
- “The testimonies and talks from experienced professors and practitioners from the industry were invaluable for prospective scholars.”
- “The diversity of students provided us the opportunity to connect and get to know each other for future cooperation.”
As a result, Drs. Hewitt and Nowak intend to plan a similar event for the near future.
The success of the event is due in great part to the participation of a speaker list that includes some of the leading minds in SCM practice and research. Drs. Hewitt and Nowak extend their thanks to the speakers and to the organizing committee, both of whom made this workshop possible.