ISyE's Advisory Board Addresses International Activities of the School

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The Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering hosted its fall Advisory Board meeting on October 23, 2009. Stewart School Chair Chelsea C. White III and Advisory Board Chair Christopher B. Lofgren led the meeting, which focused on international activities and outreach within the School.

Following Lofgren's welcome and opening remarks, White reviewed the Stewart School's vision of being the preeminent academic program of its kind in the world and of having an impact beyond our academic community by addressing important societal and economic challenges. Presenting an update about the Stewart School and its strengths, White highlighted the quality of ISyE faculty at both the senior and junior levels; excellent students at undergraduate and graduate level; large, loyal, engaged, and active alumni base; strong industry ties, and current and growing international presence. In addition, White cited a recent external review, which concluded that the Stewart School is the dominant IE/OR academic unit nationally and internationally, that it is the flagship unit for industrial engineering, and that it has a high likelihood of continued dominance.

White identified three challenges for the Stewart School:
* Greater impact on problems of significant real-world importance, specifically health, energy, and economic strength through trade
* Use economic downturn as an opportunity, specifically to exit the downturn stronger than we entered it relative to our peers
* Continuously improve faculty, student, and curricula quality

Included in his update to the Board, White spoke about the Stewart School's potential initiatives in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Speaking about the later, White shared the UAE's move from an oil-based to a knowledge-based economy and the need for an enabling educational infrastructure. The Stewart School is working cooperatively with Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research, and is in discussions with Khalifa to potentially help establish a new IE department, from which the Stewart School would exit in two years, as well as a new Supply Chain & Logistics Research Center for long-term partnership.

The Stewart School plans to open a Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise and Trade, Innovation & Productivity (CREATE TIP) Center in Singapore. Working cooperatively with local institutions, the Center would include among its major activities its function as a data repository; business incubator; forum for industry and academic collaborations; and a center for research, education and residency.

Nancy Sandlin, ISyE Director of Development, followed White with a presentation on fundraising activities to date.

Donald Ratliff, UPS and Regents' Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and executive director of the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL) and the Trade, Innovation & Productivity (TIP) Center in Costa Rica, brought the Board up to date on the Stewart School's Latin American Initiatives, citing the successful opening of the TIP Center in Costa Rica on August 20, 2009.

The new TIP Center in Costa Rica is the latest in a network of centers Georgia Tech has established around the world that utilize research, innovation, and education to increase trade across borders and make existing trade more productive. The Center is a joint development of SCL, the Stewart School of ISyE, and the College of Management at Georgia Tech in partnership with the Foreign Trade Corporation (PROCOMER) and the Chamber of Industries in Costa Rica.

Ratliff also discussed the ten-plus year history of the TLI Asia Pacific Institute, located in Singapore and modeled after SCL. TLI Asia Pacific is a collaboration between the National University of Singapore and Georgia Tech for research and educational programs in global logistics. The entire Georgia Tech and SCL leadership team values its relationship and looks forward to future opportunities to expand its presence in Singapore.

Next on the agenda was Professor John Bartholdi, Manhattan Associates Chair in Supply Chain Management and director of SCL's research program, who updated the Board on temperature controlled supply chains, the project he and Ratliff started in 2007. SCL is collaborating with researchers world-wide to measure and document the variability of temperature within cartons along international supply chains. Their first project involved working on the wine supply chain. Starting with wine was a natural first step as this supply chain is fairly simple compared to fresh fruit. Colleagues from around the world, from major wine-producing regions to centers of consumption, are aiding in data gathering by inserting temperature recording devices, "i-buttons" in cartons of wine at points of production. The "i-button" wakes up every two hours and records data then goes back to sleep. The full effects of seasonality are observed as the product is tracked through wineries, shipping lanes, importers, distributors, and the final customer. Bartholdi and Ratliff plan on broadening the scope of their work to include the transportation of fresh fruit and fish.

Harvey Donaldson, SCL managing director and associate chair of Industry and International Programs, introduced the newly created master's in Supply Chain Engineering. Donaldson stated that the new master's, focused on global supply chains and oriented to professional practice, will enhance Tech's reputation in "applied industry practices," attract more U.S. students, expand the existing ISyE/NUS Dual Master's program, build relationships with U.S. and global enterprises, develop new approaches for ISyE master's-level education, and provide new opportunities for ISyE faculty. Aggressively recruiting the best U.S. and international students, private and public global enterprises, and prestigious partner universities, Donaldson said that they expect to enroll the first class in August 2010. Donaldson highlighted the innovative curriculum, which is adaptable to dual degree programs with foreign universities and offers new courses, a Capstone Industry Project and study abroad opportunities.

The 2010 Spring Board meeting is scheduled for April 22 and 23, 2010, and the Fall Board meeting is scheduled for October 21 and October 22, 2010.


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