News and Awards

Penn State Smeal’s Jordan authors book on robots

“Robots,” a newly released book by John Jordan, Penn State Smeal College of Business Clinical Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems, explores the many facets of robots, from prehistory, to treatment in popular media, to their place in technology and society.

As Jordan details in his book, robots aren’t just the technical, task-driven machines you see on automobile assembly lines. They come in many forms and touch nearly every segment of society in one way or another.

In “Robots,” Jordan views robots and robotics from multiple perspectives, giving the reader a 360-degree view of the topic.

Jordan joined Smeal in 2005. Prior to that he was a principal in the Office of the CTO at Capgemini and principal in the Center for Business Innovation at EY. He holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from Duke, a master’s in ethics from Yale, and a Ph.D. from Michigan.

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Penn State Smeal senior wins L.L. Waters Scholarship

Karen Burlingame, a senior Supply Chain and Information Systems major at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been named one of seven national recipients of the 2016 L.L. Waters Scholarship. Administered by the trustees of the L.L. Waters Scholarship Fund, the Waters Scholarship is named in honor of Dr. L.L.Waters, University Professor Emeritus of Transportation and Business History at Indiana University. Waters has taught undergraduate and graduate students in transportation and logistics for more than three decades. 

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Veronica Villena selected as Winner for Chan Han Best Paper

Congratulations to Veronica Villena on the selection of her paper “The Benefits and Downsides of Common Supply Chain Partners” as the winning “Chan Hahn” Best Paper Finalists by the OM Division of the Academy of Management. Veronica presented her paper in a featured session at the Academy of Management Conference.

For more information on this award, see

Huff named director of online supply chain graduate programs at Penn State Smeal

David Huff, clinical professor of supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been named director of online graduate programs in supply chain management. The director helps set the strategic direction and vision for the college’s Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management and the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management, programs offered online in partnership with Penn State World Campus.

Huff, who will also work to identify and cultivate relationships with corporate partners in his role as director, joined Smeal in 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in operations management and a master’s in management science methods, both from the University of Rochester. He also earned a master’s in mathematics from Brigham Young University and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Utah State University.

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SC&IS Department Welcomes New Faculty Members

Yi Jen (Ian) Ho is an assistant professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems at the Smeal College of Business.  He received his Ph.D. in Information Systems at The Paul Merage School of Business at The University of California, Irvine. He is mainly interested in understanding the impacts of information technologies on consumer choice. His current research focuses on the areas of social media, mobile and location-based technologies in digital markets.

Yiwei Huang is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Smeal College of Business (2016-2017).  Her research interests lie in the general area of logistics, supply chain management, and healthcare management. Yiwei received a Ph.D. (2016) in Operations and Supply Chain Management from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Operations Research from Southern Methodist University, and a B.S. in Electronics and Information Engineering from Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Siyuan Liu is an assistant professor of information systems in the Smeal College of Business. Siyuan has a B. S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Shandong University, a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University from 2013 to 2015. He has published over 50 papers in data mining, databases and systems, machine learning, artificial intelligence, distributed systems, data visualization, and information systems. His research interests include trajectory mining, social networks analytics, and data visualization.  In 2015 he was selected to receive the Google Faculty Research Award, an Award of USDOT National University Transportation Center for Safety, and an Award of Russian Science Foundation.

Gartner Ranks Penn State Smeal No. 1 in Supply Chain Graduate and Undergraduate Education

Gartner Inc. has again ranked the Penn State Smeal College of Business No. 1 in supply chain graduate and undergraduate education.

Gartner’s report indicates that Penn State undergraduate education scored among the top two schools as an industry value leader, which tend to have large, externally facing supply chain centers and strong internship participation with big companies. Smeal’s Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR) is a leader in research, executive education, benchmarking and sponsorship.

Penn State also ranked among the top three schools in program scope, which takes into account a diverse, balanced program based on the Gartner Supply Chain Talent Attribute Model.

In graduate education, Penn State Smeal received the highest scores in both program scope and industry value.

“Our commitment to excellence in supply chain education is realized through our world-class faculty and our connections to industry through CSCR,” said Nicholas C. Petruzzi, chair of the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. “These No. 1 rankings are a welcomed affirmation of both the rigor and the relevance of our state-of-the-art curriculum.”

Previous reports on supply chain education providers were released in 2014, 2011 and 2009, naming Smeal No. 1 each time. The university rankings are part of Gartner’s larger research project identifying skill and talent gaps in the supply chain industry.

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Saurabh Bansal’s research selected a Finalist for the Biennial Applied Research Challenge 2016

A research paper “Quantifying Uncertainties Using Expert Assessments in a Dynamic New Product Development Environment” by Saurabh Bansal was recognized as a finalist at the Biennial Applied Research Challenge 2016 organized by the Production and Operations Management Society in May 2016. The paper develops new theory to estimate uncertainties using managerial forecasting. This theory has been implemented at Dow AgroSciences since 2014 to make an $800 million annual decision with substantial monetary benefits. The model-based behavioral theory for expert calibration was tested and fine-tuned in a series of experiments at the LEMA lab at Penn State. Genaro Gutierrez at The University of Texas at Austin, and John Keiser, a research scientist at Dow AgroSciences, are coauthors on the paper.

The competition had two rounds, with the first round judged by an academic panel and the second round judged by a panel of industry leaders. In the recognition awarded to the authors, the panels note that “This work is an achievement in conducting rigorous applied research that is relevant and innovative.”

Dow AgroSciences is a corporate sponsor of Smeal’s Center for Supply Chain Research. The Center provides the resources needed to facilitate research collaboration between higher education and practitioners to further supply chain knowledge with meaningful contributions to the greater business community.

Boeing Selects Students for BASE Externships

Congratulations to Sophomores Erika Veiszlemlein and Rhea Godiawala, who were selected to participate in the Boeing BASE externship program in August. The program received over 600 applicants, interviewed 55 candidates, and extended 31 offers to fill the 30 available slots.