News and Awards

Zhao Presented Research on Drug Shortages at The US Department of Health and Human Services in Washington DC

Supply chain faculty Hui Zhao and her coauthor Justin Jia presented their work on drug shortages to staff from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington DC. Drug shortages in the US have been a challenging problem that poses a significant public health threat in recent years. The number of drugs on shortage tripled from 2005 to 2010 and reached 456 in 2012 (FDA 2011 and GAO 2014). Their presentation on a proposal to mitigate drug shortages was very well received and the results were forwarded by FDA staff to the ASHP/Pew stakeholder meeting for further discussion. The FDA staff also expressed interests in a follow-up study.

Smeal Again Ranks No. 1 for Graduate Supply Chain Education

The Penn State Smeal College of Business once again ranks No. 1 in graduate supply chain education according to a report from IT research and advisory firm Gartner, which also ranked the college best for undergraduate supply chain education in August. Gartner based its graduate rankings on assessments of program scope, industry value and program size. In each of the firm's two previous undergraduate and graduate assessments, Smeal ranked No. 1.

“We are proud of our stature among the top business schools for supply chain education,” said Gene Tyworth, chairman of the Smeal Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. “Deep connections with our corporate partners ensure that our programs are highly relevant and our students are prepared to thrive throughout their supply chain careers.”

At the graduate level for supply chain students, Smeal offers a master of business administration concentration, a doctoral emphasis and an online master of professional studies in supply chain management (MPS/SCM). The MPS/SCM Program — offered in conjunction with Penn State World Campus — recently ranked No. 1 among the top 20 programs in an assessment by TheBestSchools.org.

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Gene Tyworth to Serve as Acting Director of New Penn State Center to Study Natural Gas Supply Chains

GE announced that it will invest up to $10 million in Penn State to establish a new innovation center focused on driving cutting-edge advancements in the natural gas industry. The Center for Collaborative Research on Intelligent Natural Gas Supply Systems at Penn State (CCRINGSS) will engage Penn State researchers and students from many disciplines in collaborative work with various industry stakeholders. The center will seek to advance efficiency and environmental sustainability both through technological innovations and improved supply chain management.

“Natural gas is extremely important as a domestic energy source for the United States and continues to serve as a crucial element in revitalizing Pennsylvania’s economy,” said U.S. Congressman Glenn Thompson. “I fully support the work that Penn State and GE will be doing through CCRINGSS to support new research innovations and create real-world applications that will build upon existing partnerships led by the University to make a positive impact on the industry and the communities of Pennsylvania.”

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Terry Harrison Receives Two Awards

Congratulations to Terry Harrison on receiving the George E. Kimball Medal and the INFORMS Fellow Award. The Kimball Medal is awarded for recognition of distinguished service to the Institute and to the profession of operations research and the management sciences with both a medallion and a certificate. The purpose of the INFORMS Fellows Award is to honor those who have accomplished a lifetime achievement in operations research and management science and whose exceptional accomplishments have made significant contributions to the advancement of OR/MS. Newly elected Fellows will be honored at the Fellows Luncheon at the 2014 INFORMS Annual Meeting in San Francisco on November 10.

Nicholson Helps Dairy Farmers Mitigate Financial Risks

Charles Nicholson, clinical associate professor of supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, is contributing to the introduction of the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers (MPP), a government-sponsored insurance initiative to help the nation’s dairy farmers mitigate their financial risks. Development of the MPP is part of the Agricultural Act of 2014, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in February. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

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Fall 2014 SC&IS Career Fair

Each semester the SC&IS Department partners with the Center for Supply Chain Research to host the Supply Chain Career Fair. The purpose of this fair is to connect companies with our Supply Chain, Management Information Systems, Industrial Engineering, and Information Sciences & Technology students. The Fall 2014 Career Fair took place on September 9-11 and gave companies the option to interview students the day after they attended the fair. This fair brought in 112 different companies and more than 800 students.

Along with the Supply Chain Career Fair, we hosted our Supply Chain Corporate Information Sessions (Coffee House) during the evening of Monday, September 8. This year’s event hosted 15 corporate sponsor companies running concurrent information sessions with about 150 students attending.

On Monday, February 2, the Supply Chain Corporate Information Sessions will kick off the Spring 2015 recruiting activities. The Supply Chain Career Fair will follow on February 3 & 4.

Supply Chain Researchers Claim a Shift Toward 'Supply Ecosystems'

A new article from Penn State Smeal College of Business faculty member Christopher W. Craighead and colleagues David Ketchen at Auburn University—a 1994 graduate of the Smeal Ph.D. Program—and Russell Crook at the University of Tennessee suggest that disruptive technologies are creating an evolution from supply chains to “supply ecosystems.”

The article, “From Supply Chains to Supply Ecosystems: Implications for Strategic Sourcing Research and Practice, will appear in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Business Logistics.

A “supply ecosystem,” the authors write, can help “reduce risk, improve customer responsiveness, develop innovative products and processes, and market innovations more effectively.”

They continue, “We define a supply ecosystem as a set of interdependent and coordinated organizations that share some common adaptive challenges and that collectively shape the creation and nurturing of a sourcing base that contributes to competitive advantage and superior performance.”

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Christian Heilman (MIS/Communications) Wins Emmy Award

Congratulations to Management Information Systems alum Christian Heilman on winning a Mid-Atlantic Emmy in the News-General Assignment Category for his story about drive-in theaters striving to stay open in Pennsylvania. Christian is currently a reporter for WTAJ News.

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Gartner Ranks Smeal No. 1 in Supply Chain Undergraduate Education

Gartner Inc., has again ranked the Penn State Smeal College of Business No. 1 in supply chain undergraduate education. In addition, Gartner’s report indicates that Penn State scored highest on the number of industry mentions, reflecting “its strong brand with the supply chain community at large.”

Supply chain practitioners and academics were asked to rate U.S. supply chain education providers based on industry value, program size and program scope. Also factored in were data on enrollment, offerings and faculty size.

“We work hard to stay on the forefront of the supply chain education and research, through our leading faculty and our connections with industry through the Center for Supply Chain Research,” said Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. “This ranking brings a welcome confirmation from our peers and the industry that we continue to produce some of the top graduates in supply chain.”

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

A graduate education ranking will be released in the coming months.

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