News and Awards

News and Awards from the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department at Penn State

Jason Acimovic Receives M&SOM Award

Congratulations to Jason Acimovic on winning the best paper award for the INFORMS M&SOM (Manufacturing and Service Operations Management) journal and for being a finalist for the M&SOM  journal practice-based research competition.

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MOSO Award Paper

Timing of Regulatory Stick and Supportive Carrot May Keep Businesses Focused

Coordinating the stick of regulation with the carrot of technical assistance may help small companies perform better environmentally and economically, according to a team of researchers. 

The researchers found in a study that when punitive measures from regulatory agencies were followed by help from business support organizations, companies were more likely to stick to voluntary improvement projects than when these projects were followed by punitive regulatory actions, said Suvrat S. Dhanorkar, assistant professor of supply change and information systems in the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

He added that increasing coordination between regulatory agencies, for example, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and business support organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program — PennTAP — in Pennsylvania and Minnesota Technical Assistance Program — MTAP — in Minnesota, could help small and mid-sized businesses not only stay compliant, but continue to grow. 

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SC&IS Students Featured in Videos

Several SC&IS student alums are featured in videos that were prepared as part of a Deloitte/University Alliance effort to promote women in STEM. The videos can be seen at the link below.

Deloitte Videos

Penn State Smeal Senior Supply Chain Major one of 5 National Scholarship Winners

Laura Holleran, a senior supply chain and information systems major at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, was one of five women chosen from a national pool of applicants for an AWESOME (Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education) scholarship. An AWESOME scholarship offers university women the opportunity to participate in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Edge Conference and the annual AWESOME Symposium.

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Bob Novack Recognized by Poets & Quants for Undergrads

Congratulations to Bob Novack, associate professor of supply chain and information systems, for his selection by Poets & Quants for Undergrads as part of its 2017 Top 40 Undergraduate Professors.

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Robots by John Jordan Translated to Other Languages

Robots, authored by John Jordan, Penn State Smeal College of Business Clinical Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems, explores robots from many facets. The book, published by MIT Press, has already been translated into German and is now being translated in Russian, Chinese, Italian, Korean, and Japanese. Dr. Jordan’s Alumni Career Services webinar on robots has reached over 2,500 people via Smeal’s Facebook livestream.

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SC&IS Department Welcomes New Faculty

The SC&IS Department has added two new faculty:

Yue Zhang, assistant professor, holds a doctorate from Duke University, a Master’s from Hong Kong University, and a Bachelor’s from Tsinghua University.

Tariq Mughal, instructor, has held the position of visiting professor at Bucknell University. He holds two Master’s degrees from University of Utah and also a Bachelor’s from University of Utah.

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Smeal Research Reveals Computer Program Helps Pick the Best Expert Forecaster

Combining the intuition of humans with the impartiality of computers could improve decision-making for organizations, eventually leading to lower costs and better profits, according to a team of researchers.

In a study, researchers said a computer program that analyzed the estimates of an agribusiness expert helped a business division at Dow AgroSciences improve the accuracy of its forecasts, leading to an increase in profits of 2 to 3 percent and a decrease in costs of 6 to 7 percent, said Saurabh Bansal, assistant professor of supply chain management in Penn State's Smeal College of Business.

The team worked with a production expert from Dow AgroSciences management to improve predictions in the company's seed corn division. Producing seed corn, which farmers eventually use as seeds to produce their own crops, can be a tricky endeavor with several factors, including variations in demand and weather, increasing the uncertainty, according to the researchers.

"Every year, the company needs to figure out how many acres of land they are going to use to produce seed corn," said Bansal. "But in this competitive industry, many varieties of the seed corn are new, and the company does not have a lot of experience in growing the new type. As a result, it does not know what the yield would be, or how many bushels of corn they will get from its fields. Yet, an estimate of the yield is necessary to optimize the resources used for growing seed corn."

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First SCOR Grant Awarded to Faculty from Penn State Smeal, College of Engineering

The inaugural monetary award in the Smeal Commercialization of Research (SCOR) Grant Program demonstrates the power of research collaborations across Penn State University. 

As awardees in the Penn State Fund for Innovation program, Hui Zhao, associate professor of supply chain management in the Smeal College of Business, and Soundar Kumara, Allen E. Pearce and Allen M. Pearce Professor of Industrial Engineering, will share $30,000 provided by the FFI, Smeal, and the College of Engineering. These funds will be used over the next 12 months to help with: 

  • The development and demonstration of a commercially viable product or offering based on their research.
  • Evaluating the market potential of the proposed offering through a market viability assessment by Smeal’s Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • Work to identify and protect related intellectual property with assistance from the Penn State Office of Technology Management. 

“Smeal’s ‘proof of relevance’ activities have been an integral part of the Penn State Fund for Innovation since the beginning,” said Russell Barton, Smeal senior associate dean for research and faculty and Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems. “The SCOR program begins our support of moving Smeal faculty research to commercial success. It is particularly exciting that our inaugural project is collaborative with the College of Engineering.” 

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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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