Archived News & Awards for the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department at Penn State University (2012)

Biofuels Research Project

Supply Chain & Information Systems faculty and graduate students, Evelyn Thomchick, Kusumal Ruamsook, and Yaru Liu, and MBA graduate student, Yun Zhou, will participate in a five-year research grant valued at roughly $10 million to develop biomass supply chains for the production of liquid transportation and aviation biofuels in the Northeast.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this award to Penn State on October 16, 2012.  Dr. Thomas Richard, Director of the Institutes for Energy and the Environment, will lead the team of researchers and staff from the following organizations: Cornell University, Delaware State University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, West Virginia University, University of Vermont, Drexel University, American Refining Group, Ernst Conservation Seed, Case New Holland, Praxair, Inc., Idaho National Lab, Mascoma Biofuels, Primus Green Energy, Double A Willow, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Aloterra Energy and Oak Ridge National Lab. The Smeal SC&IS research team will be involved in three areas of the project—procurement of the raw materials, logistics and supply chain network analysis, and identification of business models of the emerging industry.

Saurabh Bansal Awarded Paiste Learning and Teaching Fellowship

Saurabh Bansal has been awarded the Paiste Learning and Teaching Fellowship for 2011-2012. This fellowship rewards past teaching performance and promotes future advancements in teaching and learning.

Adaptive Manufacturing Research Award

A consortium of industry and academic partners, including Penn State, has been awarded a $40 million grant for research on Adaptive Manufacturing. Terry Harrison is the Smeal participant on the team.

Akhil Kumar Receives Research Funding From Hewlett-Packard Labs Innovation Research Program

The HP Labs Innovation Research Program recently awarded Akhil Kumar, professor of information systems at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, with $69,000 to examine end-to-end patient processes within the healthcare system. The award is one of 60 granted to universities across the globe to enable collaborative research in cloud technology, health care, information analytics, and social media, among other areas. Through an annual, open call for proposals, HP solicits ideas on a range of targeted research topics. Proposals are reviewed by HP lab scientists and selected to receive funding based on their alignment with the chosen research topic and expected impact of the proposed research.

Kumar’s research proposal, “Streamlined Patient Experience,” suggests examining the end-to-end processes involved in providing a variety of healthcare services provided to patients. The goal of the project is to use information technology to help patients understand these processes and improve the overall patient experience. “By incorporating patient preferences and other patient-specific contextual information in the end-to-end treatment process,” said Kumar, “we hope to help patients better navigate the complex healthcare system and make more intelligent decisions from their available choices of providers and treatments.” He feels that having better informed patients will also lead to a more efficient heath care system with lower costs and fewer medical errors.

Now in its fifth year, the HP Labs IRP has channeled approximately $20 million of support to academic projects aligned with the HP Labs research agenda. IRP has gathered more than 2,000 research proposals from more than 40 countries, each seeking up to $100,000 in project funding for one academic year. Of these proposals, IRP has supported more than 150 research projects.

New Book, Formed in a Smeal Classroom, Explores How IT Is Rapidly Altering Business

A new book by John Jordan looks at how the latest trends in information management and technology are impacting business models and innovation worldwide. Information, Technology, and Innovation: Resources for Growth in a Connected World, published by Wiley, grew out of an undergraduate course on global information technology strategy that Jordan teaches at Smeal. The book explores how analytics, visualization, and emerging technologies such as smartphone networks, social media, and cloud computing are changing the way business is done. Jordan looks at how the latest technology trends and their impact on human behavior are impacting business practices from recruitment to marketing to supply chains to customer service.

Geared toward investors, managers, and executives, the book shows readers how to think more broadly and see deeper patterns in order to take advantage of the many emerging capabilities that will inevitably transform their businesses. Readers will learn of five broad areas in which they can anticipate rapid change in the foreseeable future.

Jordan is a seasoned IT strategy scholar whose research focuses on emerging technologies and their impact on business strategy, design, and practice. He relies on this expertise and hundreds of examples to show how technology is transforming businesses and how startups with the right IT strategies are disrupting long-established players. Jordan presents several case studies to showcase how emerging technology has disrupted long-standing business models in data and communications, software, music, news, health care, retail, and real estate. "This book attempts to explore the intersection of our connecting technologies and our institutions, and the changes that come to business as a result," Jordan writes in the preface. "For a variety of reasons -- not all of them related to the Internet -- making a living, finding a partner, and other essential, defining pursuits are changing. … The changes are happening fast, but often invisibly, particularly for the young."

Information, Technology, and Innovation: Resources for Growth in a Connected World is available online from Wiley and Amazon, among other booksellers.

John Jordan has been on the Smeal College of Business faculty since 2005, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in management information systems, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He previously directed Smeal's Center for Digital Transformation, a research center focused on helping business realize the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy. Since 1997, Jordan has written Early Indications, an electronic newsletter that examines emerging technologies and how they impact business and society. Prior to joining Smeal, Jordan served as principal at Capgemini, a global business and technology consulting firm, where he analyzed e-commerce success stories like Amazon, Linux, and eBay. His consulting experience extends across industries and geography, with engagements on four continents. Before he entered consulting, Jordan won teaching awards at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. He holds a bachelor's degree from Duke University, a master's degree from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Students Compete in Boeing Competition

The fifth annual Boeing Case Competition took place this spring with Matt Barbuscak, Josh Helsley, Sabrina Herbst, Brett Larter and Jordan Schaeffer taking first place. This competition provides Supply Chain and other business students an opportunity to apply classroom instruction to real world problems. Teams of four or five students, typically three supply chain and one finance or accounting student, use their knowledge of LEAN concepts to determine an optimal solution to a Boeing problem. Students have Boeing mentors to contact and answer any questions. Senior Boeing executives judge the 15 minute presentations and then drill the teams with a variety of questions. Eight teams competed to win $2,000 in prize money provided by Boeing. The kickoff dinner and presentation dinner hosted by Boeing in the Business Building added to the professional experiences for these students.

SC&IS Faculty Receive MBA Teaching Awards

Several SC&IS faculty received awards for their teaching in the MBA program in Fall 2011 to Spring 2012.

First Year Faculty Awards:

Doug Thomas – Award for Best Teaching

Second Year Faculty Awards

Mirko Kremer – Award for Most Engaging
David Huff – Award for Most Entertaining
John Jordan – Award for Most Interesting

Smeal Student Society Honors Frank Chelko

The Smeal Student Society has honored Frank Chelko by choosing him to be in the Smeal Student Society Spotlight. Stop by the Atrium to see the poster about Frank.

Magazine Names Smeal's Novack a Supply Chain 'Pro to Know'

Supply & Demand Chain Executive has selected Robert Novack, associate professor of supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, as one of the magazine's 2012 "Pros to Know." Novack is included in the 2012 Provider Pros to Know, which consists of individuals from software firms, service providers, consultancies, and academia who have helped their supply chain clients or the supply chain community at large prepare to meet significant business challenges. The magazine included William "Skip" Grenoble, executive director of Smeal's Center for Supply Chain Research, on last year's Provider Pros to Know list.

This year, Novack was selected for the honor for his efforts in developing a supply chain workforce pipeline that attracts and maintains talent in the industry. As part of this effort, Novack helped design the curriculum for supply chain courses at State College Area High School, one of the country's first high school programs in supply chain management.

Novack has served on the Smeal faculty since 1986 and currently teaches a variety of undergraduate and executive education courses in supply chain management. In 2009, Penn State's Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence presented him with a George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching in honor of his record of distinction in undergraduate education. He has also won Smeal's highest teaching and advising honors.

Laura Rothkopf Endows Early Career Professorship in Supply Chain

Laura L. Rothkopf, widow of Michael H. Rothkopf, Smeal Chaired Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems, has committed $334,000 to establish the Michael H. and Laura L. Rothkopf Early Career Professorship in Supply Chain Management in the Penn State Smeal College of Business. With matching funds from the Penn State Faculty Endowment Challenge, the total endowment is worth $500,000.

"Mike was passionate about education and supporting students and young, promising faculty," said James B. Thomas, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. "Though he left us four years ago, his legacy will always be felt at the college and in the operations research field. I'm so thankful that Laura has decided to honor the love she has for Mike by supporting his love for education at Smeal. It is truly a fitting way to remember a great scholar and person."

The Rothkopf Early Career Professorship will be used to support outstanding supply chain faculty who are in the first 10 years of their academic career. Rotating to a new faculty member every three years, the fund will allow Smeal's dean to recruit and retain rising academic stars by providing additional funds for research projects and course development. The first recipient of the Rothkopf Early Career Professorship is Christopher Craighead.

The Penn State Faculty Endowment Challenge offers donors an opportunity to leverage a 1:2 match from the University for gifts creating new Early Career Professorships in any of Penn State’s academic units. Such endowments typically require a minimum commitment of $500,000, but through the Faculty Endowment Challenge, donors may establish new Early Career Professorships for any of the University’s colleges or campuses with a commitment of $334,000. The University will commit the remaining one third of the necessary funds, approximately $166,000, from unrestricted endowment resources.
For more information on the For the Future campaign, visit giveto.psu.edu.

MBA Team Wins Case Competition

The Smeal MBA team won the Supply Chain Case Competition hosted by Rutgers University on Friday, 30. Lehigh, Maryland, NJIT, Rider, Rutgers, and Syracuse also participated in the competition. The case was written by a Rutgers faculty member and focused on the energy industry of Pakistan. Students were tasked to develop a workable plan to re-invent the energy supply chain while faced with formidable financial, social and technical challenges. The Smeal team included Mehul Pathak, Raghavan Parthasarathy, Rashmi Sharma, and Yujia Wang. Terry Harrison served as faculty adviser.

Jeff Pilof of Macy’s Speaks at the Spisak Lecture

Jeff Pilof, Group Vice President at Macy's Logistics & Operations, gave the 2012 Spisak Lecture to a packed MBA classroom on Thursday, April 4. Mr. Pilof holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees from Penn State, with Business Logistics as his major/primary field of study. He has more than two decades of experience in logistics planning, development, and execution capacities. Before joining Macy’s in 2009, he co-founded and served as President of Logicity SCS Corporation. Prior to that position, he held various logistics positions at Abercrombie & Fitch, PPG Industries, Nabisco, and Merck & Co.
The Spisak Lectureship Endowment was established to support presentations of experience-based knowledge by persons who have achieved senior-level leadership positions in logistics and supply chain management.

SC&IS Student Receives Terry L. Priest Scholarship

The Denver Foundation and The Denver Transportation Club selected Dale Eshbach to receive a scholarship from the Terry L. Priest Scholarship Fund. Dale has held two internships. This past summer he interned at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, AZ, as a Materials Planner. The previous summer, Dale worked at W.W. Grainger in Harrisburg, PA, and was placed in the management trainee program. He is an active member of the Penn State SAP Interest Group and the Council of Supply Change Management Professionals Group.

Smeal Student Diversity Award

Bianca Peart, MIS Class of 2012, won the Smeal Student Diversity Award. All Smeal students are eligible for this award that recognizes a Smeal student for leadership in an individual or group project that furthers diversity efforts at the Smeal College. Nominations are solicited from Smeal faculty, staff, student organizations, and current Smeal Alumni Society Board members. The selection committee includes, but is not limited to, the Smeal Alumni Society Board's Awards task force, Executive Committee, and Smeal's Director of Alumni Relations.

SC&IS Undergrads Take First Place in APICS Case Competition

Our team finished first in the APICS Mid-Atlantic District Case Competition. Congratulations to Laura Cranville, Dale Eshbach, Nathan Geare, Matthew McClurken, Cassandra McRoberts, and Melany Cruz Rodriguez, and to our faculty adviser, Dr. Felisa Preciado.

Endowed Professorships Awarded

The Smeal College of Business awarded endowed positions to three SC&IS faculty members.
• Chris Craighead: Michael H. and Laura L. Rothkopf Early Career Professor of Supply Chain & Information Systems
• Gene Tyworth: John J. Coyle Endowed Professor of Supply Chain Management
• Susan Xu: Robert G. Schwartz Fellow in Supply Chain & Information Systems

Smeal College of Business Partners with Southern Maryland Higher Education Center to Deliver Executive Programs in Supply Chain Management

Faculty members from Smeal's highly acclaimed supply chain management program delivered four three-day executive education courses in supply chain management on the campus of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland, in January 2012. By completing three of the courses, participants were eligible to earn a Certificate in Supply Chain Management.

The Penn State Smeal College of Business is recognized as one of the world's leading providers of supply chain education and research. Technology research firm Gartner recently ranked Smeal No. 1 in the world in supply chain education, and the college has been ranked among the top five programs worldwide by leading media outlets and academic studies. Together with Smeal's Center for Supply Chain Research, Penn State Executive Programs offers three certificate programs in supply chain management. The college also offers a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. in Supply Chain and Information Systems and an online, 30-credit professional master's program in supply chain management.

Spring 2012 SC&IS Career Fair

The Spring Supply Chain Career Fair was held on January 24-25, 2012, in the Smeal Business Building Atrium. This Career Fair was once again a huge success. We had a combined total of 85 companies attending with more than 325 students from Supply Chain, MIS, IST, and Industrial Engineering. New this year, we included incoming sophomores to the Supply Chain major. During the following two days after the Fair, the companies conducted interviews with students.

Along with the Supply Chain Career Fair, we hosted our Supply Chain Corporate Information Sessions on Monday night with 10 corporate sponsors running concurrent information sessions with about 85 students attending the event.
On September 17, 2012, the Supply Chain Corporate Information Sessions will kick off the Fall 2012 recruiting activities. The Supply Chain Career Fair will follow on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 18-19, 2012.

IBM’s Linda Cantwell is Spisak Lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Linda Cantwell, IBM’s Vice President of Global Procurement, provided an overview of IBM’s rich history and shared her perspectives on what individuals and institutions need to do to succeed in today’s globally integrated, technology-infused world at this year's Spisak Lecture in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Penn State's Smeal College of Business. She also portrayed the evolution of IBM’s Integrated Supply Chain and its path toward the future.

The Spisak Lectureship was founded in 1990 through a gift from the Alex and Ann Spisak family of State College. The fund supports lectures by outstanding professionals working in logistics and supply chain management.