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Transportation Center Celebrates Six Decades of History

Events include summit, gala dinner, technical symposium and top thinkers in industry

The Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) is turning 60 and marking the important milestone with a celebration featuring leading transportation authorities from public and private sectors.

The highlight of the celebration will be a daylong transportation summit Friday, Nov. 14; a gala dinner and a technical symposium will take place Thursday, Nov. 13.

Hani Mahmassani“Over the last six decades, the Transportation Center has helped flesh out ideas from the deregulation of airlines to self-driving cars,” said Hani Mahmassani, director of the NUTC. “It also has produced some of the best and brightest minds in both research and industry.”

One of the world’s premier research institutions for the study of how people and goods move, NUTC in 1954 became the first center of its kind in the nation.

The NUTC 60th Anniversary Transportation Summit will bring in recognized leaders in the transportation industry to address major challenges and themes affecting the industry.

Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, an internationally recognized provider of space transport services, will deliver the keynote address at the dinner. And the technical symposium will feature transportation experts with a focus on four broad areas in which NUTC has had and continues to have a notable impact.

NUTC 60th Anniversary Transportation Summit
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at the James L. Allen Center Tribune Auditorium, on the Evanston campus.

The summit will feature influential chief executives in the transportation industry and some of the best minds in the fields of supply chain and logistics, sustainability, transportation finance and innovation.

Lead session speakers will include Allen Adler, vice president of enterprise technology strategy at The Boeing Company; Sunil Chopra, IBM Distinguished Professor of Operations Management and Information Systems at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management; Mortimer Downey, senior advisor at Parsons Brinckerhoff; and Chris Lofgren, CEO of Schneider Logistics, a provider of transportation and logistics services.

Lofgren, who delivered the 33rd Annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture in June, will be joined by CEOs from several top transportation and logistics companies, including Craig Philip, former CEO, Ingram Barge Company; Jeff Silver, CEO, Coyote Logistics; and Doug Waggoner, CEO, Echo Global Logistics.

NUTC 60th Anniversary Gala Reception and Dinner
6:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Grand Ballroom of the Women’s Club of Evanston.
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, a VIP reception that will precede the main reception and dinner.

The reception and dinner will focus on the Transportation Center’s contributions to the transportation sector with a keynote address by SpaceX President and COO Shotwell.

Forbes lists Shotwell as the ninth most powerful woman in the world. An alumni of Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Shotwell joined SpaceX in 2002 as vice president of business development and helped guide the company from a start-up with half a dozen employees to a major organization representing nearly $5 billion in revenue.

The VIP reception will give attendees the opportunity to interact with Shotwell and the Transportation Center's Business Advisory Council members. All gala dinner guests have the option of attending.

NUTC Transportation Technical Symposium
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Hilton Orrington/Evanston Hotel in Evanston, Illinois.

The technical symposium will feature distinguished alumni and faculty and other leading authorities who will identify the past and future challenges of transportation.

Transportation experts will lead sessions on four areas in which NUTC has historically led: travel demand and behavior; logistics and supply chain management; economics and policy; and networks and operations.

Sessions will feature active researchers and practitioners who are helping define the field of transportation and pushing the boundaries in either research or practice, with each speaker setting the stage for developments in his or her area of expertise.  

Noted academics will lead the sessions:

  • Mark Daskin, Clyde W. Johnson Collegiate Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan College of Engineering
  • Frank Koppelman, professor emeritus, industrial engineering and management science, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Hani Mahmassani, William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair of Transportation, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Kenneth A. Small, professor emeritus of economics, University of California, Irvine

All events are open to the public. Visit the Transportation Center website for information and to register.