Engineering News

New COVID-19 Webinar Series Focuses on Transportation and Logistics Issues

First roundtable to be held April 2 with a focus on supply chain disruptions

COVID-19 and the measures taken to control its spread have created unprecedented conditions for the nation’s and the world’s transportation and supply chain networks. Quickly moving medical supplies and essential goods to where they are needed is straining existing networks. Disruptions in ocean shipping, air cargo, and manufacturing in other countries threaten the timely availability of critical supplies.  

This week, the Northwestern University Transportation Center is launching a series of Asynchronous Virtual Roundtables with industry leaders representing all segments of the transportation, logistics, and supply chain industries who are coping with COVID-19. 

Hani S. Mahmassani“We are providing a first-hand look at the critical issues and challenges facing people on the front lines as they keep essential goods moving during this unprecedented crisis,” said Hani S. Mahmassani, director of the Transportation Center and a Northwestern Engineering professor.

Mahmassani is professor of civil and environmental and (by courtesy) industrial engineering and management sciences engineering, and William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation.

The first public roundtable, “Supply Chain Disruptions and Industry Challenges,” will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 2, as a Zoom webinar. Click this link to join the event, which can accommodate 500 people: https://northwestern.zoom.us/j/395749622.

In a series of interviews, three academic experts and industry professionals will explore supply chain disruptions and industry challenges and discuss their experiences in the era of COVID-19. Mahmassani will moderate and then take questions from the audience.

The three speakers for the first roundtable are:

  • Sunil Chopra, the IBM Distinguished Professor of Operations Management at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He is a leading authority on supply chain management and logistics. 
  • Eugene (Gene) Seroka, executive director for the Port of Los Angeles. He has more than 28 years of experience in shipping, global logistics and executive management. 
  • Doug Waggoner, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Echo Global Logistics. He has contributed to making Echo a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation management.

The target audiences for the Asynchronous Virtual Roundtables are people in industry, people who are dealing with goods being transported, the academic community, and government officials, but the general public and media also are welcome.

Details on future roundtables will be available on the Northwestern University Transportation Center website.