Business Advisory Committee - Fall 2009 Meeting

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Location: James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive

Time Event
2:15 - 5:00 PM

BAC Workshop: The "Greening" of Transportation

Agenda with Speaker Bios (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)


  • Carl Gerhardstein, CSX Corporation
  • Steven Holic, Philips Electronics
  • Tarsem Jutla, Cat Logistics Services, Inc.
  • Steve Matheys, Schneider National
  • Prabhakar Nair, Renewables SBU of UOP
5:00 PM

Reception and Cocktails

6:00 PM


7:30 PM

After Dinner Presentation: Managing Customers Through Economic Cycles

Flyer (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)

John McKeanExecutive Director, Center for Information Based Competition

Thursday, November 5, 2009: BAC Meeting
Location: Transportation Center, 600 Foster Street

Download Agenda (PDF)

Time Event
7:30 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM

Call to Order


BAC Chair Justin Zubrod presiding

Key Introductory Themes:

  • Survival is a meaningful goal for BAC clients and partners
  • Transportation Center has one of the highest student enrollments ever.  Students have been active and present at Sandhouse Rail Group meetings, the Lipinski Symposium, and other events.
  • Executive programs at the Transportation Center are back.

8:10 AM

Welcome by Dean Julio Ottino, McCormick School of Engineering


  • Hani Mahmassani has organized and improved the Transportation Center substantially
  • Lipinski Symposium has become a focal point for people in the region to come together and discuss transportation issues.
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is one of the most cross linked schools in NU- in every event in every setting, we are linking with a partner.
  • Please contact the Transportation Center if you (BAC member) are interested in attending a McCormick Centennial Celebration event in Los Angeles (1/20/10), Washington, DC (4/28/10) or New York City (5/13/10).

8:15 AM

Transportation Center Director's Report

Hani Mahmassani, Director, Transportation Center
Director's Report (PDF)



  • Critical to TC growth plans and a critical element of center.
  • Build the membership base selectively and develop programs that meet needs of BAC.


  • Tripled value of sponsored research over previous years
  • Funded 14 research projects
  • Submitted $14.5 million worth of new proposals involving 20 faculty members

Research collaboration with BAC:

  • Engage many BAC members in collaborative research projects with our faculty and students. Four areas under consideration are:
  • Sustainable transportation: develop platforms and methodologies to document and evaluate sustainable transportation strategies and operations
  • Application of information technology to benefit transportation users for both freight and passengers
  • Policy and economics: - pricing, public/private, collaborative platforms
  • Humanitarian logistics: - extreme events, efficient operations in normal times.

Executive Education

  • New class November 16-18, “The Pricing of Transportation Infrastructure”
  • Spring 2010, “Coping with Carbon” in development
  • Custom courses for BAC members
  • International classes as opportunities arise

Students: Our Core Mission

  • 9 new graduate students joined program transportation, the largest incoming class in 10 years. 
  • TC value proposition: access to seminars, BAC companies, funding for travel to conferences, fellowship stipends, etc.
  • For undergraduates: focus on engagement in research and internship placement with BAC companies.  Industry support and involvement is critical

8:40 AM

The Kellogg Connection

Sunil Chopra, Interim Dean, Kellogg School of Management


School Rankings

  • Number of rankings is more than number of business schools (laughter).
  • Everyone looks at US News & World Report. USN&WR gives overall business school rankings - Kellogg was #3 overall this year.
  • Separate concentration rankings are now given for Production Operations and Supply Chain Management. This new separation emphasizes and acknowledges Supply Chain management as a broad and important area.
  • Supply chain is the biggest difference between Japan and the US. Even if you look at strategy consulting firms, like McKinsey, its single largest area of practice is supply chain/operations consulting.

Kellogg Students

  • Where do most Kellogg students go? Kellogg is recognized as general management school with many areas of depth. 2/3 of students stay in consulting. Within this group, the area of supply chain management is critical.
  • EVERY MBA needs to be educated in supply chain because:
    • It is a significant part of their overall performance
    • Productivity growth in the US has come from this area.

Supply Chain Specialization at Kellogg

  • Small groups of students (~tens of students) want to specialize in supply chain.
  • Need to support specialization and students only interested in a few supply chain classes
  • Need more electives
  • MMM students understand the area, but they want more depth and the capacity to learn faster

Kellogg student’s strengths
These are tough economic times, but Kellogg’s strengths are suited for tough times.

  • Our students do a marvelous job of taking a holistic picture, which is necessary in transportation. If you look at financial institutions that have done well- two are Northwestern Mutual (managed to maintain AAA rating) and Northern Trust- both have Kellogg CEOs.
  • Kellogg graduates also make every team better- no individual has all the answers, and our students make teams better.

Job Placement
In spite of tough times, a rough job market- we’ve done well.

  • 85% of our graduating class placed by end of summer. 97-99% is preferred.
  • Consider Kellogg graduates for any available positions. Kellogg has a lot of collaborative relationships and the Transportation Center is the ultimate representation collaboration at Northwestern.

9:00 AM

Panel: Cyber Security - Protecting Transportation Data and Assets

Moderator: Aaron Gellman

After an extensive background on the development of the internet and its proliferating access and use around the globe in both business and society, a discussion took place on how hostile parties are using loopholes and lax discipline of users to not only commit crimes for monetary gain (e.g., account numbers, personal identity information, etc.) but to disrupt operations for perhaps political gain or sport (e.g., hackers). Numerous examples of actual or potential breeches in security -- many of them resulting from innocent or accidental activities (e.g., music downloads) or lack of adequate precautions (e.g., taking business files home) – were given.  Many, but not all, of these illegal entries occur in the developing economies as part of organized crime.

The session concluded with a discussion of the wide (and costly) range of measures that corporations must take to protect their computers and other corporate and customer assets.

10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM

Panel: Anti-Trust Policy Developments and Transportation

Moderator: Justin Zubrod

The panel provided an overview of antitrust policy, philosophy, application and enforcement in both criminal and civil cases, mergers and firm behavior and the differences in policy and enforcement between Republican and Democratic administrations. In addition, the panel highlighted the degree of change in personnel under the new administration at the FTC, DOJ, and STB who will administer those policies.

Several recent and pending cases were discussed including the airline alliance arena and their antitrust immunity, successful prosecutions in air cargo price fixing and recent Jones Act violations in maritime. In addition, there was an important discussion of pending legislation in Congress to remove rail antitrust immunity in setting fuel surcharges and other areas, and rebalance the priorities of the STB regarding railroads.

Finally, we discussed the implication of stimulus funding for high speed rail (using underlying freight rail infrastructure) and if and how a new regulatory regime addresses such grants might be used to implement new competition philosophies (as occurs now in airport grant programs).

12:30 PM

Closing Comments - Meeting Adjournment & Introduction of the Transportation Students

Informal Buffet Luncheon with Transportation Students