Business Advisory Council - Fall 2013 Meeting

Business Advisory Council Meeting - October 29-30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013: BAC Workshop & Leon N. Moses Distinguished Lecture



2:00 - 5:00 PM

BAC Workshop - "Fight for the Last Mile"

Location: James Allen Center, Room 164 - McCormick Foundation Auditorium

Cocktails & Dinner

Location: James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, Evanston Campus

5:00 PM

Reception and Cocktails

6:15 PM

Dinner - Atrium Dining Room

Leon N. Moses Distinguished Lecture

7:30 PM

"The Economics of Transportation Safety"

Professor Ian Savage
Associate Chair & Distinguished Senior Lecturer
Department of Economics, Northwestern University

Wednesday, October 30, 2013: BAC Meeting

Location: The Transportation Center, Chambers Hall, 600 Foster St. - Ruan Conference Center (Lower Level)

Gen# 847-491-7287



7:30 AM

Continental Breakfast and Reception - The Transportation Center

8:00 AM

Call to Order & Opening Comments – BAC Chair Justin Zubrod

8:05 AM

Welcome from the McCormick School of EngineeringDean Julio Ottino


Dean Julio Ottino proposed the concept of Northwestern providing an undergraduate class in “logistics, operations and analytics” as a core subject taken by nearly all undergraduate students. 

8:10 AM

Director’s Report: Hani Mahmassani

   View Presentation (PDF)


Director Mahmassani thanked the Council for a good year in terms of industry member recruitment, retention of companies, participation in events, engagement an active membership committee, engagement in research projects, and financial support.  He welcomed new BAC Leadership members from Ford, GE Transportation, and Navistar.

The Director highlighted strategic research themes, notably: Re‐inventing the user experience in transportation (freight and passenger, business Intelligence in support marketing / operations; urban and facility design); Smart Cities, Driverless Vehicles, Connected Systems; Freight Logistics and Economic Competitiveness; and Leveraging Big Data for Transportation.  He also noted a new research award from the Department of Labor, Leveraging, Integrating, Networking, Coordinating Supplies (LINCS) for Supply Chain Management (SCM), where NUTC is providing strategic guidance to a community college consortium developing supply chain management training programs for entry and middle-level employment. 

Among other topics, the Director described the growth and strength of NUTC’s executive education program, including the well-attended “Freight Transportation and Logistics: Delivering Results in a Volatile Environment” and the international program, “Transportation Policy Development, Planning and Management” for Indonesia government officials, conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia and Chicago, Illinois.  On campus, he reported on a strong group of Dissertation Year Fellows, incoming graduate engineering students majoring in transportation, and undergraduate Transportation and Logistics minor students, including four graduating seniors. 

More information on the past year is posted in the presentation and the 2013 annual Progress Report

8:35 AM

Membership Committee Report and New Member Introductions

Justin Zubrod introduced new BAC members attending a meeting for the first time:  Regis Luther, Vice President, Navistar; Pam Stec, Director, Materials Planning & Logistics, North America, Ford Motor Company; Dan Avramovich, Chairman and CEO, Pacer International; Paul Fisher, President and CEO. Centerpoint Properties; and David Hoppes, Senior Vice President, Matson.

8:45 AM

Panel: Trends in Global Trade and Manufacturing

Panel Moderator: Justin Zubrod
Evan A. Feigenbaum, Vice Chairman, The Paulson Institute
• Scott N. Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing

   View Presentation (PDF)

Farrukh Bezar, Partner, Clarendon Group

   View Presentation (PDF)


Scott Paul identified five trends potentially contributing to the improvement of the U.S. manufacturing industry: the domestic energy boom; the strength of the U.S. auto industry; the expansion and availability of broadband internet access and cloud computing; the emergence of additive manufacturing and 3-D printing; and the initial signs of manufacturing re-shoring in the U.S.  According to Paul, “Reshoring is a blip now,” but has potential based on several factors, including rising wages in coastal China, consumer preferences for U.S. goods, lean process improvement, advantages of local languages and regulatory framework, lower tariffs, lower supply chain risks, and the ability to better protect intellectual property. 

According to Evan Feigenbaum, China’s economic growth is vulnerable in the near term based on its reliance on exports and its investment-heavy stimulus strategy.  China is producing too much, and consuming too little; and suffering from an inequality gap – government and corporate leaders reaping the rewards while everyday Chinese are not.  Four strategies to address China’s current funk are on the table: social network reforms (wages hikes, social safety net reforms); move toward urbanization to improve productivity; move China business up the value chain; and financial reforms (access to capital and investment vehicles for small businesses and individuals.  In closing, Feigenbaum noted China has “not an intellectual problem, [but] a political one.” 

Farrukh Bezar shared data showing that 50 percent of trade in 2020 will be driven by emerging markets, notably in the following trade lanes: South American <=> Asia; Middle East/Africa <=> Asia; and Intra-Asia.  The rise of manufacturing in emerging markets will be tempered by the following risks: potential rise in manufacturing and labor costs; quality of infrastructure to support transportation and logistics services; and safety, security, political and business practices.  According to a report from Alix Partners, 42 percent of senior executives with Asian/Indian manufacturing operations have initiated or are planning near-shoring operations within the next three years.

10:00 AM


10:30 AM

Faculty Presentation: Research Challenges in Humanitarian Logistics

• Karen Smilowitz, Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

• Irina Dolinskaya, William A. Patterson Junior Chair in Transportation

   View Presentation (PDF)


Professor Smilowitz Logistics explained that humanitarian and non-profit logistics research problems differ significantly from those faced in the commercial sector and during “normal” conditions, and that advances information technologies, optimization techniques, network analysis, and decision sciences are needed to address the unique problems in these settings.  At Northwestern, a cross-disciplinary set of faculty from the engineering school, medical school and Transportation Center are examining challenges such as supply chain analysis for long-term humanitarian aid in Africa, planning for mass participation events (e.g. the Chicago Marathon), and improved access to community-based healthcare through improved scheduling policies. 

10:45 AM

Session: Regulation, Compliance, Data and Technology

Session Chair: Bret Johnson
• Andrew Boyle, Executive Vice President & CFO, Boyle Transportation

   View Presentation (PDF)

Mike Regan, Chief of Relationship Development, TranzAct Technologies, Inc.

   View Presentation (PDF)

• Fred Turek, Director, Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Feinberg School of Medicine

   View Presentation (PDF)


As the first speaker in the session, Andrew Boyle talked convincingly about how the integration of company-collected information, open-source information and information systems is a key to driving safety in individual trucking companies and the transportation carrier industry in general.  In the trucking industry, he noted several regulatory factors are driving capacity of the industry downward, including CSA, hours of service rules, electronic log requirements, and the impact of emission standards on equipment.  In a humorous (and Boston-centric) analogy, he compared the good, better and best evolution of telematics capabilities (2-way communication, enhanced visibility – tracking / mapping, and real-time, actionable information systems    of trucking) to the Aaron Rogers, Payton Manning, and Tom Brady of solutions.  Boyle Transportation, for the record, has adopted the “Tom Brady” solution.   

Mike Regan discussed supply chain risk of carrier selection primarily from the viewpoint of shippers or any firm involved with carrier selections, such as an intermodal company or a carrier outsourcing loads it cannot support.  He described his company’s solution to mitigating transportation risk: “know who you are doing business with and build forensic evidence which attests to the fact that you have done your due diligence in selecting your carriers.”  His approach to risk management is outlined in the presentation.

Fred Turek discussed the past 25 years of sleep disorder research in the context of the transportation industry and the lack of regulatory action taken to address a serious safety condition.  This discussion was prompted by the recently signed law that orders FMCSA to cease and desist all rulemaking on sleep disorders (apnea), pursuant to a rule making proceeding.  Dr. Turek urged both sides of the discussion – the safety/medical community and the transportation carrier community – to come together to pursue a reasonable solution to promote the health and safety of transportation operators.  Otherwise, he predicts future gridlock “despite 25 years of activity to do something.”

11:45 PM

Faculty Presentation: Social Networks and Organizational Behavior

• Noshir Contractor, Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences

   View Presentation (PDF)


In his presentation, Professor Contractor explained how network science and analytics can help in forming teams to address particular tasks in such as a way as to maximize the likelihood of successful attainment of the team objectives.  Using information from social and professional communities, his research is helping identify the relative importance of different association criteria on the attainment of successful outcomes.

12:15 PM

NUTC 60th Anniversary Celebration and Campaign: Hani Mahmassani


  • On-Campus Symposium Celebrating 60 years (1954-2014) involving Alumni, Faculty and BAC members
  • Long-Term Excellence Fund / Endowment in celebration of 60 years of accomplishments and looking ahead to future opportunities
  • Alumni events around the country

12:30 PM

Closing Comments and Meeting Adjournment

12:35 PM

Introduction of the Transportation Students

Click here to learn how to get access to the NUTC Resume Book.

12:45 PM

Buffet Luncheon with Transportation Students

For information contact: Diana Marek -- (847) 491-2280 -- Cell (847) 224-7372