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Northwestern University

Industry Technical Workshops

Every year, Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) and the Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology (CCITT) co-host two Industry Technical Workshops in conjunction with NUTC's Fall and Spring Business Advisory Council (BAC) meetings.

Fall 2019 Workshop Spring 2019 Workshop 20181107-workshop-poster.png 20180502-workshop-poster.png
Fall 2017 Workshop Spring 2017 Workshop Fall 2016 Workshop Spring 2016 Workshop


11/16/22 - "Visibility through the Supply Chain: Technologies and Best Practices"

Visibility Through the Supply Chain: Technologies and Best Practices




  • Hani Mahmassani | Director, Northwestern University Transportation Center | video


  • Fabrizio (Fab) Brasca | Executive Vice President of Industry and Market Strategy | FourKites | presentation | video
  • Bob Chappius | General Manager | Uber Freight | presentation | video
  • Bart de Muynck | EVP & Chief Industry Officer Management | project44 | presentation | video
  • Omar Singh | President & Founder | Surge Transportation | presentation | video
Panel Discussion | Presenters + Discussants | video
  •  Moderator | Peeter Kivestu | Principal | Oplytix, LLC
  • Danesha Marasinghe | Industry Consultant – Supply Chain | Teradata
  • Jonathan Shaver | Founder and CEO | StrategIQ Commerce

5/4/22 - "Rethinking Revenue Management Post-Pandemic in the Travel and Transportation Industry"

Rethinking Revenue Management Post-Pandemic in the Travel and Transportation Industry




Panel Discussion | video

  • Moderator | Frank Bush | Senior Partner, Industry Consulting | Teradata


11/17/21 - "Advancing Urban Air Mobility"

Advancing Urban Air Mobility



  • Eric Allison, Head of Product, Joby Aviation | video
  • Charles Clauser, AIA, Senior Director of Architecture, PS&S  presentation | video
  • Andrew Cummins, Director of Business Development, Archer presentation | video | Archer film
  • Edward Espiritu, Senior Manager, United Airlines Venture and Corporate Development, United Airlines
  • Yolanka Wulff, J.D, Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI) [ presentation | video

06/16/21 - "Transportation Electrification at Scale"

Transportation Electrification at Scale



  • Brendan Keegan - CEO, Merchants Fleet
  • Brad Beauchamp - Client Solutions Director, BrightDrop
  • Satish Chandra - Director, Corporate Strategy, Growth Office, Cummins / View Presentation
  • Idine Ghoreishian, Sales Director, Auto OEM Integration, Greenlots
  • Walter Graber - Manager, Level 2 Charging Program, Tesla
  • Matthew Stover, Team Edison, Director Business Development/EV Services, Ford Motor Company View Presentation
  • Alexander Voets - Sales and Marketing Manager – eMobility, Daimler Trucks North America / View Presentation
  • Andrew Wishnia - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Bret Johnson - Sr. Associate Director, Northwestern University Transportation Center; Director, Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology
  • Hani Mahmassani - William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation; Director, Northwestern University Transportation Center



11/12/19 - "Virtual Reality in Transport Innovation"

Virtual Reality in Transport Innovation

Date: November 12, 2019
Location: Cahn Auditorium

NUTC's Fall 2019 Industry Technical Workshop, "Virtual Reality in Transport Innovation," (#ITW2019)  held November 12th at Cahn Auditorium, showcased advances and opportunities in virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR /AR/MR) technology for applications across the transportation sector. 


Featured Speakers:

 Learn More: Read Workshop Summary

05/15/19 - "Feeding First to Last Mile Demands for Fast(er) Food Delivery"

Feeding First to Last Mile Demands for Fast(er) Food Delivery

Date: May 15, 2019

NUTC's Spring 2019 Workshop, "Feeding First to Last Mile Demands for Fast(er) Food Delivery," focused on current trends, expert tech, consumer cravings and the future of (even faster) food and grocery delivery.

Featured Speakers:





11/07/18 - "Connect. Carry. Conquer. Innovative Practices in Freight Process Management"

Connect. Carry. Conquer. Innovative Practices in Freight Process Management

November 7, 2018

Chicago-area companies are leading the business and technology innovations that drive freight and supply chain management today. On November 7, established leaders and rising upstarts from six  of these leading companies shared a stage at the Hilton Orrington Hotel, Evanston for NUTC & CCITT’s Fall 2018 Industry Technical Workshop, "Connect. Carry. Conquer. Innovative Practices in Freight Process Management."

Experts discussed the current state of the freight industry and best practices for connecting customers to carriers going forward, as well as ways improve the end-to-end user experience—all for the purpose of conquering the supply chain.

Featured Speakers:



05/02/18 - "Freight by Air: Riding the Wings of Change"

Freight by Air: Riding the Wings of Change

May 2, 2018

NUTC and CCITT co-hosted the Spring 2018 Industry Technical Workshop (#ITW2018), Freight by Air: Riding the Wings of Change, on May 2nd at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston.

The workshop—moderated by Shawn McWhorter, President, Nippon Cargo Airlines—featured industry leaders presenting on: Demand growing faster than Capacity; Drivers behind the changes and the impact on general air freight; Accessing and managing capacity; The future of aircraft autonomy; and Last-mile delivery by drone.

Featured Speakers:






10/18/17 - "Making the Customer Happy"

Making the Customer Happy

October 18, 2017

Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) and the Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology (CCITT) co-hosted the Fall 2017 Industry Technical Workshop—Making the Customer Happy: Innovation & Best Practices—to examine and investigate innovations and best practices in customer service, customer experience and customer loyalty in travel and transportation. 

Speakers from Northwestern University and the industry engaged attendees through case study presentations and a panel discussion.

Featured Speakers:




05/03/17 - "Innovation in Large-Scale Infrastructure Development"

Bridging the Future: Innovation in Large-Scale Infrastructure Development

May 3, 2017

While state and local municipalities have attempted narrow the shortfall through gasoline taxes and highway tolls, the need for new infrastructure projects continues to exceed the available funding.

NUTC and the Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology (CCITT) hosted Bridging the Future: Innovation in Large-scale Infrastructure Development, the Spring 2017 Industry Technical Workshop which addressed how P3s can bridge the growing gap in federal funding required to update the country’s aging bridges, highways, and other transit systems.


Featured Speakers:




10/26/16 - "Machine Learning in Transportation"

Machine Learning in Transportation

October 26, 2016

In the transportation industry, machine learning is the driving force behind many burgeoning technological advances. On Wednesday, October 26, industry and academic experts gathered in Northwestern’s McCormick Auditorium for “Machine Learning in Transportation,” a technical workshop co-hosted by  NUTC and CCITT that featured speakers from Northwestern, BMW, IBM, and more.

“Machine learning allows us to tackle tasks that are too difficult to solve with fixed programs written and designed by human beings,” said Aggelos Katsaggelos, Joseph Cummings Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the McCormick School of Engineering. “Still, there is a give-and-take involved. We teach the machines how to learn, but analyzing how they perform informs our own learning on the subject. Transportation problems are rich in applying machine learning techniques.”


 Featured Speakers:



04/20/16 - "BioLogistics in a Changing Healthcare World"

BioLogistics in a Changing Healthcare World

April 20, 2016

NUTC and CCITT co-hosted the Spring 2016 Industry Technical Workshop, "Biologistics in a Changing Healthcare World" at Northwestern's James Allen Center. 

The workshop examined changes occurring across the supply chain in the biologistics industry, including impacts from: the change in landscape of and with the healthcare providers; the establishment of group buying organizations forming distribution centers to service affiliated hospitals; communication protocols, or lack thereof, across the healthcare supply chain; evolving cold chain supply chain management requirements; and the use of analytics to better stage (store) products for deliveries to the right location at the right time.


 Featured Speakers:





10/17/15 - "The Internet of Things in Transportation and Logistics"

The Internet of Things in Transportation & Logistics

October 17, 2015

This Industry Technical Workshop, held in conjunction with the Fall 2015 meeting of the NUTC Business Advisory Council (BAC), discussed the current applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) in transportation and logistics settings. IoT describes a network of physical and mobile objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity.

In a transportation system, dynamic interaction between these “things” enables vehicular communication, smart traffic control, logistics and fleet management and optimization, intelligent port operations, vehicle control, and energy, maintenance and safety management, among others. The workshop featured speakers from transportation firms, internet infrastructure companies, and technology providers for the transportation industry, and will describe applications in trucking, rail, and port operations, and more.

 Featured Speakers:


04/20/15 - "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Applications and Emergent Technologies"

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Applications & Emergent Technologies

April 20, 2015

On April 20, 2015, the Northwestern University Transportation Center and the Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology presented Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Applications and Emergent Technologies. This Industry Technical Workshop, co-chaired by Dr. Hani Mahmassani and Mr. Breton Johnson, brought to light the current and future potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as "drones." Speakers provided insight into infrastructure monitoring and inspection, package and cargo delivery, the evolution of the UAV market, and policy developments.


 Featured Speakers:


06/10/14 - "Autonomous Vehicle Technologies for Passenger & Freight Mobility"

Autonomous Vehicle Technologies for Passenger & Freight Mobility

June 10, 2014

NUTC and the Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology presented Autonomous Vehicle Technologies for Passenger and Freight Mobility for the Spring 2014 Industry Technical Workshop, co-chaired by NUTC director Dr. Hani Mahmassani and NUTC associate director Mr. Breton Johnson.

Speakers from the automobile industry, trucking industry, and technology community gathered to discuss technology readiness, innovations on the horizon, target markets, and insights into near and long term rollout of autonomous vehicle and mobility enhancing technologies.

Main focuses were the convergence and integration of software, hardware, communications, sensing, and positioning technologies, all of which are moving the possibility of autonomously-driven road vehicles beyond science fiction and closer to reality.

Featured Speakers:


10/29/13 -" The Fight for the Last Mile"

The Fight for the Last Mile

October 29, 2013

NUTC's Fall 2013 Industry Technical Workshop highlighted the competitive landscape surrounding the continual rise of e-commerce and direct delivery of goods to consumers and businesses alike.

The Workshop emphasized that the “Fight for the Last Mile” is not only about the last mile itself, but the complete design of the supply chain and the technology that enables a first-in-class user experience.

04/24/13 - "Smarter Cities / Smarter Mobility"

Smarter Cities / Smarter Mobility

April 24, 2013

NUTC's Spring 2013 Industry Technical Workshop highlighted several visions for "smarter cities and smarter mobility" for both passengers and goods movement. The presentations examined how the deployment and use of sensor and wireless technologies are poised to impact the urban mobility experience.

The Workshop preceded (and complemented) the 2013 Patterson Transportation Lecture,  featuring Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Founder and Chairman of Qualcomm.


10/30/12 - "Data-Driven Business"

Data-Driven Business

October 30, 2012

Transportation companies are confronted with growing – some may say exploding – and diverse sources of data. This data may be mined from social media, obtained from customer surveys, collected from environmental sensors, and gleaned from geo-positioning radios, among others.

Looking through the lens of the transportation industry, the Northwestern University Transportation Center’s Fall 2012 Industry Technical Workshop examined challenges and best practices in data-driven business. The keynote speaker and two panels discussed:

  • Why "data-driven" is a different way of competing?
  • What does it take to unlock opportunity in data?
  • What are the organizational implications for being "data-driven?"

04/18/12 - "The Electrification of Transportation"

The Electrification of Transportation

April 18, 2012

With ever growing concerns regarding the diversification of our country’s energy resources and the recent emergence of consumer and fleet electrical vehicles (EV), this NUTC Industry Technical Workshop explored opportunities and challenges facing the implementation of electric vehicles, the state of the EV market, factors impacting the user experience and user adoption, and transport electrification in the context of other energy choices.

View Program


10/25/11 - "Improving the Customer Experience in Travel & Transportation Using Information Technology"

Improving the Customer Experience in Travel and Transportation Using Information Technology

October 25, 2011

Information technology increasingly is driving the travel and transportation experience for the customer. NUTC's Fall 2011 Industry Technical Workshop featured case studies in airline travel, package delivery, urban transportation, and social media.

The discussion focused on experiences and/or unique ways of using information technology and data management that could be cross-pollinated across other modes, and offer a vision of how the service experience could benefit from industry and academic collaboration.


10/05/10 - "The 'Greening' of Transportation 2: Sustainability via Alternative Fuels"

The "Greening" of Transportation 2: Sustainability via Alternative Fuels

October 5, 2010

Alternative fuels from ethanol and biodiesel to compressed natural gas and electricity are penetrating all transportation modes. Despite the absence of a carbon price, progressive corporations are discovering economic benefits of using alternative fuels for their logistics and transportation operations.

The Fall 2010 Industry Technical Workshop, presented by the Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) and the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), featured speakers from influential US firms and government agencies sharing their practices in deploying alternative fuels. The Workshop offered attendees an opportunity to learn about adoption levels of various alternative fuels, the underlying economics, financial risks, and potential challenges moving forward.


Featured Speakers


04/14/10 - "Border Crossing Issues & Prospects for Freight"

Border Crossing Issues & Prospects for Freight

April 14, 2010

The Spring 2010 Industry Technical Workshop was presented by Northwestern University Transportation Center and the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago.

Featured Speakers


11/04/09 - "The 'Greening' of Transportation"

The "Greening" of Transportation

November 4, 2009

At the Fall 2009 Industry Technical Workshop, leaders in rail, transportation logistics, trucking and energy production gathered to discuss trends, developments, strategies and goals for the “greening of transportation.” 

Speakers highlighted various actions being undertaken by their firms to achieve sustainable operations for the benefit of their bottom lines, their commitments to energy and environmental sustainability and their corporate social responsibilities.

A panel discussion moderated by Professor Diego Klabjan, an NUTC faculty affiliate followed each speaker presentation and panelists examined the issues and challenges in the adoption of green technologies and operational strategies.


Featured Speakers

  • Moderator: Diego Klabjan - Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences, Northwestern University
  • Tarsem Jutla - Chief Engineer Logistics Development, CAT Logistics
    “Sustainable Development”
  • Carl Gerhardstein - Director of Environmental Systems, CSX Corporation
    “Environmental Stewardship in Rail Operations”
  • Steve Holic - Senior Director, Philips Corporation
    “Factoring Carbon Emissions into the Supply Chain Decision Making Process and Annual Reporting”
  • Steve Matheys - Executive Vice President, Chief Administrator Officer, Schneider
    “A Transportation Providers’ Commitment and Holistic Approach to Providing Green Transportation”
  • Prabhakar Nair - Senior Manager of Marketing & Planning, Renewables, UOP
    “Biofuels-Unlocking the potential”


10/21/08 - "The Value of Business Intelligence"

The Value of Business Intelligence

October 21, 2008

At NUTC's Fall 2008 Industry Technical Workshop, attendees heard the latest trends and developments in business intelligence from the leading experts in the field. Success stories and major impediments for widespread adoption of centralized data warehouses and the underlying business intelligence tools were discussed in an effort to build successful applications for better decision making.

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