Reports to the President 1994-95
The Center for Transportation Studies was established in 1973 to develop and
coordinate the wide range of transportation-related activity at MIT. It
provides a focal point for transportation education, facilitates transportation
research, conducts an outreach program to the transportation industry, and
encourages a sense of common purpose among the many departments, centers and
laboratories involved in transportation and logistics at MIT.
In mid-December, the Center moved its headquarters upstairs to a
combined office on the second floor of Building One, consolidating almost all
its administrative functions for the first time since the Center was founded.
In addition to support staff, the newly-renovated suite overlooking
Massachusetts Avenue houses the Center's director, deputy director and
administrative officer, the director of the UTC program, and the
newly-appointed director of the Integrated Supply Chain Management Program.
NEW WORLD WIDE WEB SITE
The Center also has another new address this year -- on the World Wide
Web -- at <http://web.mit.edu/cts/www>. In addition to a wealth
of information about the Center and its programs, the site includes
descriptions of current research projects in transportation, and a listing of
MIT theses in transportation since 1980. Transportation faculty and research
staff are also listed with their areas of interest, along with connections to
other interesting resources on the Web.
Because the quality of applications remains consistently high, qualifying for
graduate admission is increasingly difficult. This year, 80 applications were
received for graduate studies in transportation; 19 students entered last fall
and 19 more are expected in the fall of 1995. Funding was found for
approximately 80% of the students.
In October, more than 35 undergraduates from around New England came to MIT to
learn about graduate transportation programs at MIT and Harvard and at the
Universities of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The open house
event was sponsored by the Region One UTC Program (headquartered at the
Center), of which those schools are all a part.
During the past academic year, 160 projects were listed in the Center's
Current Research Projects in Transportation at MIT, 40 of which -- a
full 25% -- were started since last year's listing was printed. Sponsored
research volume remained level.
The Center introduced a new cooperative program with industry this year,
focused on the development of integrated supply chain management. The purpose
of the program is to accelerate the implementation of supply chain
improvements, to improve collaboration among cooperating companies, and to
strengthen long-term competitive advantage from supply chain integration. At
this writing, the program has eight members -- Amoco, AT&T, Digital
Equipment, Monsanto, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Xerox and Volkswagen.
Through the program, MIT will conduct research in several aspects of supply
chain integration, focused on both intra- and inter-company supply chains.
The data and case studies will draw on the experience of sponsor companies, and
in some cases interns may be placed inside those companies. In addition to
research, the program will sponsor quarterly meetings -- each to be
hosted by one of the sponsors -- at which members can review the research and
share lessons from their own supply chain work. An executive course in
supply chain management will also be offered every year for senior management.
MIT's involvement includes the faculty, staff and students of the School of
Engineering and of the Sloan School of Management, as well as of
interdepartmental programs and centers with related expertise -- the Leaders
for Manufacturing Program, the Center for Coordination Science, the Center for
Information Sciences Research, the Operations Research Center and the Center
for Organizational Learning. The program is administered by the Center for
Transportation Studies and directed by Jim Rice.
In January, an inaugural meeting was held to introduce prospective members to
the concept of the program and to each other; for starters, the group has
chosen to support supply chain research in metrics, analytical modeling and
organization design. The first quarterly meeting was held in May at the
AT&T facility in North Andover MA. In addition to discussion of current
issues facing each of the sponsors, the meeting included introduction to work
being done at MIT by MST student Michelle Franciose, in supply chain
integration, and by Visiting Scholar Fred Luconi, in dependency
analysis/process modeling in organizations. Professor Steve Graves also
demonstrated several working analytical models for discussion. The meeting was
attended by about 35 people.
MIT has joined with the University of Puerto Rico in a cooperative education
and research effort focused on Trenurbano, a program to revitalize the San Juan
metropolitan area by developing a substantially improved public transportation
system. The collaboration also involves the Puerto Rico Department of
Transportation (Trenurbano Office) and the General Management Consultant (the
entity which will build and operate Trenurbano).
The project is intended not only to improve San Juan's infrastructure and
stimulate its local economy, but also to leave the city with a permanent,
ongoing legacy of improved expertise in planning, urban design, engineering,
operations and management. It is also intended to create positive links
between the city and mainland corporations, which will gain development
expertise in a Spanish-language community. This heightened expertise can form
the basis for future economic opportunity both in the US, where growing
congestion is leading to renewed interest in transit, and in Latin America,
with its burgeoning urban population and need for improved infrastructure.
In order to ensure that the educational and capacity-building goals of
Trenurbano are realized, the MIT/UPR collaboration is designed to identify and
develop promising students at both the UPR and at MIT. The effort will be both
multidisciplinary and multilingual, and will include shared experiences both at
the UPR campus in San Juan and at the MIT campus in Cambridge, as well as at
GMC and turnkey work sites in San Juan and on the mainland. An additional
feature of the program which could be very attractive is the possibility of
allowing graduate students from each campus the option of spending at least one
term at the other university as a special student.
In its steady state, the MIT/UPR program will involve a total of thirty
students -- ten masters students graduating and ready to go to work, ten
first-year masters students ready to go to summer jobs, and ten graduating
seniors -- while recruitment of the next twenty students will be underway. If
the program lasts for five full cycles, approximately 100 students will have
participated. If it is continued through revenue operation to all the major
activity centers, over 200 students may take part.
The US Department of Transportation has awarded grants totaling $30 million to
continue the regional University Transportation Centers program through 1997.
MIT has been chosen to continue to lead the Region One effort -- which includes
participation by Harvard and the Universities of Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont -- at a funding level of
$1 million a year. The mission of the UTC program is to advance US expertise
and technology in transportation through investment in education, research and
technology transfer. This year was the first time the UTC grants have been
open for competition since the existing centers were selected in 1988. The US
DOT received proposals representing more than 90 universities across the US,
and a technical evaluation team rated each proposal on the basis of its
quality, leadership capability, availability of resources and ability to
In October, more than 100 people convened at MIT for a day-long symposium on
the National Transportation System and what it means for the nation. The event
was the second major conference sponsored by the Center's newly-launched Public
Affiliates Program, a program designed to create a critical mass of energy
focused on the challenges facing public agencies in transportation. The
conference consisted of panel discussions focused on four major topics -- the
status of the NTS at the federal level; freight transportation as part of the
NTS; passenger transportation as part of the NTS; and the environmental and
economic impact of the NTS. Among others, attendees included officials of
airlines, shipping lines, truckers and railroads and their corporate customers;
seven state departments of transportation; six planning and development
agencies; five transit authorities; three port authorities; the FHWA, FRA and
FTA; and the US DOT and US EPA. Also in attendance were leaders from several
In November, the Center co-sponsored a two-day conference in Brussels, Belgium,
on business information technology trends for the transport industry in the
European Union. The experience of transportation deregulation in the US, and
the burgeoning subsequent use of information technology here, provided points
of comparison and contrast with the quickly-changing European situation.
Organized with Sema Group, one of Europe's leading firms in the field of
information technology services, and a member of the Center's Corporate
Affiliates Program, the meeting drew 75 people from all across Europe and the
US, representing 50 organizations.
Nearly 100 representatives from government agencies and the trucking, rail,
aviation and maritime industries and their shippers convened for a two-day
conference sponsored by the Center in March to discuss the future of economic
regulation in the transportation industry. While there seemed to be little
disagreement among participants that the economic conditions that brought about
the formation of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and subsequent
economic regulation of transportation in the late 1800s have long since passed,
there were many opinions concerning which, if any, economic regulations should
remain -- and which government agency should oversee those regulations.
This April, more than 120 people attended a day-long conference here on
advances in operations research, focused specifically on applications to
transportation and logistics, co-sponsored by the Center and the Operations
Research Center. The two-fold purpose of the conference was to allow
participants to stretch themselves by looking at old problems from a new point
of view; and to create a chance for industry and academia to learn from each
other, with the possible result of some joint research. Presentations on OR
methodology included "Applications of Network Flows," "Genetic Algorithms,"
"Exploiting Parallelism in Optimization" and "Optimization under Uncertainty."
Presentations on transportation applications included "Supply Chain Modeling,"
"Air Network Optimization," "Trucking Operations" and "Urban Congestion
Management and Control."
In December, the Center's Advisory Council convened for its annual two-day
meeting to review the Center's activities, to make its official report to the
dean and to offer its recommendations for future activities. The meeting began
with presentations on the educational program, followed by student
presentations on the Center's research highlights, and presentations on several
of the Center's programs.
A half-day seminar was held in January as part of MIT's Independent Activities
Period, focused on the ongoing debate about electric vehicles (EVs), their
efficiency and practicality. Co-sponsored by the Center and the Department of
Mechanical Engineering, the meeting was organized by by Simone Hochgreb,
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, James Fay, Professor of
Mechanical Engineering Emeritus, and Peter Metz, Deputy Director of the Center.
The discussion was moderated by Jerome Rothenberg, Professor of Economics
As usual, the Center sponsored a reception at the annual TRB meeting in
Washington in January. The two-hour event this year was held at the Sheraton
Washington Hotel and was attended by an estimated 100 alumni and friends.
Earlier that same day, MIT's Joseph Sussman turned over his gavel as chairman
of the TRB Executive Committee at the 74th Annual Chairman's Luncheon to
Lillian Liburdi, Director, Port Department, Port Authority of New York and New
The Corporate Affiliates Program welcomed several new members this year,
bringing the current total membership to 36. The new members are CP Rail,
Honda, Mars and Volkswagen. Continuing members are American President Lines;
AT&T; Bose; British Airways; British Railways; Burlington Northern;
Canadian National Railways; Caterpillar; Chemical Leaman Tank Lines; Conrail;
Consolidated Freightways; CSX Transportation; Digital Equipment; DuPont;
Federal Express; Gillette; Goodyear; IBM; LogiCorp; Norfolk Southern; NYK Line;
Procter & Gamble; Roadway Services; Ryder System; Sea-Land; Sema Group; The
3M Company; Unilever; Union Pacific; UPS; US Postal Service; and Yellow.
Every year, as part of the Center's Corporate Affiliates Program, one of the
members hosts the rest of the group at a two-day meeting and tour of one of its
facilities. This year, two of those annual meetings fell within one fiscal
year. The 1994 meeting was hosted in September by Burlington Northern Railroad
at its Fort Worth headquarters. Attended by nearly 60 representatives of 25
organizations, the meeting focused on creating value-added customer services.
The 1995 meeting was hosted in June by British Airways and was attended by more
than 60 people, half from America, half from Europe. The meeting was
significant in that it was the first affiliates day hosted by a non-American
firm, a sign of the increasing internationalization of the program. (About 20%
of the membership is now from outside the US, and the program is looking to
gain more and more international members.) The focus of the meeting was on
using information technology and logistics to produce better business
integration. In the course of four sessions, two major themes were explored --
technology and management processes.
Every semester the Center sponsors a luncheon seminar series featuring
transportation experts from the public and private sectors, and from academia,
discussing current issues in the transportation field. Open to the public at
large, the seminars draw an audience made up not only of students and faculty
from the Institute, but also of representatives from the Volpe National
Transportation Systems Center in nearby Kendall Square, from other
universities, and from business and research organizations in the area.
Last fall, the series featured three major railroad officials. Jolene
Molitoris, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, spoke here
September 9. Brian Smith, Chairman of the Canadian National Railroad, spoke on
October 7. And David Goode, Chairman, President and CEO of the Norfolk
Southern Corporation, spoke October 21. The talk by Brian Smith was sponsored
by the Kent T. Healy Memorial Fund, set up in memory of Kent Healy (BSEE'23), a
director of the New Haven Railroad and the author of several books on
The spring series included, on February 24, Dan Kasper of Coopers & Lybrand
talking about three institutional issues that will affect the commercial
aviation industry over the long haul, if not in the short term -- issues that
have important implications for competition and how air transportation will be
delivered. On March 17, Thomas Weidemeyer, President and COO of UPS Airline,
spoke on the challenge of change. On April 7, Michael Levine, Executive Vice
President, Marketing and International, Northwest Airlines (and former Chief of
Staff, Civil Aeronautics Board), spoke on what kinds of airlines can be
profitable. On April 14, Stephen Tocco, Massachusetts Secretary of Economic
Development, spoke on a plan he developed called "Choosing to Compete" -- a
strategic document for Massachusetts' competitive positioning in the global
economy. And on April 21, James Costantino, Executive Director, Intelligent
Transportation Society of America, spoke in a joint seminar with the Center for
Technology, Policy and Industrial Development on current issues and future
directions in intelligent transportation systems.
Every summer for the past ten years, the Center has offered an intensive
week-long seminar on Logistics Analysis for Carriers and Shippers. Attended by
representatives of carriers, shippers and third-party logistics providers, the
course is structured around a series of lectures and case studies and involves
intensive interaction among the participants. This year the course was
attended by 49 men and women from 38 companies. The agenda included several
illustrious guest speakers: Mary Alice Taylor, Senior Vice President of Federal
Express in charge of central support services, spoke on third party logistics;
Curtis Gibbs of the Saturn Corporation spoke on dedicated logistics at Saturn;
Terry Ross of CSC Consulting spoke on real-time deployment; Robert Kaplan of
the Harvard Business School spoke on the role of activity-based costing as a
tool for helping with strategic decisionmaking; and Kevin O'Laughlin of
Andersen Consulting spoke on logistics issues in Europe.
In February, Jim Rice joined the Center to direct the newly-established
Integrated Supply Chain Management Program. A graduate of the Harvard Business
School and the University of Notre Dame, Rice worked with Procter & Gamble
from 1987 to 1994 in a progression of positions -- from Safeguard Team Manager,
to Logistics and Distribution Manager, to Logistics and Shipment Manager for
the Eastern Region, and finally as Department Manager for Ivory Bar Soap.
Several of MIT's transportation students were presented with impressive awards
in the year: John Bowman (MST'95) won an Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship to
continue here for his PhD; the fellowship is one of six national awards of the
Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program,. He developed for
his master's an activity-based disaggregate model system of an individual's
choice of a daily activity schedule, including a set of tours and their
interrelationships. For his PhD research, he will be extending the model
system to include lifestyle and mobility choices, especially residential
location choice, with the aim of improving forecasts of travel demand and land
use patterns for urban policymaking. The three-year award includes full
tuition and fees, along with up to $1000 for travel to the annual meeting of
the Transportation Research Board to present the findings of his research.
Bowman graduated from Marietta College in 1977 with a BS in mathematics.
PhD candidate Chris Caplice won an award for a paper he co-authored with Center
Director Yossi Sheffi. Entitled "A Review and Evaluation of Logistics
Metrics," the paper was selected by the editors to receive the Andersen
Consulting Award for the best paper published in the International Journal of
Logistics Management in 1994. The purpose of the award is to recognize
outstanding and readable articles that are likely to have a major impact on
advancing the practice and theory of logistics. The article is the first of a
series of two, the second of which will focus on the evaluation of logistics
performance measurement systems and will appear in a forthcoming issue.
Caplice is concentrating in logistics, supply chain management and freight
Michelle Franciose (MST'95) was awarded a $1500 scholarship by the Council of
Logistics Management (CLM). Her thesis focused on logistics and supply chain
management. Ms. Franciose, who received her undergraduate degree at the
University of Pennsylvania, was one of 22 graduate students from ten different
universities honored this spring by the CLM. The scholarship program, which is
administered by the Citizen's Scholarship Foundation of America in Minneapolis,
received 94 applications this year from students who are pursuing degrees in
logistics or related fields. The award winners will attend the Council's' 1994
annual conference in Cincinnati this October.
John Wilson (MST '95) was selected the winner of the 1994 UTC National
Student Award for Region One. In addition to being honored at a DOT Awards
Dinner in Washington in January, he received a $1000 cash prize. Wilson was
also selected as an ENO Fellow this year by the ENO Transportation Foundation,
to attend the 1995 Transportation Policy Education Conference in Washington DC,
May 20-24, all expenses paid. The conference is a five-day `cram course' on
the shaping and impact of national transportation policy. In July, Wilson
moved to Minneapolis to join Northwest Airlines in the international marketing
division, working on scheduling and route development. He graduated from
Cornell in 1993 with a BA in economics.
Reports to the President 1994-95