MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Center for Transportation Studies

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.


The Center also has another new address this year -- on the World Wide Web -- at <>. 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.


Applications For Graduate Study

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.

Open House For Undergraduates

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.


Research Volume

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.

New Integrated Supply Chain Management Program

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.

The New Trenurbano Project

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 Renewed UTC Program

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 disseminate results.


Symposium Oo The National Transportation System

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 universities.

Conference On Business Information Technology Trends In The European Union

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.

Conference On Transportation Regulation

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.

Symposium On Advances In Operations Research

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."


Advisory Council

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.

Electric Vehicles Seminar

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 Emeritus.

Annual TRB Reception

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 Jersey.


New Affiliates Bring Membership To 36

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.

Affiliates Days At Burlington Northern And At British Airways

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 transportation.

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.


Seminar On Logistics Analysis For Carriers And Shippers

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.


New Staff

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.

Student Awards

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 transportation.

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.

Yossi Sheffi

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95