UWS transportation, logistics students win study competitionFour students from the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Transportation and Logistics Management program took home top honors at the first Student Freight Symposium held Feb. 5-6 at the University of Memphis.
Four students from the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Transportation and Logistics Management program took home top honors at the first Student Freight Symposium held Feb. 5-6 at the University of Memphis.
The symposium included 14 universities from across the United States where students presented research projects and case studies in transportation, logistics and supply chain management. A faculty team selected the four best case studies from the participating university research projects. The chosen student teams then had to present and defend their research before a team of judges.
UWS was the only undergraduate team in the final four.
UWS’ team of Alex Antoine, Michael Bodner, Brett Brazerol and Alex Christian won first place with a case study on “Globalization — A New Asian Gateway.” As the winning team the students presented their case study to all symposium participants, received certificates, and a cash prize.
The team’s case study examined development and metrics of a new intermodal terminal that opened in February 2012 in Chippewa Falls, Wis. The terminal connects northern Wisconsin and Minnesota to Asian markets via Canadian National’s railroad serving the gateway Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada.
Team member Michael Bodner said the symposium competition “provided us with an opportunity to demonstrate our knowledge in the field of Transportation and Logistics Management.”
During the January break the team engaged in background research. They met with Gordon Graham from CN, toured the intermodal terminal in Chippewa Falls, interviewed manager Al Rowland from Menards and toured the Menard’s distribution center in Eau Claire, Wis. Team members also interviewed Jason Thorne, manager in Prince Rupert by phone to assess the gateway port and maritime service to Asia.
Managers from Menards shared their rationale for adopting the new supply chain and the benefits they have accrued in using it. Transportation consultant Elizabeth Ogard from Prime Focus, LLC in Green Bay, Wis. reviewed their draft paper and provided additions comments. Export operations at the terminal, rail routing and drayage were all researched and evaluated by the students.
The event also provided participants the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and government officials, and practice their networking and interviewing skills with industry recruiters. Additional educational opportunities included tours of CN’s railroad’s Hump yard, BNSF’ railroad’s intermodal terminal, and a midnight tour of the world’s largest air cargo hub run by FedEx.
UWS’s transportation and logistics program is one of 25 programs in the country certified by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics. The program, directed by Richard Stewart, provides students internship, scholarship and research opportunities and has a history of successful job placement rates as high as 97 percent.
The success of the students from UWS’s Transportation and Logistics Management major would not have been possible without the active support from CN Railroad, Menards, Prime Focus LLC, and the port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Funding for the event came in part from the University Transportation Center for Freight Infrastructure Research and Education and the UWS Transportation and Logistics Research Center.