• Speaker: Karen Smilowitz, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, Northwestern University
  • Title: Transportation and logistics models in non-profit settings
  • Location: Room V09, Mathematics Building (Callaghan Campus) The University of Newcastle
  • Time and Date: 10:00 am, Fri, 11th May 2012
  • Abstract:

    This talk will discuss opportunities and challenges related to the development and application of operations research techniques to transportation and logistics problems in non-profit settings. Much research has been conducted on transportation and logistics problems in commercial settings where the goal is either to maximize profit or to minimize cost. Significantly less work has been conducted for non-profit applications. In such settings, the objectives are often more difficult to quantify since issues such as equity and sustainability must be considered, yet efficient operations are still crucial. This talk will present several research projects that introduce new approaches tailored to the objectives and constraints unique to non-profit agencies, which are often concerned with obtaining equitable solutions given limited, and often uncertain, budgets, rather than with maximizing profits.

    This talk will assess the potential of operations research to address the problems faced by non-profit agencies and attempt to understand why these problems have been understudied within the operations research community. To do so, we will ask the following questions: Are non-profit operations problems rich enough for academic study? and Are solutions to non-profit operations problems applicable to real communities?

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