Friday, March 29, 2013

Felt Like the Chairman of General Motors

Now that I am back from another wonderful stint in Europe I have some time to reflect on my great experiences as a Visiting Professor in Sweden and as a Guest Professor in Austria.

I have blogged over the past several weeks about academic and travel experiences in Europe but today I would like to share with my readers some photos.

On March 12, 2013, I gave a big seminar at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), after teaching that morning the Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare course that I was offering there. The seminar was on Perishable Product Supply Chains in Healthcare: Models, Analysis, and Computations and  the nice announcement for it is online here.  My hosts during my stay in Vienna were Professor Manfred Fischer and Professor Tina Wakolbinger with great hospitality also provided by Dr. Petra Staufer-Steinnocher.

I was impressed by the seminar room, in the photos below, with the largest corporate-looking table I had ever seen.

I felt like I was the Chairman of General Motors (GM) speaking to my board!

I must admit that I do have a connection to one former Chairman of GM and that is to Mr. John F. Smith Jr. (or "Jack" when we converse and correspond). I hold the John F. Smith Memorial Professorship of Operations Management at the Isenberg School of Management, which is named after his father. Both graduated from UMass Amherst and Jack studied Operations Management, whereas his father.had graduated from the Stockbridge School at UMass Amherst. Jack had also been the President and the CEO of GM.

He is a fabulous role model and I am sure that he would be delighted to hear that one of my former PhD students, Dr. Tina Wakolbinger, is now the Director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at  WU in Vienna.

And you can read from The New York Times what Jack Smith did once he stepped down from the board of GM. Transportation, whether by land, or air, is simply in our blood!

I am preparing a package to mail to him, which will include my new book:

As for alternative modes of transportation that I saw in Vienna, I liked those below.

Enjoy the flowers from Vienna and Happy Spring!