Thursday, June 12, 2014

From Sweden to Sicily for the Love of Supply Chains

This past Tuesday, we had quite the adventurous travel from Gothenburg, Sweden to Taormina, Sicily. We made it uneventfully via Air Berlin from Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg to Berlin, Germany (can't wait for the new Berlin Airport to be finally finished) and enjoyed the delicious chocolates that we were given upon disembarking (through the back door of the plane, no less).

After a great lunch at the Berlin Airport we saw that our flight to Catania, Sicily was on time so we went to security only to find out that our carryon bags were too heavy so that we had to check them. Upon arriving at the  checkin counter for Air Berlin  we were told our flight was delayed by 8 hours and would leave (if you trust) at 10:30PM! Since there was still about a one hour trip by taxi from Catania to Taormina we knew that this would not work for us and there was too much uncertainty, in any event.

After standuing in line for 40 minutes at the Air Berlin counter to wait for a reassignment we were told we were on our own so off we ran to the Germanwings counter to try and get on a flight at 4:20PM. Great service and not a bad price and after a wait we were comfortably seated and en route to Sicily!

Upon arrival in Catania, we were met by an Italian taxi driver who took us in his black Mercedes to Taormina where the conference, Mathematics in Industry. was taking place. The drive at high speed on the flowerstudded expressway was quite the experience and, when we arrived at the conference hotel, we were told that we were put into another hotel (5 star!) a 10 minute walk away.

The venue in Taormina has been magical but, best of all, was seeing Professor Patrizia Daniele, who is a Supernetwork Center Associate and who has visited me at the Isenberg School and when I was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She invited me to speak at this conference and organized a special session, Recent Advances on Equilibrium Problems with Applications to Networks. Plus, one of my former doctoral students, Professor Fuminori Toyasaki, who is a Professor at York University in Toronto, is also here and he will be presenting a joint paper of ours on electronic recycling, co-authored with Professor Tina Wakolbinger of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (who also was my former doctoral student at the Isenberg School of Management), and her doctoral student, Thomas Nowak. That paper was just published in the International Journal of Production Economics.

Our session takes place later today and I am so exited to be presenting the paper, Supply Chain Network Competition in Time-Sensitive Markets, co-authored with my former doctoral student, Professor Min Yu of the University of Portland, my great colleague at the University of Gothenburg, Professor Jonas Floden, and even my husband, Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford!

The photos below were taken at the conference venue and surrounding area. No wonder movie stars will soon be converging here in Taormina where a major movie festival will take place. The beauty of this part of Italy is breathtaking and the people are so friendly and generous.

And I have to mention that the food in Sicily is delicious and so beautifully presented! I can see why those who consume the Mediterranean diet live longer, but, perhaps, it is also the climate and the beauty of where they live.