Monday, July 3, 2017

Fabulous Visit to the Vienna University of Economics and Business

After the fascinating EURO HOpe conference, which took place last Thursday and Friday at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) that I had blogged about, I was looking forward to meeting with WU colleagues today. It was a perfect transition between two conferences, since tomorrow I fly to Kalamata, Greece, where the Dynamics of Disasters conference that I coorganized will be taking place.

Professor Tina Wakolbinger, who was my PhD student at the Isenberg School of Management, and graduated in 2007, organized the EURO HOpe conference, which focused on Humanitarian Operations. Today, I had a chance to meet with her and two Professors: Manfred Fischer and Petra Staufer-Steinnocher. Professor Fischer is renowned in regional science and the recipient of numerous international awards. Professor Staufer-Steinnocher I had the pleasure of meeting when she was one of my hosts during my course at WU.

We began the day with a delicious lunch, which started with a cold borshcht, and I could not resist taking the photo below.
Then we took a group photo after the lunch as a memento.
WU has an amazing new campus. I had visited the previous one and very much enjoyed teaching a course on Humanitarian Logistics there. The new campus has a learning center, which was the venue for the EURO HOpe conference, and which was designed by the award-winning female architect (who died much too young) Zaha Hadid, and is featured below.
My colleagues gave me  a personal tour of the campus and several of the buildings.

Professor Tina Wakolbinger is the Head of the Research Institute for Supply Chain Management at WU and has been at WU as a Full Professor since arriving in 2011. After receiving her PhD, she had been an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis. Tina and I have published a series of papers together on supply chains and, given our many mutual interests, it was terrific to spend the better part of the day discussing research. Several of her doctoral students' research will be presented at our Dynamics of Disasters conference later this week.

I had nominated Tina for the INFORMS Judith Liebman Award, which she received, and it was delightful to see it gracing a shelf in her beautiful corner office.
It is very special to see a former PhD student, whose doctoral dissertation committee I chaired, so successful in academia and enjoying an extraordinary professional career.
Thanks for a fabulous visit to the Vienna University of Economics and Business today! And I bring back with me some souvenirs from the conference, including honey made at WU.