Tech hosts second health logistics conference

The Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics (CHHL) held a conference on Health and Humanitarian Logistics on March 4 and 5. The main objective of the conference was to articulate the opportunities and challenges in humanitarian response and discuss the possibilities in health logistics research. The conference had 175 participants from all over the world. Representatives were present from various NGOs, governmental organizations, industry, academia, foundations and the military.

“We hope that the conference will initiate some collaboration among these organizations and possibly lead to synergies,” said Dr. Pinar Keskinocak, co-director and ISyE associate professor.

In addition to these panels there were two keynote presentations poster presentations and lunch discussions.

“We had these four panels and we had five speakers in each panel. Each speaker represented a different type of organization such as academia, non-governmental organization, government organization, military, industries and foundations or some combination,” Keskinocak said.

Organizers hope to turn it into an annual event. They also plan to expand the number of international participants in the event. These representatives came from various countries including Canada, Kenya and South Africa.

“We received very positive feedback both verbally and through conference evaluation forms,” said Dr. Julie Swann, ISyE Associate Professor and co-director. “Almost everyone said they would come back to another conference, both from the academic and organization side.”

ISyE Associate Professors Dr. Ozlem Ergun, Keskinocak and Swann co-founded the center to improve logistics for humanitarian efforts around man-made or natural disasters. The center works with non-governmental organizations, governments and private industry to improve communications among these groups, as well as present them with the research and practical applications to improve logistics.

“The conference is an opportunity for students to see a different kind of way to take your science and engineering and other skills to make an impact on the world,” said Swann.