UNT’s logistics institute tapped to head NASCO’s North American research group
UNT researchers will soon be playing a prominent role in the future of North American logistics — the science of transporting goods in the most cost and time efficient way.
The North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO) tapped UNT’s Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research to marshal the NASCO University Consortium and address transportation, trade, policy and infrastructure issues facing companies and government entities globally. The institute houses the Complex Logistics Systems Laboratory, which provides UNT with advanced technology – including interactive simulation software, data visualization and 3D modeling – to help manage the distribution of products, raw materials and other goods.
“UNT’s logistics expertise, the new lab and the institute are a perfect fit for what we’re trying to accomplish,” says Tiffany Melvin, NASCO president. “It takes a lot of oversight to coordinate multiple universities to seek out funding opportunities across international borders. We need more hands on deck, and UNT’s leadership gives us that.”
The institute will shepherd the consortium and help member institutions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico secure research funding and leverage the collective expertise of students, faculty and staff. The goal is to improve the North American economies. Global supply chains are increasingly intricate, thanks to mounting consumer demand, competing needs of businesses that have to share transportation infrastructure and growing competition among companies. UNT uses technology to test theories and creative strategizing to solve obstacles that save time, money and resources.
“Our emerging and future logistics challenges will be even more complex and will be solved only by collaborative solutions representing science, technology, engineering, math, arts and design,” says Brian Sauser, director of the Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research and a nationally recognized expert in the management of complex systems. “North America’s success depends, in part, on our ability to connect our collective expertise to address challenges. This partnership is a step toward that reality.”
Melvin added that the partnership allows its member institutions to work toward big picture objectives by providing expert perspectives on international policies, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“There is real opportunity to give current experts and future leaders focusing on NASCO’s key areas – energy independence, strengthening the workforce and improving the supply chain – a platform to collaborate,” she says.
Among its tasks, UNT will establish an agreement for how member institutions can work together, seek grants for pooled research funding and offer North American graduate students exchange trips and research opportunities.
“Working with NASCO on this initiative will help the Jim McNatt institute advance its vision of becoming an intellectual hub for logistics systems and enterprises, and similarly, the institute can support NASCO in developing their position as an academic voice for North American competitiveness in the global marketplace,” Sauser says.
For the full list of NASCO’s membership, which includes its university partners, visit http://nasconetwork.com/members.