In addition to funded research projects, the Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center takes on pro bono research for community organizations. These nonprofit partners have a research question but lack resources to address the question. SCTL Center students take on projects in an educational context and develop professional skills and apply newly learned methods for mutual benefit. Three recent pro bono projects are described below.
If you are interested in partnering with the Center, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vashon Fresh, a pilot program launched on June 15, 2017 by the Vashon Island Grower's Association, is an online marketplace for islanders to purchase sustainably grown foods from local farmers. The goal of the project is to show that online ordering can benefit both residents and farmers by increasing access to a wide variety of farm fresh foods while providing farmers flexibility in inventory and pricing. Vashon Fresh is funded by the King Conservation District’s Regional Food Systems Grant program with additional support from the SCTL Center and King County’s Local Food Initiative.
The SCTL Center partnered with Vashon Fresh in the design of their logistics system. To help inform supply chain decisions, SCTL research assistant Anna Bovbjerg Alligood and students in a graduate Civil and Environmental Engineering course developed a GIS model that incorporated vehicle miles traveled, emissions data, and parameters of freshness and timing that are key in the transportation of food. Results from the GIS analysis and resident surveys allowed the SCTL Center to advise Vashon Fresh on how to best serve their customers while balancing business priorities with environmental concerns.
The Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Transportation Department works with community and professional partners to provide safe, efficient, equitable and reliable service in support of the district's educational mission. SPS operates more than 342 bus routes for over 18,000 students. In Spring 2016, graduate students in CEE 587: Global Trade, Transportation, and Logistics Management analyzed existing SPS bus routes and identified opportunities for improvements to reduce service miles, CO2 emissions, ride time, and number of routes.
The Girl Scouts of Western Washington enlisted the help of the 2015 cohort of Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics masters students in SCTL 501: Logistics & Analysis to develop and evaluate the potential for new supply chain strategies to better meet their annual cookie sales goals. While the cookie sale generates key revenue for Girl Scouts, it is also an important skill development experience for Girls and their Troops. Keeping cost down in a one-time sale is difficult, particularly in a volunteer organization without established infrastructure.