This program is designed for faculty and doctoral students with all levels of experience who are directly involved or will soon be involved in teaching material handling, facility layout/design/logistics, operations, or a supply chain-related course.


Networking Opportunities, Plant Tours & Field Experience are highlighted in green.

Sunday, August 7

Arrivals to hotel (Hampton Inn Buffalo/Williamsville)


Program starting with casual dinner at the Irishman Pub

Brief introductions

Overview of logistics and program

Mentoring ice breaking and networking - mentor group assignments
The Irishman Pub blends the best of the old with the new by combining elements from traditional and contemporary Ireland.  The pub features delicious food with a distinctly Irish flavor and a blend of traditional and modern recipes. 

Monday, August 8


Bus from hotel to campus leaves hotel


Welcome and logistics

Alice Smith and Vic Paquet


Welcome from University at Buffalo

Kemper Lewis, Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Welcome and Overview of MHI

John Paxton, MHI Chief Executive Officer


Welcome and Overview of the College Industry Council on Material Handing Education (CICMHE)

J. David Porter, Oregon State University

The College Industry Council for Material Handling Education (CICMHE) was founded in 1952 as an independent organization that prepares and provides information, teaching materials, and various events in support of material handling education and research. In this session, David Porter, past-president of CICMHE, will discuss the resources that are maintained and the activities that are sponsored by this organization that can be of interest to the 2022 MHTI attendees.


Education Sessions

Incorporating a Build-to-Light system to a facility design and operation management course

J. David Porter, Oregon State University & Nick Krzyminski, Matthews Automation Solutions

Oregon State University (OSU) has developed a laboratory module in its facility design and operations management course that uses a Build2Light (B2L) station manufactured by Lighting Pick. Lightning Pick is a 21 year MHI member and active in the Order Fulfillment Solutions group (OFS) and the MHI Solutions Community. This session first will discuss how the B2L station was brought to OSU, how it has been incorporated into the facility design and operations management course, and the student learning outcomes it helps to achieve. Then, Lighting Pick will facilitate a hands-on experience to the MHTI attendees using a desktop B2L station designed to assemble flashlights.

Working with industry in logistics-related problems: translating the experience into valuable teaching materials

Mario Velez, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Columbia

Two recent experiences on industry projects in logistics-related problems are presented. The first project was conducted on a motorcycle assembly company where the challenge was to plan the effective distribution of motorcycles to dealers across the country on a daily basis. The second project was conducted on a large distribution center of cosmetics and skincare products. The problem solved in the latter was the allocation of storage space to the SKUs, and the location of the SKUs in the warehouse so that the material handling cost was minimized during the picking process. After completing both projects several teaching materials were developed and used in graduate and undergraduate logistics-related courses covering topics such as modeling of complex systems, integer programming, heuristics, and Monte Carlo simulation.


 Mentoring lunch


Education Session

Experiential and active learning with The Production Control Game

Natalie Cherbaka, Virginia Tech University

The goal of the module is to experience an interactive online game, The Production Control Game, followed by a discussion of executing similar activities in the classroom. The Production Control Game simulates a production environment and related management decisions. The purpose is to teach the interactions between decisions, such as inventory levels, resource levels, costs, and profits, for a production system. By reacting to uncertainties that are revealed over time, teams gain an understanding of the effects of their decisions on the system and the performance measures. The Production Control Game is an adaptation and evolution of the Manufacturing Game, by Ammar and Wright, 1999. This current evolution was designed to enhance student learning and engagement in a large class setting. From an educational perspective, this simulation style game is effective because it supports principles of both experiential and active learning. Based on formal measurement of student learning and feedback survey, student learning is effective and student feedback is very favorable.


Field experience at General Motors


BriteSmith Brewing Tour and Material Handling Briefing
Located in a former blacksmith shop dating back to the 1800s, BriteSmith Brewing derives its name from the subset of Blacksmiths known as “Brite Smiths.” The brewhouse serves up perfectly polished pints, wood-fired pizza, and traditional pub fare.


Casual dinner at Island Park

Island Park is a quaint oasis situated behind the town hall. It contains swings, slides, climbing apparatus, and barbecue grills. It's the home of many community functions and provides a perfect setting for socializing and spending time outside.


Tuesday, August 9


Bus from hotel to campus leaves hotel


Education Sessions

Logistics 4.0 - Learning to be creative in material handling

Fabio Sgarbossa, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

In this module, Prof. Fabio Sgarbossa will present how the recent projects and research activities in the Logistics 4.0 Lab at NTNU are carried out in order to create new innovative solutions for the material handling industry. The Logistics 4.0 lab is in fact Norway’s first logistics laboratory that merges digital technologies with traditional production and logistic systems, enabling researchers, practitioners, engineers, pioneers, students, and other enthusiasts to come together and collaborate on common ground. Examples of new innovations in different fields (manufacturing, warehousing, non-traditional (hospital, library)) developed in the laboratory in collaboration with researchers, students and companies will be presented, encouraging critical and active discussion on how to be creative in the material handling field. Finally a part of the module will be dedicated to the new Industry 5.0 concept recently introduced by European Commission. This concept will provide a new lens to be used to look at future logistics systems, combining human-centered perspective with resilient and sustainable aspects.

Using R for warehouse order profiling

Timothy I. Matis, Texas Tech University

In this interactive presentation, we will learn about how to use the open source and powerful statistical software R in analyzing large datasets for the improvement of order picking systems. The presentation will start with a user-friendly introduction to the basics of using R, following which it will be applied a dataset available from MHI to create an array of order profiles. Attendees will then be able to apply the knowledge gained in an active learning approach.

Panel on how material handling education is changing

Natalie CherbakaDave LippertJen PazourDavid Porter and Moderated by Alice Smith


Lunch With Presentation

Jobs in the real world of material handling

Dave Lippert, President, Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing Company

The material handling industry is largely invisible. Most even in our communities don’t know who we are or what we do. They certainly don’t know that we work in material handling. Yet, there are tens of thousands (or more) career opportunities in our companies covering a breadth of skillsets. These jobs are replete with challenge and opportunity, and are in companies of many different sizes and corporate cultures. Most are in manufacturing, and some are in consulting. Industrial Engineering is the most prominent major for our industry from an education viewpoint, but the scope of job titles is wide. This presentation will explore some of those positions, and ideally open the window to some of the career opportunities in material handling.


Material handling ergonomics in industries 4.0 and 5.0

Victor Paquet, University of Buffalo, SUNY

The new generation of smart automation brought via Industry 4.0 is having transformative effects on the materials handling industry, providing opportunities to achieve much higher efficiencies in the supply chain and day to day operations within facilities, and allowing material handling to be completed in ways that were not previously possible. This module will provide an introduction to the ergonomics challenges that the industrial engineer or engineering manager should consider when introducing smart automation to materials handling tasks. For example, how should one determine which manual material handling activities be left manual vs. automated? What are the best approaches for sharing tasks between robots and people? When does it make sense to use exoskeletons to augment human performance during materials handling tasks? This module will include a 30-minute presentation followed by an interactive 30-minute case study. The module is designed to be incorporated into a one or two class sequence in production planning and control, materials handling or ergonomics courses.

Engaging student teams in innovation and assessing teamwork using Peer Evaluation Assessment Resource (PEAR)

Sadan Kulturel-Konak, Penn State University 

To support student innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), higher education institutions and foundations have expanded their curricular and co-curricular program offerings emphasizing innovation and creative problem-solving. These programs help recruit and support student innovators who work in teams to solve open-ended problems. The first part of this workshop will introduce the benefits, challenges, and success factors of student innovation teams and best practices. The second part of the workshop aims to bring researchers and educators to share their experiences on teamwork assessment. Finally, the participants will learn how to implement and use Peer Evaluation Assessment Resource (PEAR) software developed as part of an earlier project on professional skill development, which was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Background to drone operations

Chase Murray, University of Buffalo, SUNY


Field experience at General Mills, Canalside


Dinner at Riverworks, Canalside

Riverworks is a unique, multi-use facility that features the World’s First Silo Brewery located in an abandoned grain elevator and is the city's premier waterfront destination for boating, sports, music and entertainment.

Wednesday, August 10


Bus from hotel to campus leaves hotel


Education Sessions

Omni-channel material handling operations and facility design

Jen Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Retail and distribution operations are undergoing a vast transformation, thanks to the rapid proliferation of e-commerce, changing consumer shopping behaviors, and expectations for speed and product variety. These trends have been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where 40% of Americans tried a new shopping method. After the pandemic ends, 75% of shoppers that tried curbside pickup, buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), or home delivery want to keep shopping this way. At the same time, retailers rely on in-store customer traffic, as it allows for customer product interactions, increases impulse purchases, and promotes customer loyalty. To stay competitive, retailers are offering omni-channel services, which allow customers to fluidly shop in either online or offline channels. Popular omni-channel service offerings include reserve-online-pickup-in-store, ship-from-store, ship-to-store, and click-and-collect operations. Given omni-channel services shift the material handling effort that used to be done by shoppers to store employees, this presents a challenge for retailers and an opportunity for the material handling industry. Another challenge is that facilities designed for one purpose are being used for many purposes. For example, retail facilities, designed for a pleasant shopping experience, are used to also fulfill online orders, and serve as a hub for order pickups and returns. This module will present an overview of omni-channel material handling challenges and how such challenges can be presented in an undergraduate Facility Design and/or Material Handling Course to teach fundamental concepts such as inventory allocation trade-offs, facility design, order fulfillment routing, demand profiling, and data analysis. Applicable data sources and example assessments using these data sources will be presented that address learning objectives around evaluation of in-store logistic costs, design of logistic systems, data analysis, and coding skills. The module will include a set of active learning response questions (using Mentimeter) and an active learning activity around re-designing facilities for merging of facility functions.

Port logistics operations: Planning tools to aid decision making

Rosa G Gonzalez Ramirez, Universidad de Los Andres, Santiago, Chile

In this lecture, I will provide to the participants an overview of two different courses in the area of port logistics that include quantitative tools and business-process modeling techniques. One course is designed for port practitioners, so the challenge is how to teach quantitative tools to an audience that does not necessarily have an OR background. The second course is designed for undergraduate students of Industrial Engineering in Chile, that are studying the last year of their career (fifth or sixth year) and have a good OR background. In this way, we can contrast how we have oriented the courses, what are the challenges for both courses, and the material that I have prepared.


Drone Education and Research at the University at Buffalo
SOAR Drone Dome - tour and drone piloting

This module is in two parts, a seminar and a hands-on demonstration. The seminar will provide an overview of the "introduction to robotics" course at UB. Over the past five years, the course has evolved to include both simulation and real robotics hardware. Insights and observations (including lessons learned from bringing research into the classroom) will be discussed. The seminar portion will continue with an overview of how we created an outdoor drone lab. Particular focus will be given to the testbed design, which allows remote teleoperation of real robots, safely letting novices pilot expensive equipment. The testbed has also been planned with community outreach activities in mind, including K-12 and local industry participation. The module concludes with hands-on drone flying activities at UB's Structure for Outdoor Autonomy Research (SOAR) facility, where MHTI participants will have the opportunity to fly drones. Demonstrations of ongoing drone research at UB will also be conducted.


Visit to Niagara Falls State Park
Box lunch to be eaten on the bus
Recognized as one of the oldest state parks in the United States, Niagara Falls Park offers awe-inspiring scenery, thrilling attractions, nature and hiking trails, and interactive exhibits that make for an adventure-packed experience.


Closing Dinner at The Top of the Falls Restaurant
Mentor team presentations (with University at Buffalo prizes given)
The Top of the Falls Restaurant offers visitors a breathtaking dining experience featuring American-style cuisine and spectacular panoramic views of Horseshoe Falls through floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor dining decks.

Thursday, August 11

Departures in the morning


  • Breakfast provided each morning at the hotel
  • Lunch will be brought in on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday