seal  Purdue News

September 4, 2003

Purdue, Ports of Indiana to stage 21st Century Logistics Symposium

INDIANAPOLIS – The Ports of Indiana and Purdue University have announced a joint effort to stage Indiana's first 21st Century Logistics Symposium on Sept. 16 in Indianapolis.

The symposium will explore ways to maximize Indiana's natural advantages as the "Crossroads of America" to capture commercial transportation and distribution market share and to make logistics a competitive advantage for the state's companies.

The symposium, which will be at the Westin Hotel, 50 S. Capitol Ave., will begin at 8:30 a.m. with remarks by Gerry Dick, president of Grow Indiana Media Ventures; Lt. Gov. Joseph E. Kernan; Purdue President Martin C. Jischke; and William D. Friedman, executive director of the Ports of Indiana (formerly the Indiana Port Commission). The schedule for the symposium is available online.

The one-day session, which will include 250 leaders from industry, government, economic development and academia, is focused on building a high-growth, high-tech transportation, distribution and logistics industry, known as TDL, that creates jobs and supports other key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, information technology and the life sciences.

The keynote lunch speaker from noon to 1:15 p.m. is Edward Emmett, president of Transystems Advisors Inc. and former president and COO of the National Industrial Transportation League. The title of his talk is "National Challenges and Opportunities."

Industry speakers and panels will consider the current state of TDL in Indiana, public-private partnerships and challenges, and consider what it will take to make Indiana a TDL leader. At 4:10 p.m., Joseph F. Pekny, Purdue professor of chemical engineering and director of the university's e-Enterprise Center, will speak on "Next Steps: The Future of 21st Century Logistics."

"This symposium will bring leaders from the private sector – from rail, trucking, air, maritime and manufacturing – together with government and university officials to begin a focused dialogue on Indiana's transportation logistics sector," Friedman said, "TDL provides its own economic development opportunities, and it's essential to supporting the other industries that Indiana has identified as economic development targets."

The Ports of Indiana, which currently operates the state's three maritime ports, began planning the symposium after the Indiana General Assembly this spring expanded the agency's economic development authority. Purdue was soon identified as a potential partner.

"TDL is so much more than warehousing and shipping," Friedman said. "TDL uses technology, engineering and a host of other disciplines to streamline supply chains and meet the demands of a global economy. You need intellectual firepower and a skilled work force to compete – that's why having Purdue as a partner is so important."

John A. Schneider, Purdue's assistant vice provost for industry research/outreach, said, "Purdue is pleased to be a part of the 21st Century Logistics Symposium, seeking ways to strengthen the sector that – literally – keeps our economy moving. At Purdue, we pride ourselves on providing the human capital that drives Indiana's economy.

"This symposium also will move forward a study the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership has commissioned Purdue to do on the feasibility of locating a logistics center on our campus."

Reha Uzsoy, a Purdue professor of industrial engineering, is leading the study for the proposed logistics center. Uzsoy will be a moderator of one of the symposium's afternoon sessions.

Other symposium sponsors include the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Duke Realty, FedEx, Celadon, National City Bank, Ice Miller, KMZ Rosenman and others.

Sources: Will Friedman, (317) 232-9203,

John Schneider, (765) 494-5532,

Ports of Indiana media source: Matt Steward, (317) 686-0128, (317) 201-1136 (cell),

Purdue media source: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


Note to journalists: Journalists interested in covering the symposium should contact Matt Steward, MARC USA public relations senior account executive, at (317) 686-0128, (317) 201-1136 (cell),

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