EVANSTON, Ill. --- Karen R. Smilowitz, assistant professor of industrial engineering and management sciences at Northwestern University, has been appointed the Junior William A. Patterson Professor in Transportation.
The Junior Patterson Chair is the second chair established from the endowment honoring William A. Patterson, a central figure in the nation's air transportation industry for more than four decades. Patterson served as president and chair of United Airlines from 1934 until his retirement in 1966. He was a life trustee of Northwestern and was instrumental in establishing the Transportation Center.
Smilowitz's research interests include logistics and transportation operations, as well as traffic flow theory and infrastructure management. Recent projects include the design and operation of large-scale logistics systems, model development for the inspection, maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure facility networks and analysis of time-dependent bottlenecks in congested traffic.
In particular, her research explores the effects of different operation choices on vehicle routing and scheduling and has application in freight transportation, delivery services and emergency response.
She worked in the strategic rail division of ALK Associates, a transportation consulting firm in Princeton, N. J. At ALK she worked with transportation providers engaged in billion-dollar mergers.
Smilowitz also worked as a business analyst at Braxton Associates, the strategic consulting arm of Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group in Boston.
She has received both a Sloan Foundation Grant and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and was invited to participate in the Nation Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering.
Smilowitz, who joined Northwestern in 2001, has published a number of refereed articles and has received funding from the UPS Foundation, the National Science Foundation and from the Alumnae Board of Northwestern University.