Georgia Tech Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics

Typhoon Haiyan has been one of the most devastating natural disasters the world has seen since the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Debris clearing has proven to be one of the greatest challenges to the delivery of aid to survivors. Read about HHL Center co-directors' recommendations for disaster preparedness and post-disaster debris management on the Georgia Tech Amplifier blog. HHL also strongly recommends donating to relief agencies as the most effective way to help survivors, as opposed to sending items or resources that may further clog the logistics bottleneck.

In this Issue

2014 Health & Humanitarian Logistics Conference

Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference The 2014 Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference will take place June 4-5 in Mexico City, hosted by Tecnológico de Monterrey and co-organized by the Health & Humanitarian Logistics Center at Georgia Tech (HHL) and the Humanitarian Response Lab at MIT. Stay tuned for more details to come!

This event is made possible by the generous support of the UPS Foundation and the Georgia Institute of Technology. If you are a company or organization interested in supporting the HHL Center and its mission to improve logistics in the health and humanitarian sector, please consider sponsoring the annual Conference! Contact Meghan Smithgall at

Professional Certificate Program in Health and Humanitarian Logistics

Health and Humanitarian Logistics CertificateNext year's Health and Humanitarian Logistics professional certificate program will be offered in a new 6-day format from May 12 to 17, 2014. This will provide those traveling from afar the opportunity to earn the certificate without having to make multiple visits to Atlanta. A limited number of scholarships will be available for applicants from NGOs and the developing world. International applications are due February 1, 2014 to allow for visa processing. For information on the upcoming May 2014 courses, a summary of the Systems Operations course recently held in September, or other HHL information, please visit our website.

"Comprehensive Integrated Strategy for Cholera Control and Prevention"

Cholera Control The "Comprehensive Integrated Strategy for Cholera Prevention and Control,” recently released by the Coalition for Cholera Prevention and Control (CCPC), includes among its co-authors HHL Center Co-Director Dr. Pinar Keskinocak, Assistant Co-Director Dima Nazzal, and ISyE Ph.D. student Monica Villarreal. The initiative aims to “accelerate development of a comprehensive global strategy to prevent and control cholera, building on recent developments in thinking about the appropriate use of oral cholera vaccines in preventing and controlling epidemic and endemic cholera." The CCPC was established in 2011 by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded to the Task Force for Global Health and Harvard Medical School/Partners in Health.

World Food Programme publishes guidelines for Specialized Nutritious Foods

World Food Programme The UN World Food Programme recently published the official version of its "Managing the Supply Chain of Specialized Nutritious Foods" guidelines which is distributed among NGOs in the humanitarian sector worldwide. HHL Center Co-Director Dr. Özlem Ergun and Ph.D. student Melih Celik have been working with the World Food Programme as part of the specialized nutritious foods (SNF) working group analyzing the SNF supply chain.

Design Thinking Film, Panel, and Workshop Focuses on Innovative Problem Solving

Design Thinking"Design thinking" has become a buzzword in business and education, but its greatest impact can be seen in applications in the humanitarian sector. To build upon this, HHL teamed up with filmmaker Ralph King and the Georgia Tech chapter of Engineers Without Borders to show an exclusive preview screening of hour-long PBS documentary Extreme By Design. The film highlights the design and implementation of affordable products to solve large-scale health and humanitarian challenges in third-world countries as part of a Stanford course. Following the film, Ralph King, Scott Sanchez (VP of Innovation, First Data) and Mary Cantwell (Center for Design Thinking, Mt. Vernon school) discussed the role of design thinking in business, and education, and HHL Co-Director Özlem Ergun emphasized the ways that systems and engineering approaches embody many of the problem solving facets of design thinking.

HHL hosted an interactive design thinking workshop the following day which drew educators from the Atlanta community, business professionals, engineers, and Georgia Tech students to experiment with design thinking problem solving approaches and prototype building. One HHL collaborator who participated in the workshop, Howard Connell (Director of Center on Business Strategies for Sustainability at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech), will be offering two courses next spring in sustainable business practices using design thinking (MGT 4803 "Innovation Tournaments for Sustainability" and MGT 4803 "Sustainable Business Projects").

Refugee Resettlement Forum Points to Need for Data Analysis

Refugee Resettlement The HHL Center recently hosted the France-Atlanta Refugee Resettlement Forum as part of the annual series of events, "France-Atlanta," sponsored by the Consulate General of France in Atlanta. HHL Co-Director Özlem Ergun moderated a panel formed by Refugee Family Services Executive Director Emily Pelton and IRC Atlanta Executive Director J.D. McCrary. Panelists discussed the current state of refugee resettlement in Atlanta, particularly for the growing number of French-speaking refugees, and the need for data analysis showing the impact of the refugee community. For more information on the panel, volunteer opportunities, or to become involved in a study, please contact us at

HHL in the Press

HHL in the Press Özlem Ergun was named Coca-Cola Associate Professor in H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering.

(All Analytics) HHL Center Co-Director Pinar Keskinocak was featured in All Analytics, an SAS-sponsored online publication for business intelligence and analytics, in an interview for the “Women in Analytics” section. The article highlighted her career path in analytics as an example to young women and engineers interested in the field.

(Stanford Social Innovation Review) Ph.D. student Moin Islam and ISyE faculty member John Vande Vate have published their research on a new model of inventory management for in-kind donations. The project was recently highlighted in the SSI Review. Islam and Vande Vate also recently presented the model at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in San Jose, CA in October 2013.

( Turgay Ayer, HHL Collaborator and ISyE professor, was recently highlighted for his collaborative work on a new, more effective personalized model for breast cancer screening. writer suggests “the model could potentially help save numerous high-risk women while preventing undue harm to the rest of the public and reduce the $100 million that we overspend in mammography.” The article reviews Ayer’s joint publication of an article on the model in Operations Research.

Brought to you by SCL and ISyE at Georgia Tech