Linking Natural Disaster Aid Relief


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Global supply chains—a system that moves a product or service from supplier to customer—have their roots in the seventeenth-century Dutch East India Trading Company of ocean-going vessels transporting spices, silk, and sugarcane. Today Amandine Cognet (ITO master’s student) is offering a global supply-chain solution to a problem becoming increasingly common in our twenty-first-century world:natural disasters.

Cognet’s essay “Humanitarian Logistics” details her plan for a dynamic and agile supply-chain network from the planning and preparedness stage to recipient satisfaction. Cognet was one of two students who were recently awarded the Chicago EDGE Future Leaders Experience Scholarship from the Chicago Roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) for exemplary work in the field of supply chain management and logistics. The competition was open to students from colleges and universities throughout the Chicago area and central Illinois.

According to Cognet, in a 2017 report from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (2018), 335 natural disasters around the world affected more than 95.6 million people, killing an additional 9,697 and costing $335 billion U.S. dollars.

“Logistics is the most important element in any disaster relief effort, and it is the one that makes the difference between a successful and a failed operation,” Cognet explains.” The challenge is to deliver the appropriate emergency supplies in sufficient quantities, exactly when and where they are needed. Logistics and supply chain are everywhere, not only in business. That is why I focused my essay on humanitarian logistics, to remind people that they can apply their knowledge for a good cause, in this case, after a natural disaster.”

As part of her scholarship prize, Cognet will be able to share her ideas and network with professionals in the field of supply chain management at the CSCMP Chicago annual seminar later this month. She also has an all-expenses paid trip to the CSCMP EDGE Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition in Anaheim, California, September 15–18, to look forward to attending.

“Amandine has demonstrated leadership skills in a few different roles at Illinois Tech including that of student president of the IIT Chapter of APICS [Association for Operations Management] and as event manager of an industrial engineering association in Lyon, France,” notes Theo Rigopoulos, a management consultant and adjunct professor of management at the School of Applied Technology. “With the exception of one year, students in my supply chain management class at Illinois Tech have been winning this award since 2016.”





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