Industrial Engineering Professor Receives Funding from European Commission

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

While fulfilling his off-campus duty assignment in Austria, University of Arkansas industrial engineering professor Russell Meller collaborated with European colleagues to propose a program that focuses on sustainable interconnected logistics. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, read their proposal and agreed to fund the multi-million-euro program.

Currently a Visiting Distinguished Faculty Member at the Graz University of Technology, Meller serves as the U.S. representative on the Steering Committee for the Physical Internet Initiative—whose plan is to improve the way companies store and transport goods. By creating greater efficiencies, these companies could save billions of dollars and reduce energy consumption.

“I am excited about the industrial-academic collaboration in the project,” Meller said. “I see this award as validation that the Physical Internet Initiative could be realized in the next 10 years.”

Although Meller will still return to the U.S. after his year in Austria, receiving this funding enables him to extend his contract and part-time residency for an additional three years.

“This will allow me to keep the friendships, as well as the research collaborations, alive that I’ve started here,” he said.

Meller’s research team consists of 14 European organizations representing the countries of Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium.

Though the final budget negotiations are not complete, the total budget requested by the team was 4.3 million Euro, 3 million of which would come from the European Union.

Contacts:

Camilla Medders, director of communications
College of Engineering
(479) 575-5697, camillam@uark.edu

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