Connecting the Transportation Industry & Academics
In fall 2011, Curt Heaslet, an engineer with FedEx, taught a course for the University
of Memphis called Applied Simulation Modeling and Analysis. The course included an
in depth application of simulation software, reviewed case studies, and offered a
final project where students solved a business need in the industry.
The course curriculum was targeted at upper division masters and Ph.D. level civil
engineering students, but Heaslet encouraged non-engineering students to attend. He
said, "This course is open to interdisciplinary students wishing to build a simulation."
Class participants were expected to clearly define a simulation project, data mine
for required model inputs, establish performance metrics, and demonstrate these activities
through the completion of a semester-long project. This course utilized applied methods
and techniques used in industry to build robust simulation models. Specifically, the
curriculum focused on all user levels, from basic methodology and definition to advanced
code writing using C++ programming. For the end of course project, each student worked
a real world business problem by affiliating with industry representatives. The intent
was to align each team of students with transportation, logistics and intermodal service
companies under the assistance of the professor. Heaslet offers, "I enjoyed teaching
the course. Developing engineering talent to better position students to get into
the workforce is a long term goal of mine."
Students presented a project proposal mid-semester and a final project report at the
end of the semester.