University of Memphis Initiates Biologistics Research

January 7, 2016 - Two key research Institutes at the University of Memphis – the FedEx Institute of Technology and the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute – have come together to launch a new Biologistics Research Cluster. This partnership is the result of a strategic push to develop national-level research competencies in the emerging area of biologistics. The two research Institutes are partnering to fund nine interdisciplinary biologistics projects by investing approximately $231,000. The 16 faculty researchers involved represent seven academic departments in five colleges, schools and centers across the University. They include the Herff College of Engineering, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Fogelman College of Business & Economics, the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research (SBBER) and the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI).

The awards address a broad scope of emerging biologistics topics such as biologistics analytics, disaster management of freight, biologistics security, healthcare/pharmaceutical logistics and biologistics materials handling. Some of the projects being supported include:

  • Alternative Biologistics for Pharmaceutical Products: 3D-Printed Tablets and Pills;
  • Biologistics of Lung Cancer Screening and Management Using Field Effect of Carcinogenesis and a Novel Biophotonics Technique;
  • Assessment of Biologistics Research and Practices for the Purposes of Proposing a New Cutting-Edge Research Agenda;
  • Post-Disaster Management of Freight Transportation Networks;
  • Biologistics Security: Implications for Market Growth, Transportation and Logistics;
  • Big Data Analytics Meets the Internet of Things: A Paradigm Shift in Biologistics;
  • Advanced Aerogel Packaging Solutions for Cold-Chain Biologics Materials Handling;
  • Smart Packaging Temperature Sensing for Biologistics; and
  • Engineering Novel Supercapacitor Batteries for Biologistics.

Under the program, research leaders are encouraged to collaborate with junior faculty and graduate students in an effort to position the University as the national focal point for biologistics research excellence. Dr. Stephanie Ivey, director of the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, said, "Biologistics is fast emerging as a key area of growth in the freight and transportation sector internationally, and we must stay at the forefront of industry developments through pragmatic applied research."

Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, chief innovation officer and executive director of the FedEx Institute of Technology, added, "Our duty is to think long-term and take the lead in the development of emerging new research areas of the future. Our goals go beyond supporting the efforts of our regional partners in biologistics economic development to also becoming the national research center for the development of integrative biologistics frameworks. Soon we will be the first university in the country to have 16 faculty members working collaboratively to move biologistics forward, both as an industry sector and a theoretical discipline."

The 16 researchers will receive their awards Jan. 22 at 3:30 p.m. at an open Biologistics Lightning Talks event at the FedEx Institute of Technology. Project leaders will present short summaries of their research ideas to the campus, community stakeholders and the general public. During this event they will also be named Biologistics Research Fellows of the University. This event is free and open to the public.

The FedEx Institute of Technology is a high-tech research organization that serves as the front door to the research infrastructure and innovation capabilities of the University of Memphis. It serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research innovation in emerging technology by supporting cross-campus research innovation clusters in areas such as Intelligent Systems, Drones, Cybersecurity Testing, Biologistics, Autonomous Vehicles, Smart Biomaterials and Precision Medicine. The Institute is also home to the University's intellectual property and patent repository, which is the focal point of technology transfer and licensing operations. It also strives to serve as a focal point for community efforts to grow the technical sophistication of the regional technology workforce and innovation environment. The University's Graduate School that serves appropriately 1,000 doctoral and 3,000 master's students in 118 graduate programs is also located at the FedEx Institute of Technology.

IFTI addresses critical issues affecting the planning, design and operation of the nation's intermodal freight transportation systems. The extensive transportation infrastructure in the Memphis region provides the perfect working laboratory for IFTI to solve critical problems facing the freight industry and generate educational opportunities to develop tomorrow's leaders. The IFTI vision is to be a nationally recognized leader in linking people to solutions in freight and logistics through research, education and technology transfer activities.

The University of Memphis is the flagship institution of the Tennessee Board of Regents System. Founded in 1912, it is recognized nationally for its academic, research and athletic programs. Today the U of M educates more than 21,000 students, and it awards more than 4,000 degrees annually. Home to the largest honors program in the state, it also is ranked in the Top Ten for Student Internships by U.S. News & World Report. 

Contact: Mary Ann Dawson