UofM Makes Major Push Into Cutting-Edge Supply Chain Research Ecosystem 

Division of Research & Innovation Secures NSF Award for Electrified and Automated Trucking; Eight Winning Proposals at Inaugural Innovation Challenge by FedEx Institute of Technology 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024)—The University of Memphis will establish the Center for Electrified and Automated Trucking (CEAT) in collaboration with Purdue University after receiving an award from the National Science Foundation’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Center. 

CEAT will be a premier research center dedicated to the future of automation, electrification and workforce development in the trucking and transit industries. With combined support from the NSF and industry partners totaling $1.5 million from 2024-2029, CEAT will drive innovation in connected, electrified and automated commercial vehicles and logistics networks. 

National Leader In Supply Chain Innovation 

With America’s largest airfreight hub, five class I railroads, America’s fourth largest inland port and major interstate crossing for the Mississippi River, Memphis has long been known as a national leader in supply-chain technologies. 

To that end, the University’s Division of Research & Innovation, which includes the FedEx Institute of Technology, recently launched the Next Generation Supply Chain Technologies and Innovation Challenge.  

Dr. Sabya Mishra

With these two announcements, the UofM has aligned itself with national priorities including the National Science Foundation’s strategic focus on next generation supply chain and the wider transformative investments in infrastructure happening nationally.  

Commercial vehicles play a pivotal role in our society in moving people and goods. This project aims to converge and apply knowledge in emerging technologies in connected, electrified and automated commercial vehicles and logistics networks for efficient, safe, agile and sustainable mobility for the benefit of society.  

By bringing together a coalition of private and public sector stakeholders and academic institutions, this project will build the Center for Electrified and Automated Trucking. The goal of CEAT is to drive innovation and facilitate the widespread adoption of electric and automated commercial vehicles for sustainable freight and public transportation in North America and worldwide. 

The project is led by Dr. Sabya Mishra (Civil Engineering) with co-principal investigators Dr. Mihalis Golias (Civil Engineering), Dr. Hasan Ali (Electrical Engineering), Dr. Myounggyu Won (Computer Science) and Dr. Mehdi Amini (Business).  

Potential topics that CEAT will investigate for the business world include: 

  • Electrification of long-haul trucking and public transit vehicles with highly durable fuel-cells and optimal deployment of charging stations 
  • CEAT adoption models and business cases 
  • Operational strategies such as platooning and caravanning 
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems for efficient CEAT operation 
  • Strategies for addressing the workforce deficit in the logistics industry 

Next Generation Supply Chain Technologies And Innovation Challenge 

Eight teams of UofM-led researchers and industry collaborators won the inaugural Next Generation Supply Chain Technologies and Innovation Challenge. 

The teams represent a diversity of topics and concerns nationally, with projects ranging from chips and semiconductor supply chain to artificial intelligence applications. These projects, represent a new frontier in the role Memphis plays in the national supply chain conversation.  

The winning proposals include: 

  • Xiaolei Huang, Computer Science: Empowering Intelligent Navigation and Communication: Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency with Large Language Models 
  • Bentuo Zheng, Mathematical Sciences: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Solutions for Supply Chain Risk Management: A Data-Driven Approach 
  • Susana Jaramillo, Marketing and Supply Chain Management: Developing Biodiversity Credit Platform to Manage Supply Chain for Ag-based Biodiversity Credits: A Market-based Incentive Structure to Encourage Farmer Adoption of Conservation Practices that Restore Biodiversity, Soil Health, and Ecosystem Resilience 
  • Leigh Boardman, Biological Sciences: Using Insect Physiology to Optimize Biosecurity Risk in Cold Treated Commodities 
  • Firouzeh Sabri, Physics and Materials Science: Improved Packaging Solution for Supercapacitor Distribution and Logistics 
  • Huigang Liang, Management Information Systems: Fortifying Frontiers: The Dual Impact of AI Investments on Supply Chain Resilience and Data Security 
  • Yafang Li, Management Information Systems: Enhancing Machine Learning in Supply Chain Demand Forecasting Through Change Point Analysis 
  • Joanna Golden, School of Accountancy: Can Corporate Supply Chain Benefit from Data Breach Disclosure Laws 

A Unified Vision For Supply Chain Innovation 

Together, these initiatives highlight the University of Memphis' dedication to advancing supply chain research and innovation. By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and securing substantial funding, the University is poised to make significant contributions to the national logistics and transportation innovation landscape. The investments by the University and the NSF in our ecosystem are a testament to the strength of Memphis’ largest industry sector.  

For more information on either of these initiatives, contact research@memphis.edu or fedex@memphis.edu. 


Jennifer Godwin 
Director of Media and Public Relations 
(O) 901.678.4822 (M) 501.529.7482 


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