(l-r): Chris Bertram ’17, Yu He ’17, Xiaohe Yang ’17, and Angie Zhang Qi ’17

In March, a team of Rensselaer Lally School Master of Science in Supply Chain Management students (Chris Bertram ’17, Yu He ’17, Xiaohe Yang ’17, and Angie Zhang Qi ’17) placed second in the graduate teams’ division for the ninth annual APICS Northeast District Student Case Competition. The event, held in Albany, featured 28 teams from across the Northeast.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to apply the technical and business skills they learn in the classroom to a compelling supply chain case situation,” explained T. Ravichandran, Lally associate dean of research and the Irene and Robert Bozzone ’55 Distinguished Professor. “We are proud of their second-place finish, which demonstrates their solid teamwork, analytical and quantitative abilities, and strong business insights. This is the second time the M.S. in Supply Chain Management students have been placed in the top three in this competition. A team of three students placed third in the same competition three years back.”

During the competition, teams of three to four students were given a supply chain problem to be solved using a computer simulation game. Next, each team presented their problem strategy, assessment, and solution to a panel of judges. Each team’s scores were based on a combination of the simulation results and the presentation to the judges.

“We had the opportunity to interact with other supply chain students from many established universities,” said team member Angie Zhang Qi ’17. “It was also a great event that allowed us to network with many professionals in the supply chain area.”

“Our students showed a strong performance in the simulation game combined with an impressive presentation of their strategies,” explained M. Hakan Hekimoglu, Lally assistant professor of supply chain management and analytics. “I congratulate our students on their great accomplishment.”

APICS (formerly the American Production and Inventory Control Society) is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management and the premier provider of research, education, and certification in those fields. The organization itself has more than 37,000 members and more than 250 international partners. The student chapter of APICS at Rensselaer was formed four years back and has been growing in membership. Students of this chapter attend the monthly professional development meetings and organize events aimed at helping them prepare for careers in supply chain management.

The Lally M.S. in Supply Chain Management program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that integrates concepts from industrial marketing, operations management, and information systems. Students gain valuable skill sets undertaking a rigorous curriculum with several parts: a business core, a supply chain core that includes both modeling and quantitative approaches, and specialized electives that include project-based courses. Additionally, the program provides sophisticated in-class simulation games, a supply chain capstone project, and mentoring from an advisory board of supply chain executives.