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Capstone Project Pairs Students with Industry to Examine Best Practices Student Team Travels to Freeport and BASF

April 18, 2018

A group of students from the University of Houston Supply Chain & Logistics Technology program conducted real-world research into real-world industry issues. The students, all seniors, worked with BASF, a global corporation that produces and markets chemicals and related products. The BASF site located in Freeport produces 24 products in 25 plants. For this semester-long research project, students conducted a material flow analysis and developed a heat map (a color-coded map of data) for the facility.

“The team conducted an in-depth investigation and analysis of the BASF SAP warehouse,” Margaret Kidd, instructional assistant professor of supply chain and logistics technology. “This study allowed students to apply theoretical knowledge from the classroom to actual identification of best-in-class methods to optimize warehouse operations.”

A group of people wearing hardhats standing together in an office

The student team, led by Tanya Cortez, includes Cabot Jackman, Gustavo Parra, Richie Kakkanatt, Matthew Ivester and Zohaib Zahid. Their research focused on a specific type of super absorbent polymer known as hydrogels, used in products like diapers.

“This semester long project is special also because it plays into the resin-boom in the industry,” Kidd said. “Students recognize the scope of this opportunity. That industry wants to involve our students this way speaks to the level of expertise and professionalism our students already have attained.”

Supply chain and logistics technology refers to the process and flow of moving goods, services or information from a point of origin to the consumer. UH students pursuing a degree in supply chain & logistics technology must complete a capstone project that collaborates with industry to examine best-practices.

Executives from BASF will travel to Freeport from their European offices to hear students’ presentations and to consider whether any of their research, recommendations or ideas can be implemented.

The Supply Chain & Logistic Technology program is part of the UH College of Technology.