Forever True, For Iowa State

True expertise

During the historic $1.5 billion Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, donors have supported hundreds of projects and established funds that help put Iowa State’s expertise to work throughout the state, nation and world.

One such fund established during the campaign is the Land O’Lakes, Inc. Endowed Professorship in Supply Chain and Information Systems, currently held by Yoshi Suzuki, a professor in the Ivy College of Business Department of Supply Chain Management.

The position reflects a fruitful relationship between Iowa State and Land O’Lakes, as they are both committed to improving people’s well-being by protecting and enhancing the environment; ensuring long-term productivity of food, feed, fiber and fuel; and providing strong economic opportunities now and far into the future.

In 2020, Suzuki’s work reflected these values as he pursued research that was motivated by the concern of numerous companies using barges in the Mississippi River. The companies feel that the locks and dams in the upper Mississippi River are getting old and their reliability is poor. In response to their concerns, Suzuki initiated a simulation study that investigates the risks and costs associated with the disruptions of material flows in the upper Mississippi River system due to the aging problems of locks and dams.

“I am getting interesting tentative results suggesting that the negative impact of aging locks and dams on shippers’ cost may be smaller than initially expected,” Suzuki says. “If this turns out to be the final result, many interesting implications can be obtained for both shippers and government agencies on how much and where the funding for repair and maintenance should come from.”

As the country looks at how and where to replace its aging infrastructure, it’s research such as Suzuki’s that will help inform some of the most important decisions of our time.