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IMSE student duo earns high marks from CELDi

Jason Robke and Phichet Wutthisirisart pose with their award certificates.

Jason Robke and Phichet Wutthisirisart earned the inaugural Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Achievement awards, respectively, at the CELDi Research Symposium, held in October in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Jim Noble.

The Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi) provides students a unique opportunity to work on real-world problems with companies in need of logistics solutions. Recently, two University of Missouri students were recognized for their efforts working with CELDi member companies.

Jason Robke and Phichet Wutthisirisart earned the inaugural Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Achievement awards, respectively, at the CELDi Research Symposium, held in October in Dallas.

CELDi is an organization that pairs academic partners with member organizations “to achieve logistics and distribution excellence by delivering meaningful, innovative and implementable solutions that provide a return on investment.” Sweeping the inaugural outstanding student achievement awards was a notable accomplishment according to MU site director for CELDi and Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) Professor James Noble.

MU's CELDi symposium group poses for a photo.

A sizeable group of MU industrial and manufacturing systems engineering students and faculty attended the CELDi Research Symposium, held in October in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Jim Noble.

“That was am amazing accomplishment for our MU team,” Noble said. “And there aren’t any more qualified people (than Robke and Wutthisirisart).

“Jason has done a great job with undergraduate research, and I was pleased he was recognized for his hard work and contribution. And Phichet has had his fingerprint on about every CELDi project we’ve done. … He’s done a great job of both creating and taking the algorithms and turning them into usable analysis tools for companies.”

Wutthisirisart, an IMSE doctoral student, has been involved with CELDi since 2007 and has earned recognition for his work on a multitude of projects. He has worked on projects for Hallmark, Leggett & Platt, Boeing and Anheuser-Busch and also led development of algorithms and software implementation for a pair of ongoing projects for Bayer CropScience. One project dealt with onsite and offsite warehouse space allocation and another involved developing and putting in place an integrated logistics network design system for a new product . These projects have also provided the framework for both his master’s thesis and upcoming doctoral dissertation.

“I was surprised at first, and I was very happy I was selected,” Wutthisirisart said.

Robke, a senior IMSE major, first became involved with CELDi on a project with Bayer where he supported data entry and analysis. Since then, he’s expanded his efforts in the organization because of his undergraduate research work with Boeing. Robke initially began working on development of a cost estimator for the reverse logistics network system Boeing implemented. His involvement with Boeing grew to the point where the company hired him twice as a summer intern and has offered him a fulltime position after his May 2015 graduation.

“From my perspective, CELDi singlehandedly jumpstarted my career,” Robke said. “We’re extremely lucky to do this type of work and on top of the work, interact directly with companies.”

Noble lauded both students’ hard work on a variety of projects, praise that the award-winning duo was all too quick to return to MU’s CELDi chief.

“The biggest thing for me is Dr. Noble is getting recognition for the two of us winning awards, which for me, that’s big, because he’s done so much for me that to give him something to help him further CELDi’s mission was the big benefit,” Robke said.

“I’m grateful to him so much,” Wutthisirisart said.