Rutgers-Camden Receives International Research Grant

Baveja, Alok

Alok Baveja

Rutgers–Camden has been awarded a grant that will fund an international research partnership to study the efficiency and sustainability of freight transportation.

Alok Baveja, a professor of management at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, is teaming with scholars from leading universities in India and the United Kingdom for the project titled “Next Generation Sustainable Freight Transportation” (NEX-GIFT).

It is funded by the U.K.-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) under its U.K.-U.S.-India Trilateral Partnership Program. The two-year grant is for $33,400.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Rutgers–Camden,” Baveja says. “It’s an important issue, and because of its global nature, requires international collaboration. We do very good research here at Rutgers–Camden which helps set the stage for opportunities like this one.”

For the NEX-GIFT project, Baveja is collaborating with Alok Choudhary, a lecturer in operations and supply chain management at the Sheffield University Management School in the United Kingdom; Ravi Shankar, a professor in the Department of Management Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi; and Neha Mittal, an assistant professor of marketing and supply chain management at Temple University.

The team is tasked with researching new and existing methodologies, identifying best practices, and creating a knowledge framework for establishing practices to reduce the environmental impact caused by the freight industry in the United States, United Kingdom, and India.

“There is more trading, therefore there is more volume, and as volume has increased, the impact on the environment is greater,” Baveja says. “Additionally, the infrastructure remains the same, so there is more pressure on existing infrastructure, but a lack of attention on the issue.”

Baveja continues, “It’s a global issue, so it makes sense to have a global perspective.”

According to the research proposal, moving freight creates traffic congestion, air pollution, noise pollution, and consumes fuel. Therefore, there is a growing need for future-leaning transportation and logistics practices.

“We want to provide some technical expertise, bring the issues to light, and help determine the best practices moving forward,” Baveja says.

UKIERI is being implemented with the aim to bring forth a unique initiative that strengthens the bilateral relationship between India and the United Kingdom and set an example of best practice in international cooperation.

UKIERI is a multi-stakeholder partnership program supported and funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Council, Department for Employment and Learning, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Indian Department for Science and Technology, and University Grants Commission.

The U.K.-U.S.-India Trilateral Partnership Program aims to strengthen engagement and encourage future potential collaborations between higher education institutions in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The NEX-GIFT project is one of 18 UKIERI Trilateral Research Partnerships funded for 2012-13 and is the only business/management project selected for an award this year.

A resident of Macungie, Pa., Baveja’s expertise is in the use of innovative analytics modeling for managing operations in the public and private sectors.

His research has appeared in several prominent operations and management journals. He is a former associate editor for IIE Transactions on Scheduling and Logistics and is the current associate editor for Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Transportation Coordinating Council, and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Baveja is co-founder of a not-for-profit organization that provides technical, planning and financial assistance for rural/women empowerment programs in developing countries.

In 2012, he was honored with the Warren I. Susman Teaching Excellence Award, Rutgers’ highest teaching honor, and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Baveja received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, and his doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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