Symposium on Wood Supply Chain Management in Austria and California

On February 25, the Institute of European Studies hosted a liaison meeting of experts on wood supply chain management at the University of California, Berkeley with generous support from the Austrian Ministry of Science and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation. The meeting was organized by Christoph Kogler, a current visiting scholar at the Institute of European Studies. The discussion involved a diverse group of researchers from the Department of Industrial Engineering, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Haas Business School, Berkeley Forests, and the Institute of Transportation Studies. Visiting scholars from the European Commission were also invited.

The meeting focused on current and future challenges of wood supply chain management in Austria and California. Climate change has increased the frequency and impact of forest calamities such as wildfires, windstorms and bark beetle infestations. Events such as these abruptly cause high volumes of salvage wood, which have to be transported out of the forest to limit further damage or loss of wood value. California as well as Austria have been particulary impacted by fires and windstorms. Researchers discussed similarities in the need for advanced contingency planning after risk events, exchanging and analyzing different research approaches and methods to overcome those challenges from across the scientific disciplines. The discrete event simulation method was confirmed to provide a high suitability for advanced contingency planning, because it allows for complex interdependencies to be visually illustrated and demonstrated to stakeholders. Different model configurations can show the effects of such decisions before real, costly, dangerous, inefficient or long-lasting changes are made.

A full program is below:

3:00–3:15 pm - Welcome and Introduction

3:15–3:35 pm - “Wood Supply Chain Management in Austria” - Christoph Kogler, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

3:35–3:55 pm - “Decision Support by Discrete Event Simulation for the Wood Supply Chain” - Christoph Kogler, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

3:55–4:15 - Discussion 1 - Challenges in Austria, similarities to California

4:15–4:30 pm - “Wood Supply Chain Management in California” - Bill Stewart, Co-Director Berkeley Forests

4:30–5:00 pm - Introductory Workshop - “Distinguishing Features of the Discrete Event Simulation Method” - Lee Schruben, Past Chair Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, College of Engineering, Holder of INFORMS Simulation Society Lifetime Professional Achievement Award

5:00–5:20 pm - Discussion 2 - Application of discrete event simulation for wood supply chain research