Atlanta companies with operations in Shanghai, Hong Kong or Nagoya, Japan, that would like a group of corporate logistics experts to investigate their supply chain challenges in Asia can contact the Executive Masters in International Logistics program at Georgia Institute of Technology, program director John Vande Vate told GlobalAtlanta.

Dr. Vande Vate, professor and executive director of the EMIL program in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, also invited supply chain executives of Atlanta businesses to enroll in the executive education program that offers participants a degree from Georgia Tech plus practical logistics experience in various international locations.

The program consists of five, two-week residences in various Asian, European and Latin American cities, over the course of 18 months. The first and last sessions take place in Atlanta. Rather than completing a Master’s thesis, participants engage in a global supply chain project that will benefit their company’s activities in specific regions.

Companies with operations abroad can contact Dr. Vande Vate to potentially be one of the program’s “live cases” in which the company identifies a specific strategic topic it wants to address, and the EMIL class will be assigned the task of coming up with possible solutions to the issue.

The agenda for the upcoming European residence beginning Oct. 1 has already been arranged, with the EMIL students visiting Brussels and Rouen in Belgium, as well as Stuttgart and Munich in Germany, where they will meet with industry and government leaders. They will also make site visits to companies and attend seminars directed by partnering faculty from foreign universities.

But the agenda for the Asian program in February is still potentially open for company visits and live case studies, Dr. Vande Vate said. The same is true for the Latin America residence in May, which is expected to take place in Panama City, Sao Paulo and Manaus, Brazil.

The current EMIL course, which is the fourth one since the program launched in 2000, began in March and will conclude in September 2006. The next course begins in January 2007, but applications are due Aug. 15, 2006.

The program is designed for professionals with 10 or more years of experience and it is “extremely important for the participants and venues be international,” Dr. Vande Vate said.

“There is great value for smaller companies because of the networks they make with contacts in larger companies. This is also a relatively easy way to get your hand held through the challenges of international logistics and get a degree in the process,” he added.

Dr. Vande Vate also said he is working to increase international enrollment in the program and is offering half-scholarships for participants living and working in Asia, Latin America and Europe, as well as those working with international human relief organizations.

Topics of the residences include supply management for consumer logistics, European, Asian and Latin logistics and supply chain management for manufacturers. Between residences, participants work together on cases and complete Internet-based course material.

Dr. Vande Vate said he got the idea for the program in 1999 from his experience working with the Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech where he noticed the people working there had little formal, academic training for the international logistics and supply chain management issues with which they were dealing.

Thus, he formed an advisory board of 30 global supply chain leaders from Fortune 500 companies, including Wal-Mart Inc., Schneider Logistics Inc., United Parcel Service Inc. and others from around the world, to help create the EMIL program.

Undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering can also consult companies in Atlanta on logistics solutions, Dr. Vande Vate said. He added that the Georgia Tech Logistics Institute has a program called “Leaders in Logistics” that involves regional companies making contributions to support a faculty member to look at solutions for their logistics problems.

Contact Dr. Vande Vate at (404) 894-3035 or or visit for more information.