Chain of Thought

Why Russ Meller Deserves the Rare Reed-Apple

The Reed-Apple Award is not given blithely. Over the past 30 years it has been presented to 18 people (including this magazine's former editor-in-chief, Bernie Knill, in 1992). Maybe that's because the qualities it recognizes are so rare. It was established to recognize outstanding individuals for their contributions, dedication and service to the material handling logistics field and to the Material Handling Education Foundation. This year a group of prestigious educators in this field identified a candidate whose time to be recognized has come: Dr. Russell Meller, Hefley Professor of Logistics and Entrepreneurship in the University of Arkansas' Department of Industrial Engineering. He's also director of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Center for Engineering, Logistics and Distribution.

Material Handling and Logistics magazine is especially proud to congratulate Dr. Meller, as he is also a member of our new Editorial Advisory Board. In presenting the award to him during Material Handling Industry of America's annual meeting this week, John Hill, principal with TransSystems and member of MHIA's Board of Governors, explained that Dr. Meller has distinguished himself as an educator, counselor, writer with an unmatched number of publications, patent holder, consultant and innovator in the 18 years since receiving his PhD from the university of Michigan in 1992. Hill also noted Meller's 13-year association with the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), both as an officer and as president.

That's a lot of service for a comparatively young man, Hill commented to me after the ceremony. In fact, both of us agreed that Meller has had a lasting impact on MHIA by ensuring that today's material handling logistics executives play a role in the professional development of their successors.

“Russ revitalized CICMHE,” Hill told me. “It is a stronger organization because of his stewardship. We never had CICMHE people sitting in our product section meetings before Russ started doing it. He has encouraged other CICMHE members to do the same.”

This not only helps educators bring real-world material handling perspectives back to their classrooms, but it reminds today's industry veterans to give back to the industry that made them by helping a new generation find ways to further develop the art and science of material handling.

On behalf of the Material Handling and Logistics staff, congratulations Russ.

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