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Optimizing the use of drones for distribution of childhood vaccines in less developed countries

Distinguished Research Seminar Series

20221212_Prof James F Campbell_Event banner
  • Date

    12 Dec 2022

  • Organiser

    Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, PolyU; Research Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (RIAM)

  • Time

    09:00 - 10:30

  • Venue

    Online via ZOOM  


Prof. James F. Campbell


Meeting link will be sent to successful registrants

20221212_Prof James F Campbell_Poster


Childhood vaccines play a vital role in social welfare, but vaccine availability is limited in many less-developed countries by poor transportation and a weak cold chain. Drones (UAVs), with their high speed and limited infrastructure, provide new options to improve vaccine distribution, both for distribution from the national depots to local health zones, and for local delivery within a health zone. This presentation summarizes our research optimizing multi-modal vaccine distribution with drones, including a detailed case study. For national-level distribution we developed two MILP formulations to optimize vaccine flows and facility locations with multi-stop drone paths that allow recharging and maintain the cold chain. For vaccine delivery within a health zone, we develop a synchronized VRP model for drone resupply of health workers at remote locations. Our models are applied with two types of drones for vaccine distribution throughout the island nation of Vanuatu. Solutions with drones are shown to generate large savings and to improve service, with differentiated roles for large and small drones.

Keynote Speaker

Prof. James F. Campbell

Prof. James F. Campbell

Professor of Supply Chain & Analytics, 
College of Business Administration, 
University of Missouri – St. Louis, 
St. Louis, MO, USA

James F. Campbell is professor of Supply Chain & Analytics and PhD Program Director in the College of Business Administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL). He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California – Berkeley. His research centers around modeling and optimization of transportation, logistics and supply chain systems, and has worked with public and private sector organizations in Canada, Australia and the U.S. His recent research interests include drone delivery, hub location and transportation network design, inventory modeling, school bus routing and barge transportation on the Mississippi River. He is a Distinguished Journal Editorial Board member at Transportation Research–Part B, Associate Editor for Transportation Science, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Business Logistics and the International Journal of Revenue Management. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at CSIRO in Australia and has served on dissertation and thesis committees for students at UMSL, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Monash University, and Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.

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