Erin Bahm, Steven Parks named 2024–25 UPS Fellows

Steven Parks (left) and Erin Bahm

Annual awards from the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics provide financial support to graduate students in logistics, supply chain management, and freight transportation areas.

Benjy Kantor | MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics

April 22, 2024

The MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL) has announced Erin Bahm and Steven Parks as recipients of the UPS Fellowship for the 2024–25 academic year.

Made possible by a grant from the UPS Foundation, the UPS Fellowship awards financial support to two outstanding students each year, one incoming MIT master’s student and one MIT doctoral student pursuing study relating to logistics, freight transportation, supply chain management, or a related topic.

The UPS Fellowship aims to recognize and reward excellence in these fields, and selections are awarded solely on the basis of merit. Fellows receive full tuition plus a monthly stipend.

“The UPS Fellowships exemplify MIT CTL’s dedication to infusing innovation into real-world applications, upholding the highest standards of academic inquiry,” says Chris Caplice, executive director of MIT CTL. “These fellowships, with the generous backing of the UPS Foundation, stand as indispensable assets in nurturing talents such as Erin and Steven. Their contributions will help to shape the future landscape of the supply chain industry.”

Erin Bahm is an incoming student in the MIT Supply Chain Management master’s program who comes to CTL as a senior inventory operations analyst for Target in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she stepped into a role managing the end-to-end purchasing and positioning of multiple perishable food categories. Her strength in process improvement led to a promotion to inventory operations, where she was responsible for leading a cross-functional initiative to implement ordering optimization changes to over 300 vendors. In her role, she consulted with global supply chain partners on new process initiatives to ensure order volume accuracy and replenishment agility across networks.

Bahm earned her BS in applied engineering sciences from Michigan State University in 2020, where she also received an MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award. Since graduating, she has continued her studies with the completion of a women’s leadership course through the Yale School of Management’s Executive Education program, and she has earned a certificate through MITx MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management. As a leader, Bahm has moderated a career development panel series, and has expanded Target’s new hire mentorship program.

Steven Parks is a PhD candidate in transportation engineering at MIT, and he is also a research assistant in the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab at CTL. In the latter role, he led a 16-month research project with Amazon World-Wide Real Estate Operations, working to quantify the net traffic congestion effects of last-mile e-commerce activities at city scale. The project, for which Parks built a macroscopic traffic simulation model to estimate congestion caused by e-commerce for three major U.S. cities, led to recommendations to reduce congestion footprints published in a white paper in 2024.

“Steven’s work was of critical importance for the success of the project and the reach and academic impact of the research challenge for us and our counterparts at Amazon,” says Matthias Winkenbach, Parks’s advisor and director of the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab. “Steven’s research is answering the question how we can best plan recurring vehicle routes for given demand patterns, road network properties, and other environmental or operational factors related to urban form. This is a highly relevant and timely question with many real-world implications for both freight logistics and passenger transportation systems.”

Parks is a graduate of Santa Clara University, where he was recognized as a Johnson Scholar and earned his BS in mechanical engineering, and received his MS in transportation engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. He has been awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Professor Joseph M. Sussman Best Paper Prize from the journal Frontiers in the Built Environment, and first place in the Santa Clara University Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Conference for his work on disaster relief communications.

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