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Personal profile

Research Interests

In Professor Smilowitz’s research, she considers the opportunities and challenges of introducing operational flexibility into logistics systems. With more flexibility, it is possible to significantly improve system efficiency (greater utilization of employees and equipment, reduction in empty miles traveled, etc.). At the same time, increasing flexibility expands the set of operational choices (possible vehicle routes, load assignments, etc.) which complicates already difficult routing and scheduling problems. Often analysis of these complex freight transportation systems requires approximations and simplifications in modeling and solution methods to obtain solutions with acceptable computational effort (i.e. computer time and memory).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Civil and Environmental Engineering, PhD, University of California at Berkeley

… → 2001

Civil and Environmental Engineering, MS, University of California at Berkeley

… → 1998

Civil Engineering and Operations Research, BSE, Princeton University

… → 1995

Research interests

  • Inventory and routing problems in food distribution
  • Last mile distribution in humanitarian relief
  • Logistics
  • Multi-resource routing problems
  • Period vehicle routing problem with service choice
  • Transportation operations


Dive into the research topics where Karen Smilowitz is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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