Simulation set for April 11 to test response to avian flu


MIT will stage a real-time simulation of an avian flu outbreak to show how global supply chains are severely disrupted by such emergencies. Leaders from business, government and academia are expected to attend the event, which will take place on Tuesday, April 11, at the Cambridge Marriott Hotel.

Developed by MIT's Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL), the simulation will involve a hypothetical outbreak of avian flu that shuts down a fictional manufacturing facility. The plant closure will ripple through the global supply chain as other countries and companies react to the news.

A panel of executives will respond in real time to the unfolding emergency, which will be shaped by prompts and prescripted news bulletins delivered by a facilitator. The exercise is part of CTL's larger, day-long annual symposium titled "At the Crossroads of Supply Chain and Strategy: Simulating Disruption to Business Recovery."

CTL Director Yossi Sheffi said the center devised the exercise to get companies thinking about contingency plans for global disruptions such as an avian flu pandemic. "In this interconnected world where supply chains span the globe, companies must examine what actions they will need to take to protect employees, customers and the operational integrity of the enterprise in the event of a global emergency," said Sheffi.

For more information visit ctl.mit.edu/index.pl?id=4895.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 5, 2006 (download PDF).


Topics: Business and management

Back to the top