News | USC's Sue Dexter Recognized as PSR UTC Outstanding Student of the Year

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by Adylbek Abdykalikov, USC, IPPAM 2020

We conclude our series of articles dedicated to our Students of the Year with our PSR University Transportation Center (UTC) Outstanding Student of the Year, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern California's Sol Price School of Public Policy, Sue Dexter. Dexter also holds a Master of Science degree in Operations Research with an emphasis on network optimization from the London School of Economics. 


Dexter is completing her third year as a doctoral student in Urban Planning and Development. As part of her degree program, she studies land use and transportation with an emphasis on goods movement and is involved in several research projects focused on alternative fuel heavy-duty cargo vehicles. She hopes to investigate the most effective strategies for reducing greenhouse gases in the freight sector for her dissertation.



Dexter was nominated for the award by her advisor, Professor Genevieve Giuliano, who noted Dexter’s exceptional leadership abilities and potential for achieving a senior leadership role in the field of transportation. Giuliano considers Dexter “an excellent researcher, who will most certainly make a significant contribution to the field.”


Dexter has an impressive background, with 25 years of working experience in supply chain management, optimization, transportation, and distribution. She began her career at The Aerospace Corporation, then joined Toyota Motor Corporation, where she started as an analyst in strategic business and supply chain planning for the North America Parts Operations subsidiary. She advanced to project manager, then planning manager, and finally to program manager for Toyota's information systems enterprise services.


In her capacity as a research assistant, Dexter studies alternative fuel heavy-duty cargo vehicles under the guidance of  Professor Giuliano, and is currently working on a project examining potential markets for heavy-duty zero-emission trucks; she will extend this research to consider alternative fuel options for heavy-duty trucks using life cycle analysis as part of her dissertation. "Ms. Dexter would like to contribute to more efficient and sustainable goods movement through both technology and policy design," Giuliano shared.


Dexter has already accomplished a lot. As part of her course work, she has conducted a study of the charging location problem for zero-emission drayage trucks, has examined differences in warehouse location patterns, and has used nighttime lights to study refugee impacts on host community income. As part of her research assistant activities, Dexter has conducted and written a comprehensive literature review on zero-emission vehicles and conducted an analysis of the potential of zero-emission trucks to substitute for conventional diesel trucks in drayage operations. She is also surveying trucking firms to understand delivery and time window constraints better.


Besides her study, Dexter is also a lecturer and Capstone Advisor for the California State University, Long Beach Global Logistics Specialist program. "She is recognized as one of the top instructors in the program, and has received two teaching awards and one service award," noted Giuliano. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Cabrillo High School's Academy of Global Logistics (AGL) program.  "She is a wonderful mentor to more junior students, an efficient project manager, and a tireless volunteer in the community,"  Giuliano added. 


METRANS Transportation Center heartily congratulates Sue Dexter on winning the PSR UTC Student of the Year.


About the Author:

Adylbek Abdykalikov is a graduate student in the International Public Policy and Management Program at USC Price. He has working experience in various positions at the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Investment and Development of Kazakhstan and was in charge of Transportation and Civil Aviation policy development and implementation. He serves as the lead writer to METRANS Newsletter and lead student event coordinator for METRANS and PSR.