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Northwestern University

Patterson Lecture

42nd Annual William A. Patterson Distinguished Transportation Lecture

Shelley Simpson
President, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2024 

7:30 PM

Walter Athletics Center - Auditorium 

2255 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 


 Shelley Simpson is President at J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Shelley’s 29-year career at J.B. Hunt reflects the company’s continued progression as an innovative leader in the transportation industry. She previously served as President of Integrated Capacity Solutions and Truckload, EVP of People and Chief Commercial Officer, among other executive roles. Shelley was named President in 2022 and provides oversight for all company business units while generating long-term value for employees, customers and shareholders. In 2023, She received the Excellence in Free Enterprise Award from Economics Arkansas and the Influential Woman in Trucking Award by the Women in Trucking organization.


The Annual William A. Patterson Distinguished Transportation Lecture is named for William A. "Pat" Patterson. In 1980, the NUTC established the Lecture as an integral part of the Patterson Endowment. It has since become an annual highlight at Northwestern University, drawing influential speakers from all facets of the transportation industry.

William A. "Pat" Patterson was a central figure in the United States air transport industry for more than four decades. He served as president and chairman of United Airlines from 1934 until his retirement in 1966. He was a life trustee of Northwestern University and was instrumental in the establishment and strategic leadership of the Transportation Center. 

Patterson Archive

2023 - 2021

2023 | 41st Annual William A. Patterson Distinguished Transportation Lecture


"Technology in Transportation and Logistics - Past, Present and Future"

Douglas Waggoner CEO, Echo Global Logistics


Doug Waggoner has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Echo Global Logistics since 2006 and has contributed to making Echo a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation management. Prior to Echo, he founded SelecTrans, LLC, a freight management software provider. From 2004 to 2005, he served as the CEO of USF Bestway. Prior to this, he was the senior vice president of strategic marketing for USF Corporation. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Supply-Chain Innovation Network of Chicago, a new organization emerging out of World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. Waggoner holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from San Diego State University.


2022 | 40th Annual William A. Patterson Distinguished Transportation Lecture


“Leadership and Air Travel Through the Pandemic and Beyond”

ED BASTIAN - CEO, Delta Air Lines


 Ed Bastian leads a team of 75,000 global professionals that is building the world’s premier international airline, powered by a people-driven, customer-focused culture and spirit of innovation.  Under Ed’s leadership, Delta is transforming the air travel experience with generational investments in technology, aircraft, airport facilities and, most importantly, Delta’s employees worldwide. A 23-year Delta veteran, Ed has been a critical leader in Delta’s long-term strategy and champion of putting Delta’s shared values of honesty, integrity, respect, perseverance and servant leadership at the core of every decision.


2021 | 39th Annual William A. Patterson Distinguished Transportation Lecture

“Beyond Transportation Excellence: Lessons from the Pandemic”

ANN DRAKE - Founder & President, Lincoln Road Enterprises


 Ann Drake is President and Founder of Lincoln Road Enterprises, a women’s leadership organization she started in 2019 to advance the influence and contributions of women in public/private enterprise, global supply chain, engineering/technology, infrastructure/design, and space/astrophysics. She has been recognized multiple times as one of the country’s leading women executives, honored for her vision and ability to engage others in meaningful dialogue and collaboration toward positive change. Ann is a graduate of the University of Iowa and received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

2019 - 2010

Uberizing Logistics and the Future of Freight


Lior Ron - Head of Uber Freight

Lior Ron has been at the helm of some of the most exciting technological developments of the past decade. He began his career as the CTO for Israeli Army Intelligence before joining Google in 2007. There he became the product lead for Google Maps, helping to scale the business from 10 million to 1 billion users, as well as launch products including My Maps, Google Map Maker and Google Local. After Google acquired Motorola in 2011, Lior was the first Google employee recruited to transform Motorola products, launching the award-winning Moto X and Moto 360 product lines. In 2016, Lior co-founded Otto, a self-driving truck company that was later acquired by Uber. Today, Lior is the Head of Uber Freight, Uber’s logistics on demand business, connecting shippers and trucking companies acro

The sky's no limit: Boeing and the future of space exploration


Dennis A. Muilenburg - Chairman, President & CEO, The Boeing Company

Over the course of decades, Boeing has celebrated lunar footsteps, space shuttle launches and the assembly of the International Space Station, among other milestones. Now the aerospace leader is focused on what comes next. At the 37th Annual Patterson Transportation Lecture, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg discussed the future of space exploration, from traversing deep space and taking our first steps on Mars to the evolving combination of commercial air and commercial space travel.

Connecting People, Creating A Better Future—Why International Trade Benefits America


Lance Fritz - Chairman, President & CEO, Union Pacific

Union Pacific President and CEO Lance Fritz discussed the secrets behind Union Pacific’s enduring success as well as the importance of global trade during the 36th annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture.

Read more: Northwestern Now
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Technology & Culture Meet A New Era of Expectation

Jeff Silver - Co-Founder & CEO, Coyote, A UPS Company

When Jeff Silver entered the world of third-party logistics (3PL) in the 1980s, the industry suffered from a bad reputation. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Silver worked to transform the 3PL industry with his company American Backhaulers, the second largest North American freight brokerage at the time. But he finally hit his career-long goal when he co-founded Coyote Logistics, one of the fastest growing 3PL service providers of all time. Silver shared how Coyote won customers by meeting their expectations at the 35th annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture.

Read more: Northwestern Now
Read more: Northwestern Engineering
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American Airlines: Building an Airline for the Future

Douglas Parker - Chairman & CEO, American Airlines Group, Inc.

A lengthy period of transition followed the federal government’s deregulation of the airline industry in 1978. American Airlines is still in transition, but, according to American Airlines Chairman and CEO Douglas Parker, the end is in sight. He discussed the end of the airline industry’s long transition at the 34th annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture.

Read more: Northwestern Engineering
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Funding the Future, Lessons from the Past: How Underinvestment in Highway Infrastructure Threatens Transportation Efficiency and Sustainable Economic Health

Chris Lofgren - President & CEO, Schneider

Read more: Northwestern Engineering
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The Impact of Wireless on Logistics and the World from OmniTRACS to Ubiquitous Smart Devices

Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs - Founding Chairman & CEO Emeritus of Qualcomm Inc.

Irwin M. Jacobs discussed his adventures at Qualcomm from its first commercial product, OmniTRACS, a communications and asset location system for the trucking industry, to the latest smart devices and sensors impacting all aspects of our lives. He focused on the growing scope of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and described an experiment currently underway in London on wireless charging curb-side of electric vehicles, a positive for broad acceptance.

Read more: Northwestern Engineering
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The Ford Story

Alan Mulally - President and CEO of Ford Motor Company

The New United: Flying to Win in a Changed Industry

Jeffery A. Smisek - President and Chief Executive Officer, United Continental Holdings, Inc.

In his talk, “The New United: Flying to Win in a Changed Industry,” Smisek covered rising fuel prices and how the new United follows its “Go Forward Plan” to benefit employees, customers, shareholders and communities around the world.

Read about the event and listen to audio samples at Northwestern website

The Future of River Transportation in the U.S. —Safest... Sustainable... Subsidized... A Bargain?—And What it Might Mean for Freight Policy

Dr. Craig E. Philip - CEO, Ingram Marine Group

Domestic Marine Transport is a significant but underappreciated and often invisible part of the freight network in the United States. While use of waterways around the world is being encouraged by government policy and action, policies in this country are conflicted and inconsistent. Dr. Philip, CEO of the largest U.S. Barge Company, shared his views about the present state of the industry and how future policy might shape its future.

2009 - 2000

Focus Transportation: Humanitarian Relief Through Better Technology

Governor Scott McCallum, 
President & CEO, The AidMatrix Foundation

America's Transportation Challenge

Matthew K. Rose, 
Chairman, President & CEO of BNSF Railway, Member of the National Surface Transportation, Policy and Revenue Commission

Watch video of Rose's talk

On the Road to Safety: Milestones of Progress

Mark V. Rosenker, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board

25th Anniversary Patterson Transportation Lecture

Peter D. McDonald, Executive Vice President & COO, United Airlines

Read a transcript of McDonald's talk

Reinventing the Automobile

Lawrence D. Burns, Vice President, GM Research & Development and Planning, General Motors Corporation

Innovation in an Age of Globalization

Michael L. Eskew, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service, Inc.

Read a transcript of Eskew's talk

The Jet Blue Story

David Neeleman, Chief Executive Officer and Director, JetBlue Airways

National Transportation Security System

Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Watch video of Mineta's talk
Read a transcript of Mineta's talk

Enhancing Logistics Productivity

Donald Schneider, President, Schneider National, Inc.

Read a summary of the event
Read a transcript of Schneider's talk

Expressing the Future

Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Corporation

Fred Smith, air express pioneer and founder of Federal Express delivered the 2000 Patterson Transportation Lecture. His seminar focused on the air express industry as a primary facilitator of trade worldwide. He explored some of the major forces driving global economic prosperity including the sweeping developments in technology, fast cycle logistics, globalization and the rise of e-commerce. He also offered his personal predictions for the future of the transportation industry.

Watch video of Smith's talk
Read a transcript of Smith's talk

1999 - 1990

You Can't Haul Freight on the Internet: Railroads in the 21st Century

Robert Krebs, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

Watch video of Krebs' talk

Container Shipping in the Globalized Economy

Lua Cheng Eng, Deputy Chairman, Group President and Executive Chief Officer of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.

Leadership--Southwest Style

Herb Kelleher, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Southwest Airline Co.

Watch video of Kelleher's talk

Europe's Railways: At the Crossroads

John Welsby, Chairman & CEO, British Railways

Use of Military Logistics Concepts and Principles in the Civilian Sector

William ("Gus") Pagonis, Senior Vice President, Logistics, Sears Merchandise Group, Sears, Roebuck and Co.

European Competition Policy in the Transportation Sector

Karel Van Miert, Commissioner of Competition, European Union

Traffic Science, Congestion and the Urban Environment

Dr. Robert Herman, L.P., Gilvin Centennial Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Intermodalism: The Future Challenge

J.B. Hunt, Chairman of the Board, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

Challenges in Air Transportation Deregulation: A European Perspective

Heinz Ruhnau, Chairman of the Executive Board, Lufthansa German Airlines

Space Transportation and Commercialization

Donald (Deke) K. Slayton, Former astronaut, President & Vice Chairman, Space Services Inc. of America

1989 - 1980

The Airlines: Globalization and Post-1992 Europe

Sir Colin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, British Airways

Planes, Trains and Trucks in an Era of Deregulation

William W. Winpisinger, International President, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

The Consumer and Deregulation

Frank Lorenzo, Chairman, President & CEO, Texas Air Corporation

The Airline Industry: Still in Transition

Robert L. Crandall, Chairman & President, AMR Corporation and American Airlines, Inc.

Information Technology and Organization Change: Strategies for Managers

Marvin L. Manheim, William A. Patterson Distinguished Professor of Transportation, Northwestern University

1984: Transportation Quality: User Friendly?

Dr. Daryl Wyckoff, James J. Hill Professor of Transportation, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

The Airline Industry: Is it Time to Reregulate?

Alfred E. Kahn, Robert Julius Thorne Professor of Economics, Cornell University
Special Consultant, National Economic Research Associates

The Future of Air Transportation

Richard J. Ferris, Chairman & CEO, United Airlines, Inc.

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