SETH HOSTETLER, 24
Pennsylvania State University
Hometown: Orrville, OH
Seth Hostetler graduated from Ohio University in 2008 with a dual master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and a grade point average of 3.929. This fall, he began a doctoral program in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State University.
Seth has always enjoyed problem solving, and says that “material handling presents an abundance of unique problems to be solved.” He decided on a material handling career during a college co-op program when he worked for R.W. Beckett Corp., a mid-sized manufacturing and assembly company in North Ridgeville, Ohio, that was going through a Lean transformation. He was responsible for setting up new material handling systems throughout the facility and found the experience of working with suppliers on their shipment methods fascinating. “There are so many different solutions to the same type of problems, allowing for some creativity and fresh ideas,” he says.
After graduation, Seth plans to work as a consultant and then become a professor of material handling logistics, while continuing his independent research in the field of material handling. His master’s thesis focused on container packing with delivery constraints. He set out to maximize volume utilization in a container/delivery truck, i.e., those used by UPS and FedEx, while ensuring package accessibility at time of delivery. Seth will continue his work on that research as well as delving into warehousing and the distribution of materials across facilities.
KYLE S. BOWEN, 21
East Carolina University
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
After hearing a presentation on industrial distribution while a freshman at East Carolina University, Kyle S. Bowen decided on the spot to change his major from mathematics to distribution. After his first class, he knew he had made the right decision. “I became fascinated with the world of supply. I’m always looking at trucks and planes and asking questions about the movement of materials. I even check out the barcode scanners in department stores.”
Now a senior studying industrial distribution and logistics with a concentration on business, Kyle carries a grade point average of 3.96. An Eagle Scout, he is captain of the Professional Competition Paintball Team and platoon sergeant of his Army ROTC unit. He is also a member of the Professional Association of Industrial Distributors and the Institute of Supply Management. “I want to be the best in everything I do. Material handling is so broad with many intricate details, and being the best requires a strong desire and commitment to learn and adapt and become knowledgeable,” he says.
Kyle is intrigued with RFID technology, the use of computer systems in material handling, the role of purchasers and how they plan to adapt to market changes, safety stock and more. “The whole world of distribution fascinates me. Every part is working with the others to build a system,” he says.
After graduation in May 2010, Kyle will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He plans to pursue the Quartermaster branch, the Army’s spearhead of logistics. As an officer, he will be responsible for more than 50 employees and in charge of millions of dollars of equipment supplying troops around the world. When his military service is finished, Kyle wants to develop his career as a distribution manager, perhaps working for WalMart, UPS or FedEx. He wants members to know how very appreciative he is of the assistance the MHEDA Honor Scholarship is providing him to reach his educational goals.