The Axia Institute helps firms address some of industry’s greatest challenges by providing high-impact solutions. The institute expands on Michigan State University’s #1 ranked Supply Chain Management program. We are strategically positioned as the premier value chain innovation center, poised to deliver revolutionary advances in the functional areas of procurement, manufacturing, data analytics, materials management, packaging, logistics and customer service to companies globally.
In addition to our staff, we are supported by our Executive and Technical Advisory boards, which advise and help guide the activities of the Institute.
Research Associate Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor – School of Packaging
Dr. Aliakbarian received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical, Material and Process Engineering from University of Genoa (Italy) in 2009. She earned a bachelor of science in Public Management, a bachelor of science in Chemical Engineering – Food Sciences and a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Genoa (Italy). From 2009 – 2017 she held positions at the University of Genoa (Italian Scientific Qualification Award and Postdoctoral Research Award; DGR 1283/2011), Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology, and the University of Sydney (Endeavour Research Award; ERF PDR 2318).
Bahar’s multidisciplinary research experiences focus on the integration of innovative engineering technologies which has led to the formulation of new products with food and biomedical applications. Her work has broadened to the development of active and smart packaging for food and pharmaceutical applications.
She is particularly interested in the use of smart technologies to track and monitor food and pharmaceuticals along the supply chain. Dr. Aliakbarian has over 75 Peer Reviewed Articles, 4 book chapters, 1 provisional patent, and over 45 International Conference Presentations.
Business Development Director
Donald L. Buchalski is the business development director at the Axia Institute. In this role, he is responsible for work with industry partners identify major value chain problems requiring high impact solutions to improve business performance. He also will champion the Institute’s research project portfolio and processes.
Buchalski joined Axia after 30 years of global leadership in marketing, business development, supply chain, and engineering roles at Dow Corning Corporation. He has a proven track record of creating value through understanding the voice of the customer, business model innovation, and data analytics.
He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan – Flint and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.
Research Leader – Supply Chain Digitization
AmyLou Douglas is the research leader – supply chain digitization for the Axia Institute. In this role, she is responsible for developing the Institute’s digital supply chain management capabilities.
Previously, Douglas was with Central Michigan University (CMU) Health in Saginaw, where she served as the Information Technology Manager for CMU Medical Education Partners’ residency program as well as CMU Health’s four clinical locations. Most notably, she led the implementation and support of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) across all of CMU Health’s clinics and departments.
AmyLou earned a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems from Saginaw Valley State University, and a master of business administration degree from Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School of Management.
Katherine A. Franz is the executive director of the Axia Institute. She is a proven industry executive with extensive global experience in operations, engineering, quality and multi-operational assignments. She has, in her prior work at various Fortune 10 companies, including GM, Ford and GE, led billion dollar global operations through start-up, turnaround and growth modes to achieve world-class levels of performance.
She has lived in many locations and traveled extensively throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, and North and South America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University and an MSA in business administration from Central Michigan University.
Director of Marketing and Communications
John D. Hatfield is the director of marketing and communications at the Axia Institute, where he is responsible for developing marketing and communications strategies for the Axia Institute, a premier research and education facility dedicated to developing effective and sustainable solutions to improve public and private value chains.
Mr. Hatfield has extensive marketing and branding experience in the financial and professional services industries, and joined Axia from Chemical Bank, where he was senior vice president and director of Marketing. In addition to his brand building experience, he has extensive web and direct marketing expertise.
Hatfield earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and a master of business administration degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Karol E. Miller is the administrative assistant at the Axia Institute, where she is responsible for managing the day to day activities for the Axia Institute, a premier research and education facility dedicated to developing effective and sustainable solutions to improve public and private value chains.
Ms. Miller brings 20+ years of administrative experience in financial and higher-education professional industries. She joined Axia from Chemical Bank.
Miller earned a bachelor of business degree from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Premjeet “Prem” Chahal is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. He received the Ph.D. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Iowa State University both in Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2006 – 2009 he held senior research position at Abbott Laboratories leading research in the area of BioMEMS.
From 1999 – 2006 he was a principal engineer at Raytheon, Dallas leading research in the areas of THz technologies, MMIC design, RF-MEMS and -Sensors, and nanoelectronics. Chahal is a recipient of the 2012 DARPA Young Faculty Award and 2016 Withrow Teaching Excellence Award.
His research interests are in wireless sensors, THz technology, millimeter-wave electronics, and additive manufacturing.
Distinguished Professor – Communication Arts and Sciences
Dr. William A. Donohue is a Distinguished Professor of Communication at Michigan State University. He came to Michigan State from The Ohio State University where he received his Ph.D. in 1976 in the field of Communication. Dr. Donohue’s teaching and research focuses primarily on sales communication, conflict resolution, leadership and project evaluation.
He is the author of the book: Card Talk: Winning Communication Games. Dr. Donohue has consulted extensively with many public and private sector organizations in the areas of sales, communication skills, and leadership development. Dr. Donohue has created two Internet-based assessment and educational development businesses, the most recent one of which is Medical Professional Performance Systems.
He has over 80 articles and 12 books dealing with various communication and conflict issues and has won several awards for his scholarship from national and international professional associations.