Graduate student, Enoch Bonsu develops better understanding of food supply chain

Graduate research

Graduate student, Enoch Bonsu develops better understanding of food supply chain

Graduate Student, North Carolina A&T State University

Field of study:  PhD Industrial Engineering 

Developing a better understanding of the impacts to the food supply chain during disasters 

The COVID-19 pandemic had dramatic effects on every aspect of our society, including country’s food supply. Many workers in the food industry were impacted with illness, worker shortages and exposure to the disease.

Student researcher, Enoch Kwabena Bonsu is helping to determine if cultural practices in their homes impacted these workers and the productivity of food processing. He is working with the Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE) on a project titled “The Effects of COVID-19 on the Food Supply Chain as a Result of Living in Close Quarters.”  

This research is a subset of a larger CAOE project, “Optimization for Disaster Response,” under the leadership of Principal Investigator, Pitu Mirchandani. In this focused study, Bonsu is researching the effects of a disturbance like the pandemic has on the food supply chain, including workers, productivity and stress applied to the chain itself. He hopes to provide insight that could lead to an optimized response to future events. 

In his role on the project, Bonsu is responsible for weekly individual and group presentations where fellow researchers share their opinions on the latest developments. “For me, this project is an exciting learning opportunity. Our team is adapting to new information, learning some new skills required to get the result and working with new software tools to visualize and understand the results,” Bonsu said.

This project revealed some information that demonstrates the pandemic’s destruction of the national supply chain. From the infection rate among workers to the impact of propaganda campaigns denying the potency of the virus, Bonsu sees this study as a “wake up call” for everyone to follow safety measures, including vaccinations as the best path to restore the economy and our supply chains to normalcy.

Bonsu completed a master’s degree in industrial engineering and he believes this work was beneficial to his master’s thesis which centered on the public health supply chain – including the damage inflicted by COVID-19 – and how it can be restored and strengthened to withstand future pandemics. 

Bonsu is currently a student at North Carolina A&T State University where is continuing his education as a PhD candidate in industrial engineering.

For more information on this effort check out this video.