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Alex Rodrigues

A Global Perspective

Alex Rodrigues brings a truly global perspective to his role at the Haslam College of Business. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he also has spent significant time in Spain, Germany, and the United States.

“Working in different places has substantially shaped my career,” Rodrigues says. “I’m thankful for the broad view across countries and industries that I can incorporate into my lectures and research.”

During childhood vacations on the coast of Brazil, Rodrigues developed a talent for surfing that sparked a love of nature that has stayed with him. He spent long summers floating in the water, feeling connected to the ocean and the world around him.

While he enjoyed the outdoors, Rodrigues also cultivated an interest in technology. “I got an Apple II Plus computer in the late 1980s and became a nerd,” he says. “Those were good times on a beautiful monochrome green world.” He studied industrial engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and took an early interest 
in supply chain management. He was fascinated by the interrelationships and trade-offs in primary business logistics functions. The complexity caught his interest.

After earning a master’s degree in Brazil, Rodrigues relocated to the US to pursue a doctorate at Michigan State University. Meanwhile, he delved into research projects, cultivating an interest in empirical and theoretical modeling of supply chains driven by his quantitative and analytical background in engineering.

Rodrigues spent a few years developing applied research in Europe before returning to Brazil in 2009 as a professor at his alma mater. In addition to teaching, he began developing academic research on humanitarian and disaster relief logistics with the civil defense and military community in Brazil. “The research field is very different from supply chain management in the business world,” he says. “The value of life is infinite when compared to maximizing profits and reducing costs.”

Rodrigues came to Haslam in 2014 as a lecturer in supply chain management. Since then, he’s continued to teach and to conduct research, including a partnership project with Cass Information Systems, Inc., which maintains transportation indexes that represent $28 billion in annual transactions across US industries. Rodrigues developed a quantitative methodology that reengineered the calculation of the index.

When he’s not working, Rodrigues enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and playing the drums. “I’m part of an amateur band called Shadyland with other Haslam faculty,” he says. “We play blues, classic rock, and some country music."

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Haslam Magazine is the premier publication of the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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