The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Competition Dates: Friday, March 6, 2020 and Saturday, March 7, 2020

Competition Location: Page Hall – John Glenn College of Public Affairs (1810 College Road, Columbus OH 43210)

Site Leaders:

Elaine McLoughlin-Overholt, Event Manager for Glenn College Advancement

Sam Malloy, R&D Lead at the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy

Technical Leader:

Sam Everett, Systems Manager for Glenn College Administration and Operations

Site Judges:

Shawn Midlam-Mohler, PhD, Director, Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Ohio State University

Dr. Midlan-Mohlet received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Ohio State University in 2005 and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering within the College of Engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer whose primary research field is in the area of mobility solutions resulting in safer, more efficient, and cleaner vehicles. He serves as the advisor/supervisor of The Model-Based Design of Complex Systems (MBDCS) Lab, which represents a group of dedicated students and researchers focused on addressing challenging research problems from a systems perspective.

Harvey Miller, PhD, Director, Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, Professor of Geography and Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science

Dr. Miller is the Bob and Mary Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science, Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, and Professor of Geography at The Ohio State University. He  is also a Courtesy Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning, an Affiliated Faculty of the Translational Data Analytics Institute, and a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Sustainability Institute, where he co-leads the Smart and Resilient Communities research program.

His research and teaching interests are at the intersection between geographic information science and transportation science, in particular, the analysis of human mobility patterns within cities and regions. The major empirical questions driving his research include sustainable transportation, livable cities, and the relationships between human mobility, health and social equity. (Bio source:

Matt Stephens-Rich, Program Manager, Electrification Coalition + Smart Columbus

Matt has worked in transportation, energy, and alternative fuels since 2012 at the local, state, and federal level. Matt works as Electric Vehicle Specialist for the Smart Columbus program, and coordinates various electric vehicle fleet deployments and charging initiatives, while also providing insight to consumer adoption. Collectively, these efforts help Columbus achieve a Smart City status that has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector through electrification and decarbonization.

Prior to joining the Electrification Coalition, Matt served as Project Manager at Clean Fuels Ohio, the nation’s largest U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities Coalition.  In this role, Matt helped hundreds of fleets across Ohio cut their dependency on petroleum through deployment of alternative fuel and fuel efficient technologies, helping secure over $25 million in state and federal grant funding through the process. Matt was also a lead grant writer for the City of Columbus’ Smart City Challenge Grant Application. Matt holds a Masters in Public Administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University with a focus in Energy Policy, and a B.A. in Communication with Public Relations Certification from the University of Cincinnati.

Matt currently serves as Vice Chair for the Energy and Air Quality Working Group at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Founding Chair of the Young Professionals in Energy Columbus Chapter, and was recognized as “Person to Know in Energy” by Columbus Business First in 2017. (Bio source: )

Sandra Nessing, Managing Director of Corporate Sustainability, American Electric Power

With 20 years in the utility industry, Sandy Nessing has responsibility for managing sustainability strategy, corporate stakeholder engagement and annual performance reporting for American Electric Power (AEP). She oversees annual production of AEP’s Corporate Accountability Report, including a dedicated sustainability web site and companion iPad app (“AEP CAR” in the iTunes store). This is the sixth year AEP will produce an integrated report that combines financial with nonfinancial performance.

She facilitates cross-functional collaboration on sustainability issues across AEP to raise awareness of the interdependencies of functions, resources and issues while providing guidance on externalities that could affect business results or operations. She also develops and manages advocacy opportunities and relationships that support AEP’s business strategy. She is a Master Culture Champion for AEP, working with senior management and others to advance a culture shift within AEP that aligns business strategies with employee engagement and performance management. (Bio source:

Rudy Hightower, II, PhD: Lieutenant Commander, US Navy-retired, CEO, Hightower & Hightower, LLC Senior Lecturer, The Ohio State University

Rudy completed his PhD program at the Glenn School and  he researches and teaches Public Administration, National/International Security Policy, and Policy Analytics, Modeling, and Simulation courses.

IMPORTANT: please remember to bring your own laptop computers to the competition. You must have GOOGLE CHROME installed. This is the only browser compatible with the simulation. Tablets are NOT compatible with the simulation. Remember to enable your ‘Cookies.’

Informal Welcome Meet & Greet:

Join fellow participants for an informal meet-and-greet on the evening of Friday, March 6. We will begin for a short tour of the Smart Columbus Experience Center, located at 170 S. Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH 43215 at 5:30PM. We will walk to The Goat at LC Riversouth, located in Downtown Columbus at 6PM for a networking reception.

Recommended Accommodations:

Hilton Garden Inn Columbus-University Area  – 3232 Olentangy River Road (Two miles from The Ohio State University)

Courtyard Columbus Downtown – 35 West Spring Street

Holiday Inn Columbus Downtown Capital Square – 175 E. Town Street

DoubleTree Hotel Downton Columbus – 50 S. Front Street

The University Hospitality District recommended campus-area hotels.

Ground Transportation:

If you are arriving to the John Glenn International airport, transportation to campus or downtown can be easily found using Lyft, Uber, or taxi. These are also great ways to get around during your visit, but please also consider the COTA bus.

It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure they have made all necessary travel plans.

Initial Competition Day Details:

Participants must arrive to Page Hall (follow signs and other posting on campus) no later than 8:00 AM for check-in on Saturday, March 7, 2020. A continental breakfast and coffee will be available beginning at 7:45 AM. Welcoming remarks, instructions, and the start of the competition will begin promptly at 8:30 AM. Lunch will be provided during the competition and snacks will be available throughout the day.  The post-competition reception will take place in Page Hall.


On behalf of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, welcome to the 2020 NASPAA Batten Simulation! As the public sector challenges we face become increasingly wicked, we must advance tools and methods that help us navigate complexity and make decisions in the face of uncertainty. This competition is an opportunity to practice the tools of modeling and simulation to solve problems related to sustainable development and mobility.

These themes are at the forefront of Ohio State’s current initiatives: Columbus, in partnership with the university, recently emerged as the champion of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, which has brought R&D investments in autonomous vehicles, big data infrastructure, and electrification to the central Ohio region. Ohio State is also home to the industry-sponsored Center for Automotive Research (CAR), a global leader in the development of clean transportation solutions, as well as the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA), which utilizes data science and spatial analysis to address challenges like the opioid crisis and food insecurity.

During your time at Ohio State, you will experience the full breadth of this living laboratory, both through the simulation competition and through additional events we are organizing including facility tours, lightning talks with industry and government leaders, and a social event with your peer cohort. The Glenn College is located in the physical center of Ohio State’s flagship Columbus campus, and our home will be your home as you participate in this extraordinary experience. We look forward to meeting you, and to sharing ideas related to mobility and the future of transportation.

The entire Glenn College looks forward to you joining us in Columbus.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate reaching out to the site leaders.