Annual Crane Case Competition Encourages Creativity, Complex Problem-Solving

How do you solve a complex, multidisciplinary business problem in under 48 hours? Each year, Katz students are tasked with just that during the Crane Case Competition. Held in conjunction with the Pitt Business Center for Supply Chain Management, and sponsored by Crane Co., this annual event encourages collaboration and creativity to solve a real issue currently facing Crane.

The case included challenges involving operational issues and forced students to think both critically and globally. Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Center for Supply Chain Management, Prakash Mirchandani, and Assistant Professor of Business Analytics and Operations, Arian Aflaki, worked with the Katz Operations Club and Crane Co. employees and Katz alumni, Justin Halm and Amir Shahravar, to build the case.

“Competitions like these provide a framework of experience and better prepare students for complex, real-world problems,” says Mirchandani.

This Katz-exclusive event provides an opportunity for students who have not previously participated in a case competition to put their skills to the test in a risk-free environment.

This year, eleven teams participated in total, with Team Money Controls securing the win. Halm and Shahravar were happy to be back on campus, no longer in the students’ shoes, but as judges, providing relevant and constructive feedback.

 “Case competitions like this provide students with an experience entirely different from what you can learn in a classroom,” says Dan Giambrone, president of the Katz Operations Club. “It requires students to think critically about a complex problem, work with a team to come up with that solution, and then present the findings to the judges in a clear and concise manner.”

At Katz, we believe that real-world experience is the best teacher. For that reason, we built our business school around experience-based learning (EBL) outcomes. We believe learning by doing enables students to put in to practice the theories learned in the classroom. Case competitions are a significant component of Katz’s commitment to EBL.

To learn more about EBL opportunities available at Katz, visit

Team Money Controls consists of Mohanraj Ganesan, Yu-Shan (Sandy) Hou, and Joshua Knupp.