The contents of this book are based on invited papers submittedfor presentation and discussion at the 1990 Material Handling Research Colloquium held in Hebron, Kentucky, June 19-21,1990. The Colloquium was sponsored and organized by the College Industry Councilfor Material Handling Education (CIC-MHE) with addi tional co-sponsorship and funding provided by numerous organizations (see ac knowledgements). The purpose of the Colloquium was to foster open discussion about the current state of material handling research at universitiesfrom across the United States and Canada. It was an opportunity to share specific research directions and accomplishments. But more importantly, it was an opportunity to discuss the implications of the basic constraints to solving industry relevant problems in the field of material handling and closely related activities; the efficacy of the approaches being taken at the present time; and the directions believed to be of most value to the industry and to advancing the knowledge and science base of the material handling engineering discipline. The sponsoring organization, the College Industry Council for Material Handling Education was founded in 1952. The council is composed of college and university educators, material handling equipment manufacturers, distributors, users and consultants, representatives of the business press plus professional staff and members of other organizations concerned with material handling education. von Graves, Robert J. und McGinnis, Leon F. und Wilhelm, Mickey R. und Ward, Richard E.