Doctorate Workshop 2005

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This summer, the ELA Research and Development Committee brought together 20 PhD students from 11 European countries for a workshop at a beautiful venue in Monchy-St-Eloi, near Paris. Hosted by AFT-IFTM and sponsored by DHL Switzerland, the ninth ELA doctorate workshop was held over three days from 22-24th June 2005.

Students were selected based on three-page abstracts of their research proposals submitted before the workshop, with a revision process for selected abstracts. In addition to the students, four professors were present to moderate the papers and presentations.

The organiser and chairperson was Prof Danuta Kisperska-Moron (University of Economics, Katowice) supported stoutly by three moderators: Prof David Bruce Grant (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK), Prof Andreas Otto (University of Regensburg, Germany) and Prof Roelof Kuik (Erasmus University, The Netherlands).

The workshop started on Wednesday evening with a gettogether party. Participants and moderators had the chance to meet each other and present their research and professional background as well as their personal interests. Didier Burckhart, manager of the AFT-IFTM campus, explained the role of that institution. Burckhart also talked of the historical background of the beautiful castle and park, both parts of the campus which provided such a splendid venue.

Next day the work continued with a competitive element – a group assignment for the students. The topic was a research proposal for a major EU research grant taking into account behavioral, structural and technological aspects, as well as identifying consequences for public policy makers, business and the scientific community. The students themselves judged the proposals and the moderators provided feedback and advice.

The workshop continued with presentations by doctorate students including: development of an RFID-enabled supply chain process monitoring and command centre, supply chain management of the reverse logistics disassembly process, impacts on the logistics system by using packaging as an information carrier, and logistical success factors for the agile supply chain in Poland.

There were also ‘poster sessions’ during the workshop whereby ten posters were studied and discussed.

The workshop was evaluated by the participating Ph.D. students as successful, inspiring and entertaining. One of the participants, Marco Bijvank from the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) has a website presenting many aspects of the workshop and several presentations of the Ph.D. students. The workshop site features a series of pictures taken by the participants, among which is a group picture of students and moderators. The site has been set up not only as a tool for dissemination of workshop materials and other details but also to encourage participants into further networking and contacts.

Selected papers will be published by the ELA as ‘Proceedings of the ELA Doctorate Workshop 2005’ and will be available, along with those of previous workshops, from the ELA secretaries in Brussels.

Regretted by all participants was the absence of expected keynote speaker Prof dr Hans Christian Pfohl whose plane could not land at the Charles de Gaulle airport due to awful weather conditions featuring torrential rain and thunderstorms.

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