The 11th Annual ELA Doctorate Workshop was held from 28-30 June in the heart of the Bavarian Alps near the Zugspitze,Germany’s highest mountain.
The ELA Research and Development Committee selected 18 PhD students from the many applications received from across Europe to meet, present and discuss their research at the Jungbauernschule (Young Farmer’s School) Seminarhaus in Grainau. Happily, the event took place in hot and sunny weather and was sponsored by a generous donation from DHL.
Students were selected based on three-page abstracts of their research proposals and four logistics and supply chain academics were on hand to moderate presentations and discussions. Dr David Grant (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK) organised and chaired the workshop and was assisted by Prof Mats Abrahamsson (Linköping University, Sweden), Dr Michael Bourlakis (University of Newcastle, UK) and Prof Dr Stefan Minner (University of Mannheim, Germany).
The workshop began with a reception provided by a donation from Taylor & Francis Publishers, which company also supplied copies of the International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications (IJLRA) to encourage the students to consider writing for publication.
The first task was for the students to undertake a group project and report on their findings. Groups had to develop a research funding proposal for a topic of their choice taking into account behavioural, structural and technological aspects and identifying impacts on public policy, business and the scientific community. One group proposed to examine outsourcing trends and their impact on European logistics and infrastructure in the context of Asia vs Eastern Europe manufacturers. Another group wanted to investigate European competitivenes and the third group considered urban transportation solutions.
Over the course of the next day and a half nine students made 20-minute presentations developed from their abstracts including such varied topics as heuristic methods for furniture distribution system planning, supply chain finance, functional spin-offs in logistics service markets, strategic distribution network design with concave cost functions, information sharing in transportation networks and the effectiveness of the UK fast-moving consumer goods supply chains. Also, 15-minute question and feedback sessions were provided for each student.
The nine other students displayed posters of their research and for the first time were allocated 10 minutes to talk about their research and 10 minutes for questions and feedback. These sessions were moderated by Dr Grant who also led a 30-minute discussion on publishing in academic journals, drawing on his experience as an author and reviewer for IJLRA.
Poster topics included integrated production planning for sheet metal production, performance approximation and design of pick-and-pass order picking systems, packaging suppliers as value creators and agency relationships between organisations and supply chain managers.
Prof Dr Hans Christian Pfohl, chairman of the ELA Research and Development Committee gave a keynote address around the theme of competitive superiority in logistics and supply chainmanagement