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KU’s Center on Digital Supply Chain and Operations Builds Connections and Knowledge in Logistics

Faculty from KU’s Research Center on Digital Supply Chain and Operations Management (DSO) have returned from a visit to the Netherlands where they met with experts from industry and academia to learn about the country’s logistics industry.

From 28 – 30 October, Assistant Professors of Industrial and Systems Engineering Dr. Andrei Sleptchenko and Dr. Heungjo An met with representatives from TKI-Dinalog (Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics), a Dutch-based logistics and supply chain company; faculty and students from Erasmus University Rotterdam; and professionals from Fokker Services, an independent aerospace service provider.

The visit centered around potential collaboration opportunities with the DSO Center, which has set a major focus on digitalizing and optimizing areas like maritime logistics and production lines.

The Netherland’s Port of Rotterdam, which is the largest port in Europe, is a pioneer in port digitalization and a perfect case study for researchers in the DSO Center. The organizations and research centers the KU faculty visited throughout their trip are heavily involved in the Port’s ongoing transition into the world’s smartest port.

At TKI-Dinalog’s headquarters, Dr. Sleptchenko and Dr. An met with Prof. Henk Zijm, former Research Director of DINALOG, and active collaborator of the DSO Center; Dr. Nils Knofius, postdoc at the University of Twente; Bas van Bree, Program Manager at TKI Dinalog; and Jasper de Graaf, Program Developer at TKI Dinalog.

TKI-Dinalog mediates collaborations between Dutch logistical companies and national research funds and Dutch universities. Dr. Sleptchenko and Dr. An were keen to learn more about how TKI-Dinalog is organized, and how they could bring that experience back to KU.

During their visit to the Erasmus University, the KU faculty met with Dr. Rob Zuidwijk, Professor of Global Supply Chains and Ports at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and a DSO center steering committee member, and Dr. Rommert Dekker, Professor of Operations Research, Quantitative Logistics, and IT at the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), along with some PhD students. Discussions were centered around the DSO’s planned research activities and potential collaboration projects, the ESE’s maritime logistics research, and the activities and developments at the SmartPort research center at RSM. SmartPort is a center of excellence offering port related education and research, designed to address the Port of Rotterdam’s need for solid knowledge.

The trip concluded with a visit to Fokker Services, where the KU team met with Kaveh Alizadeh, Proposition Manager Aircraft Programs, Charlotte Zohlandt, Teamlead Product Management, and postdoc Dr. Nils Knofius. They discussed potential collaboration opportunities on the research projects related to additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) of service parts, which is directly related to Research Theme 1 of the DSO Center, which addresses the need for optimizing spare parts management for aerospace and defense industries.

Erica Solomon
Senior Editor
8 December 2019