PhD Candidate in Sustainable Supply Chain Management in Healthcare

Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands is inviting excellent candidates to apply for a PhD position in operations research. This position is open until filled.

Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD candidate with a background in Industrial Engineering, Operations Research or Econometrics, interested in rigorous research with practical relevance in the area of designing sustainable supply chains for healthcare


Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the world's leading research universities (ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement) and is particularly well known for its joint research with industry (ranked number one worldwide by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies). The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the longest-established engineering schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the fields of Operations Management and Innovation Management, which are at the core of the undergraduate BSc program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics and Innovation Management attract top-level students from all over the world. Researchers are member of the Beta research school. Group

The open position is at the Operations Planning, Accounting & Control group (OPAC). OPAC currently consists of 5 full professors, 5 associate professors, 15 assistant professors, 10 postdoctoral fellows, and 30 PhD candidates. The faculty teaches and conducts research in the area of operations planning and control in manufacturing, maintenance services, logistics and supply chains. Research is generally quantitative in nature, while many of the researchers also engage in empirical research. The OPAC group is responsible within the university for all teaching in the areas of operations management, transportation, manufacturing operations, reliability and maintenance, and accounting and finance, both at undergraduate and graduate level. The OPAC group has an extensive industrial network, which gives direct access to challenging operations management problems, new technologies, and empirical data. SSCMH project

The PhD position is part of the Sustainable Living Lab Lighthouse project SSCMH that has a budget of 2.1 M and is funded by NWO and co-funded by a large number of companies and other organizations from the Netherlands. Trigger for the project is the continuously increasing need for healthcare among others due to the increasing lifetime of people. Healthcare requires on the one hand a lot of goods that have to be brought to the locations where healthcare related activities are executed, on the other hand also many "waste" flows are generated at these locations, including packaging, healthcare related disposals and outdated medicines, that have to be collected at these locations and brought to other locations for processing. The above not only holds for flows to and from health care centers but also for these flows within these centers.

In order to reduce congestion, emissions, as well as to to reduce costs, it becomes more and more important to optimize all these flows, where optimizing one flow may result in worse results for one or more other flows. What makes the above even more difficult is that different parties are involved in different flows, incl. suppliers of goods, logistics service suppliers, medical centers like hospitals, where each party has his/her own preset goals and limitations. To cope with all the above issues together, multi-criteria decision making is required. Quantitative/mathematical models, incl. game theoretic elements, implemented in software tools play a crucial role in this context to give in an objective way insight in the consequences of a certain (part of) a design for all parties involved.

Purpose of the SSCMH project is to design logistics networks and their management to realize the above, including the corresponding strategic, tactical and operational decisions. Example of a strategic decision is direct or indirect delivery, combined or separate bring-pickup? Examples of tactical decisions include the structure of the network (number of echelons in case of indirect delivery, locations of the related (sub)hubs) as well as their capacities; transport modes, inventory control rules. A decision like "when to bring-collect what" is an example is of an operational decision to be supported.

PhD project

The goal of this PhD project is to generate the above mathematical models, methods to optimize results obtained with them, and to implement both in software tools that can be used in practice. Although there are models and optimization methods related to each aspect (environment, economics, collaboration) separately, as well as some models that consider both economics with environment, no models including all three types of aspects exist. Job description

You, as a successful applicant, will perform the PhD project outlined above in a team of (applied) universities, healthcare organisations as well as other parties involved in h and in close collaboration with industry. The research will be concluded with a PhD thesis. You will be supervised by ir.dr. Simme Douwe Flapper, and prof.dr. Tom van Woensel. A small teaching load is part of the job. Information

More information about the OPAC group can be found at the OPAC website and more information on the SSCMH project can be found in this news article. More information about this position can be obtained from ir.dr. Simme Douwe Flapper at s.d.p.flapper[at] Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Mrs S.G.J. Opgenoorth, HR Advisor, at pz.ieis[at] Application


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