Operations and Supply Chain Management

The Operations & Supply Chain Management group is comprised of 22 academic staff including 4 professors and 2 readers, and approximately 25 PhD researchers. As a world class centre of research, teaching and KE, the group has published its work in some of the top journals in our field including recently the Journal of Operations Management, the International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Transportation Research Part B, the Journal of Service Research and the European Journal of Operational Research.

We work closely with business and the public and third sectors in impactful action research and knowledge exchange, typically funded by national and international funding agencies as well as directly by our partners. We have been involved in the implementation of a wide range of industry applications, providing support to over 100 businesses and other organisations during the last 5 years alone. The group hosts the School’s Centre for Supply Chain Research, and has close links with the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Food Systems,  the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty and the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice.

We deliver highly successful specialist undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that are very much led by our research and help to sustain our considerable and growing capacity and scope.

Core areas of expertise and research include:

Operations, Supply Chain and Logistics Management

The group is renowned for its research in this subject area, which is typically undertaken through links with international institutions and industries. Close working relationships have been built with regional, national and international businesses in key industries such as automotive, aerospace, food, pharmaceuticals, road transport, maritime transport, retail and software. The group’s research in this area spans a wide range of topics including: Manufacturing and Service Operations & Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Transportation, Sustainability in SCM, and Digital Business including work related to ERP systems, e-Business, (big) data analytics, artificial intelligence, gamification, optimisation and simulation, and blockchain technologies.

The group leads two major European H2020 projects on Agri-Food Supply Chain Management focused on the application of emerging technologies and on food security issues. Dr Dong Li leads on the GOLF (Integration of Global and Local Agri-Food Supply Chains towards Sustainable Food Security) project (H2020 funding of €1M), and Dr Jorge Hernandez is the lead for the recent €1.3M H2020 RUC-APS (Risk and Uncertainty in Agricultural Production Systems) project involving partners from across Europe, Asia and South America. 

Prof Andy Lyons, head of the group, with substantial grants from the EU and the EPSRC, has conducted operations and supply chain design research with a wide range of automotive and component manufacturers, materials providers both in the UK and throughout.

The group has pioneered research into Agile Manufacturing and Systems led by Dr Hossein Sharifi, producing some of the most highly-cited publications in this field. This work has extended to supply chains, to organisational and human resource agility, and has been instrumental to the formation and continuous funding of the Agility Centre for over 15 years. 

Our staff also have strong research and collaboration with public sector organisations. Dr Jo Meehan is a leading figure in strategic purchasing in the social housing sector, working closely with the Chartered Institute of Housing and numerous housing associations, and again supported by regular funding awards.

Most recently, we have been focusing on the exploitation of big data and social media technologies. Research by Dr Hugo Lam focuses the role of social media technologies in operations management, and research on unlocking the power of big data in product innovation enhancing operational performance is led by Dr Yuanzhu Zhan.

Operational Research

The Group has strong interest in transportation and logistics, in particular the use of advanced tools for planning and management for goods distribution spanning several modes of transport as well as intermodal systems. Professor Dongping Song applies mathematical methods and simulation in optimising manufacturing and transport logistics, particularly in the area of maritime transport and port management such as empty container repositioning, ship fleet management and scheduling, shipping emissions reduction, terminal operations management, and green port development. His research work has been funded by EPSRC, Royal Society, Briish Council, European Commission, and Chinese Research Councils, which has resulted in a considerable contribution to theory in the literature.  Professor Tolga Bektas uses analytical methods to optimise the operations within road, rail and maritime transport, including planning of last-mile deliveries in urban areas, train timetabling for better use of capacity in railways, and maintenance scheduling for ships, with a particular interest in reducing the environmental impact of freight transport by making better planning decisions.  His work has been funded by the EPSRC, InnovateUK and the RSSB.  Dr Dong Li has conducted research on operations optimisation and approaches to green assessment design of pricing and inventory management strategies to minimise food waste, reduce safety risk and optimise operations, and on studies on green strategies for product development and operations.  His work has been funded by the EPSRC, TSB, Newton, EU FP7 and EU H2020.  

Knowledge Exchange

KE is core to what we do in the group. Using methods such as action research we have attempted making our research connect with a strong portfolio of knowledge exchange activities in the private, public and third sectors. The group has hosted the Centre for Supply Chain Research since 2000, during which it has attracted over £10M public funding to support the local and regional SMEs and assist over 200 businesses.

We have been enthusiastic participants in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), funded jointly by industry partners and government agencies, with over 20 in the last 15 years. We also engage in knowledge exchange supported by direct funding from external collaborators.


    Seminar Series in Operations and Supply Chain

    2018 - 2019



    Dr Jesica de Armas
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

    21 March, 2019


    Professor Gilbert Laporte
    HEC Montreal, Canada
    2 April, 2019


    Prof. Maria Paola Scaparra
    Professor in Management Science, Kent Business School, University of Kent

    04 Apr, 2019

    Prof. Constantin Blome
    Professor Of Operations Management & Associate Dean for Research, University of Sussex

    30 May, 2019


    Past Seminars


    Dr. Joona Keränen
    Associate Professor, School of Business & Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology

    05 Mar, 2019


    Prof Scott Ferson
    Chair in Risk and Uncertainty, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design, School of Engineering, University of Liverpool

    27 Feb, 2019


    Dr Christos Kontovas
    Senior Lecturer, Department of Maritime and Mechanical Engineering, LJMU

    21 Feb, 2019


    Dr Ghasem Zaefarian
    Associate Professor of Marketing, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds

    31 Jan, 2019

    Dr. Daihui Zhang
    Lecturer/second officer, College of Navigation, Dalian Maritime University

    15 Jan, 2019


    Delegation from a including Prof Haibo Kuang; Prof Qingcheng Zeng; Dr Peng Jia; Dr Lin Feng
    Dalian Maritime University China

    23 May, 2018


    Professor Andy C. L. Yeung
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    26 April, 2018


    Dr Bo Lu
    Dalian University

    9 June, 2017


    De Yan CHEN
    Wuhan Univ of Science and Technology

    9 June, 2017