INFORMS Open Forum

PhD position on Logistics Optimization for the Sharing Economy (University of Groningen)

  • 1.  PhD position on Logistics Optimization for the Sharing Economy (University of Groningen)

    Posted 01-02-2020 10:17

    Within the Department of Operations at the Faculty of Business and Economics, there is a PhD position (1.0 FTE) on the topic "Logistics Optimization for the Sharing Economy", requiring expertise in Operations Research, preferably with focus in logistics. This vacancy is part of a large, inter-disciplinary project, called SMiLES (Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics Enable Sustainability), involving seven faculties of the University of Groningen and several consortium partners. Promotor is Prof. Kees Jan Roodbergen, with co-supervision by Dr. Ilke Bakir.

    Social challenges such as the greenhouse effect and increasing population invite us to reconsider logistics systems. In SMiLES, we focus on open sharing networks, in which stakeholders can share tasks (transport orders), resources (vehicles, personnel, 3D printers), information (data, algorithms), space (infrastructure, buildings) and responsibilities (contracts, risks, rights, liabilities). Different companies can offer different services and every company does not have to participate in every service. For example, a carrier can make its unused trucks available.

    The Department of Operations is one of Europe's largest research groups in the fields of Operations Research, Management Science and Operations Management. The department offers a high-level research environment along the whole range of Operations, both with respect to content and methodology. Researchers are also expected to collaborate extensively with project partners in companies and service organizations. We search for a PhD candidate to investigate the opportunities and challenges related to sharing in transportation networks. We focus on the situation in which resources (trucks, employees) –both owned and borrowed– are used for the transport of products. The envisioned contributions of this PhD project are:

    • Developing innovative models/methods for resource planning, resource allocation and vehicle routing in a sharing network
    • Analyzing various proportions of in-ownership and shared resources, and the impact of these configurations on sharing network performance, and
    • Examining different ways of offering tasks/resources to the sharing network, and how these affect the resilience of operations.

    Our approach aims to design integrated solution methods for tackling three layers of decision problems, namely, (i) day-to-day routing, (ii) resource planning, (iii) and location of shared facilities. The aim is to gain insight into the interaction between various factors involved in the network, with particular emphasis on coordination and the use of marketplaces. We pay attention to the robustness of selected strategies and test the resilience of the designed system(s) based on various scenarios, which are formulated based on input and data from partners in the consortium.

    For more details about the position and to apply, please visit Application deadline is 01/15/2020.

    If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Ilke Bakir ( or Prof. Kees Jan Roodbergen (

    Ilke Bakir
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Operations | Faculty of Economics and Business | University of Groningen
    Groningen, The Netherlands