PhD position on Logistics Optimization for the Sharing Economy -SMiLES- 1.0 FTE


Faculty of Economics and Business


University of Groningen

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Faculty of Economics and Business
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The graduate school SOM of the Faculty of Economics and Business has a PhD position available on the topic “Logistics Optimization for the Sharing Economy” in a large, inter-disciplinary project, called SMiLES (Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics Enable Sustainability).

Job description

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, 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
• analysing 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.


• master’s degree (MSc, MA, or MPhil) in Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, Industrial Engineering or related fields
• strong academic record and demonstrated competence in quantitative modeling (i.e., Operations Research)
• a background in Logistics or Supply Chain Management is appreciated, though not required
• excellence in written and verbal English
• affinity with or experience in working in business or service settings.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
- a starting salary of € 2,325, which increases yearly to a maximum of € 2,972 based on the gross salary you will receive
- an additional 8% holiday allowance each year in May, and an additional 8.3 % year-end bonus in December
- a temporary full-time appointment for a period of in principle four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year; an assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:

The application package consists of the following separate documents:
1. A motivation letter (1A4 max)
2. Your cv
3. A scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. Proof of English proficiency
5. Other relevant documents.

The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

You can submit your application until 15 January 11:59pm / before 16 January 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr Ilke Bakir

Prof. Kees Jan Roodbergen

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219632

Digital application form