Thesis Topics

The Department of Logisitics is currently expressly not offering any more thesis topics except the ones listed below. If you are interested, please read the hints on how to write a thesis with the Department of Logistics and contact the supervisor mentioned below.

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Dr. Chankov

The Value of Environmental Sustainability
There is growing awareness that many environmental problems are driven by human activities. Essentially, consumer behaviour places a twofold environmental burden on the ecosystem via pollution and also via the destruction of non-renewable natural resources. Hence, encouraging more pro-environmental behaviour is vital for environmental sustainability. This is a challenge that governments, businesses and NGOs have constantly sought to address. However, the factors that influence pro-environmental behaviour and green purchase are not yet fully understood.The purpose of this thesis is to examine the value of environmental sustainability in terms of the trade-off between CO2 emissions, money and time? This can be achieved by investigating questions such as:

  • How much more money would customer spend in order to reduce their CO2 emissions?
  • How much reduction of CO2 emissions would convince customers to buy a more environmentally friendly product or travel by train instead of by plane?
  • How much more time would customers be willing to travel to reduce 1 kg of CO2 emissions?
  • What’s the best way to visualise the CO2 emissions so that consumers are inspired to behave in a more environmentally friendly way?

The course of research involves conducting an extensive online survey to collect data and analyzing the data to derive the exact trade-offs using conditional logistic regression, mixed logistic regression or rank ordered logistic regression. The survey can focus on different scenario questions that ask participants to make decisions (weighing time, cost, and CO2 emissions). Some examples:

  • Buying products: what if next to the price, the product also shows the CO2 emissions, how would consumers behave? Would they buy a more expensive product if it has lower CO2 emissions? Check this petition and product for ideas. Some examples could be fashion items (e.g. H&M or Zalando) or meat vs meat alternatives.
  • Choosing a flight: some flights are cheaper but more polluting. How would customers make their choice if they have transparent information, questions can be based on the “display of green leaf” on skyscanner. Check here, here and here for more info. Investigating consumers’ willingness to offset their flight emissions can be another topic (see here or here).
  • Choosing mode of travel: car, train or flight: some options are slower but better for the environment. What is the trade-off between time, money and CO2 emissions?
  • Choosing how to return a product: send it online or bring it back to the store.
  • Other consumer decisions

Each scenario can be a separate thesis topic. Please contact me for recommended reading and more details on the previous studies. You can find background information here.

Dr. Chankov
Environmental Sustainability and Consumer Behaviour
You can formulate your own topic and course of research. You can find background information here or the very recent paper by Mutum et al. (2020). Please contact me to get relevant literature or discuss topic ideas.
 Dr. Chankov
Do E-commerce Customers Consider Sustainability when Choosing a Last-Mile Delivery?
In the last years, the last-mile delivery started facing numerous challenges, mostly because the demand for E-commerce has risen drastically and customers’ expectations from the last-mile delivery have increased in an unsustainable way. One main reason for this unsustainable behaviour is that E-commerce customers are currently choosing between different delivery options only based on information related to their associated time, cost and location. A recent study by Ignat and Chankov (2020) has developed and tested a method based on making customers aware of the sustainability impact of their behaviour, by allowing them to clearly see not only the economic, but also the environmental and social impacts of the available delivery options. The obtained results clearly showed that transparent information sharing makes E-commerce customers more likely to choose a more sustainable last-mile delivery.The purpose of this thesis would be to build on the previous study and investigate the exact levels of trade-offs E-commerce customers would be willing to accept for a more sustainable last-mile delivery. For example, investigating questions such as: How much reduction of CO2 emissions would convince customers to wait one day longer for their online orders? Or how much cost savings are needed to convince customers to opt for pick-up location deliveries? The course of research can involve conducting an extensive online survey. Please contact me for recommended reading and more details on the previous study.
Dr. Chankov
Sustainable Last Mile Delivery
You can formulate your own topic and course of research. Please contact me for relevant literature.  Some starting points are Olah et al. (2019), Perboli and Rosano (2019) and Bai et al. (2019).
Dr. Chankov
 Sharing Economy: Pathway to Sustainability?
In recent times, the challenges of climate change and increasing price of resources have promoted enterprises based on the philosophy of sharing economy, linked to accessing rather than acquiring and consuming resources. This has prompted more efficient use of resources while also keeping low levels of consumption, with the intention of increasing environmental protection and decreasing the costs for consumers. Previous research has shown how the sharing economy business model can be applied to sectors including housing, mobility or transport, machine tool use, public spaces, etc. to support the expansion of the sharing economy.The list of motivational factors in businesses adopting a sharing economy over a traditional model ranges from ideological reasons such as environmental concern, transparency, collaboration etc. to economic reasons such as economy of scale, financial risk, crowdfunding etc. However, the dilemma remains, ‘How sustainable is the sharing economy?’. There are several barriers in the acceptance and growth of sharing economy based business models. Specifically, the rebound effect of sharing economy: if increased revenue caused by the sale of a household’s used items is then used to buy new goods, does this render the previous positive environmental impact null?The purpose of this thesis is to explore the effects of sharing economy on sustainability. The course of research can involve conducting an online survey to collect data or extensive data and text mining based on publicly available data (e.g. business models for sharing economy companies such as Airbnb and Uber).Please check here and here for background information and ideas. Please contact me for relevant literature.
 Dr. Chankov
Drone Delivery using Public Transport: A Simulation Study

Drone delivery is considered as one possible solution to the last-mile delivery problems arising from the growth of e-commerce and customer expectations. Besides, urban public transport allows accessibility and connectivity among various locations within a city. Merging these two transportation modes, a new futuristic delivery concept called Drone Delivery using Public Transport (DDPT) is proposed. DDPT allows drones to deliver packages by riding existing public transport vehicles and aims to resolve the problems of last mile delivery. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential of the new DDPT concept and to compare it with the traditional mode of truck delivery. The course of research involves conducting a simulation study. A good starting point is Yoo and Chankov (2018) and Khalid and Chankov (2020).

 Dr. Chankov
Crowd Logistics: Crowdsourcing Potential for the Logistics Industry
Crowdsourcing is an increasingly used concept in a variety of fields, mainly within the scope of the sharing/collaborative economy. Crowdsourcing practices have been successfully used in other key economic fields such as: professional/personal services (e.g. Craigslist), pre-owned goods (e.g. eBay), custom products (e.g. Etsy), funding (e.g. Kickstarter), money-lending (e.g. Kiva) or transportation (e.g. Uber). While companies like Uber are already well-established in the passenger transportation area, crowd logistics (e.g. crowdsourced goods delivery, crowdshipping, or shared storage) has only recently received interest in both theory and practice. Amazon has started its initiative in Seattle September 2015 through Amazon Flex and Uber is already operating a delivery service since April 2015 named UberRUSH. Crowdsourcing could potentially be very suitable for logistics services. For example, it can help for last-mile shipments, which are becoming more and more problematic mostly due to the high growth of e-commerce. The aim of this study is to investigate crowdsourcing applications for logistics services. The course of research can involve conducting a simulation study, conducting an online survey to collect data or extensive online search to identify business models for crowd logistics. A good starting point is Rougès and Montreuil (2014) and Carbone et al. (2017).
Dr. Chankov
Crowdsourced Delivery: A Detailed Simulation Study for Last Mile Distribution
Crowdsourcing is an increasingly used concept in a variety of fields, mainly within the scope of the sharing/collaborative economy. Crowdsourcing practices have been successfully used in other key economic fields such as: accommodation (Airbnb), transportation (e.g. Uber), professional/personal services (e.g. Craigslist), pre-owned goods (e.g. eBay), custom products (e.g. Etsy), funding (e.g. Kickstarter) or money-lending (e.g. Kiva). While companies like Uber are already well-established in the passenger transportation area, crowd logistics (e.g. crowdsourced goods delivery, crowdshipping, or shared storage) has only recently received interest in both theory and practice. Amazon has started its initiative in Seattle September 2015 through Amazon Flex and Uber is already operating a delivery service since April 2015 named UberRUSH. Crowdsourced delivery is considered a possible solution to the last-mile on-demand delivery challenge. The purpose of this study is to investigate the performance of the crowdsourced last-mile delivery with regard to service level and assets utilization. An existing agent-based simulation model can be further developed in order to study the effect of parameters such as:

  • supply/demand ratio, the ratio between the number of crowd couriers delivering packages and the number of packages
  • maximum detour time accepted by crowd couriers
  • customer order density within a city
  • flow of commuters within a city
  • type of customer orders.

A good starting point is Rougès and Montreuil (2014) and Ping and Chankov (2017). Please contact me for recommended reading and more details on the model .

Dr. Chankov
Crowdsourced Delivery: Acceptability and Preference of Customers
Crowdsourced delivery is considered a possible solution to the last-mile on-demand delivery challenge. A recent study by Punel and Stathopoulos (2017) investigated the determinants of crowdshipping acceptance among senders. What factors do customers consider when choosing between different drivers to perform their crowdsourced delivery? The results suggest that in local delivery settings, senders value transparency of driver performance monitoring along with speed, while for longer shipments senders prioritize delivery conditions and driver training and experience.The purpose of this thesis is to extend these findings. You can formulate your own specific topic and course of research. A further reading is Punel et al. (2018).
Dr. Chankov
Internal Brand Management in the Gig Economy & Sharing Economy
Internal brand management includes the activities undertaken by an organization to ensure that the brand promise and the brand values are enacted and delivered by the organisation’s employees. In the hotel industry, for example, it is important that the hotel employees behave according to the brand values. In the gig economy and sharing economy, however, the service providers are not really employed. For example, Lieferando deliverers are not employed by Lieferando, Uber drivers are not employed by Uber, and Airbnb hosts are not employed by Airbnb. Therefore, it becomes interesting to explore how their brand commitment affects the brand image of the whole company.The aim of this study is to investigate the importance of internal brand management in the gig economy and sharing economy. The course of research can involve conducting an online survey to collect data, extensive data and text mining based on publicly available data (e.g. Lieferando, Airbnb and Uber websites) or interviews with Lieferando deliverers, Airbnb hosts, Uber or BlaBlaCar drivers. A good starting point for Internal Brand Management in the Gig and Sharing Economy is  Niyomwungeri and Chankov (2021), for a general overview for Internal Branding see Burmann et al. (2009), Punjaisri and Wilson (2011) and Buil et al. (2016).
Dr. Chankov
Crowdsourcing and Sharing Economy
Crowdsourcing is an increasingly used concept in a variety of fields, mainly within the scope of the sharing/collaborative economy. Crowdsourcing practices have been successfully used in other key economic fields such as: accommodation (Airbnb), transportation (e.g. Uber), professional/personal services (e.g. Craigslist), pre-owned goods (e.g. eBay), custom products (e.g. Etsy), funding (e.g. Kickstarter) or money-lending (e.g. Kiva). While companies like Uber are already well-established in the passenger transportation area, crowd logistics (e.g. crowdsourced goods delivery, crowdshipping, or shared storage) has only recently received interest in both theory and practice. Amazon has started its initiative in Seattle September 2015 through Amazon Flex and Uber is already operating a delivery service since April 2015 named UberRUSH. Any topic for the general sharing/collaborative economy (e.g. Airbnb) is possible, you can come up with your own ideas.
Dr. Chankov
Can Social Media Influencers Inspire Consumers Towards Sustainability? 
There is a growing imperative to address the negative environmental impact of fashion and an increased awareness of sustainability issues: the sustainable fashion concept (SFC). However, while consumers are becoming more aware and concerned about sustainability, this is not resulting in the purchase of sustainable fashion products in preference to “mainstream” goods. This so‐called attitude–behaviour gap is well documented in academic literature, and yet there is a lack of research into potential methods of disrupting this phenomenon.A recent study by McKeown and Shearer (2019) investigated the potential influence of social media influencers to raise awareness of the sustainable fashion concept and to therefore guide and change consumer behavior towards more sustainable practice. In this study, Emma Watson was identified as an appropriate and credible proponent, and her @the_press_tour Instagram account was used to examine her influence. A netnographic investigation of this account was conducted in combination with eight in‐depth interviews with account followers to examine attitudes and actions towards sustainable fashion. Findings showed that the account had partial impact on consumer engagement with the sustainable fashion concept in that it led to the participants being more likely to discuss and consider the issues around sustainable fashion; however, it had no significant impact on purchases of sustainable fashion. The study concluded that social media influencers can impact the attitudes of mainstream consumers towards sustainable fashion; however, further research is required to determine any long‐term influence.The purpose of this thesis is to extend these findings. You can formulate your own specific topic and course of research. For example, you can identify social media influencers that you would like to analyze and conduct survey or interviews with their followers. You can also compare different influencers.
Dr. Chankov
Circular Economy: Applications to Supply Chain Management 
You can formulate your own topic and course of research. Good starting points are De Angelis et al. (2018) and the resources by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation such is this or this.
Dr. Chankov
Millennials’ evaluation of corporate social responsibility 
Millennials are the most ethical generation, yet their evaluations of ethical practice remain unexplored in academic literature. Recently, the field of corporate social responsibility is moving closer to the forefront of corporate concerns as it climbs the hierarchy of consumer needs. Millennials are more aware of company activity than any other generation and so this presents a crucial opportunity for marketers to explore the gap between consumer attitudes and consumer purchasing behaviour by improving their understanding of this unique generation. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how millennials evaluate corporate social responsibility (CSR). The course of research can involve conducting an online survey or interviews. A good starting point is Chatzopoulou & de Kiewiet (2020).
Dr. Chankov
Impact of TV series on consumers’ behaviour 
With Netflix occupying our lives with endless releases of new TV series, it is inevitable that our perceptions are influenced. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the impact TV series have on consumers’ behavior. The course of research can involve conducting an online survey or interviews. A good starting point is Ertz et al. (2020).
Dr. Chankov
Last-Mile Distribution: Future Trends
You can formulate your own topic and course of research. A good starting point is this DHL Report (pages 24-28).
Dr. Chankov
The Role of Disclosing One’s Sexuality: Positive and Negative Discrimination
Please contact me to discuss this topic.
Dr. Chankov

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Prof. Uygun

Synchronized demand forecasting and inventory management Prof. Uygun
Demand forecasting based on machine learning Prof. Uygun
Novel manufacturing and warehouse technologies 4.0 – a literature-based market study Prof. Uygun
Reshoring Dynamics – A System Dynamics approach Prof. Uygun
A comprehensive Agent-based Covid19 spread model Prof. Uygun
Economic impacts of Covid19 – A System Dynamics model Prof. Uygun
Virtual/Augmented factory design – status quo, opportunities and limitations Prof. Uygun
Integrating (static) layout planning with dynamic simulation Prof. Uygun
Dynamic safety stock calculations (SAP-data based) Prof. Uygun
Systematic literature review: current status of quality management and control along the automotive supply chain Prof. Uygun
Quality indicated classification of automotive parts in real-time automotive supply chain Prof. Uygun
Evaluated source map of automotive supplier in a worldwide view (in collaboration with a car manufacturer) Prof. Uygun
Empirical survey: automotive supply chain and their parts in a real-time quality view (in collaboration with a car manufacturer) Prof. Uygun

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Prof. Wicaksono

For details on all topics of Prof. Wicaksono, please download this file.

 Topic 1: How artificial intelligence can improve the management of large projects? Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 2: Managing interoperability in circular economy Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 3: Handling interoperability in dynamic electricity market Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 4: The impacts of dynamic electricity price on production planning and control Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 5: Systematic Literature Review of reference model of Smart Manufacturing standards  Prof. Wicaksono
 Topic 6: Solving interoperability problem in smart manufacturing standards through ontology Prof. Wicaksono
 Topic 7: Managing I4.0 technology interoperability through ontology based database Prof. Wicaksono
 Topic 8: Comparative Analysis on ESG ratings assessment methods and criteria Prof. Wicaksono
 Topic 9: Energy consumption and cost prediction of customized products using data analytics or machine learning Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 10: NLP framework to analyze sustainability (ESG) reports Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 11: Forecasting of energy-mix balance in the region of Rheinland Palatine (Rheinland Pfalz) incl. export-import Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 12: How to optimize routes in sustainable collaborative city logistics? Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 13: How COVID-19 give impact to the supply chain of different products (e.g. hygiene, electronics/IT, typical product)? A data analytics approach Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 14: Opportunities and Challenges of Applying Precision Farming in Global Agriculture Supply Chain: Data analytics approach Prof. Wicaksono
Topic 15: The roles of digital twin in sustainable supply chain Prof. Wicaksono

 Other topics (self-defined)

Industry 4.0 Commons

IC01.  Readiness vs. willingness to change for industry 4.0
IC02. Industry 4.0 marketplace platform
IC03. Industry 4.0 meets circular economy (self-defined topic)
IC04. Industry 4.0 meets sharing economy (self-defined topic)
IC05. Open Innovation Platform for industry
IC06. Towards Harmonised Characterisation Methodologies and Data Formats
IC07. Industry 4.0 in agriculture – precision farming

Prof. Wicaksono
Green Manufacturing and Circular Economy

GC01. The role of IoT and big data to green manufacturing
GC02. Materials lifecycle analysis methodology for the circular economy
GC03. Holistic energy-efficient manufacturing system management
GC04. Digital twin applications in sustainable manufacturing

Prof. Wicaksono
Construction 4.0 and Smart Building

CB01. Industry 4.0 in construction industry (self-defined topic)
CB02. The role of digitization in building retrofitting
CB03. Smart operation of proactive residential buildings needs –  challenges in control technologies, predictive maintenance, and data supply for the customer
CB04. Construction by Digital-Twin Reconstruction.

Prof. Wicaksono

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Dr. Fatahi Valilai

Using Social media analytics in product development processes 
considering the Industry 4.0 paradigm and its digital Twins concept, this topic try to establish idea how to make a digital twin for product inside the social media and then using data analytics, the traditional product development processes are enhanced like FMEA, DFx and …useful link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ai0ijuttrh99huf/5.0.0.IEEM20-P-0329_FinalPDF.pdf?dl=0
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Smart 3D printing (Integrating CAD, CAPP and 3D printing )  
3D printing is changing the traditional manufacturing technology paradigm for flexible and agile product development processes. However, the traditional CAD/CAPP processes investigations have been made for traditional CAM technologies. This thesis topic tries to reform and establish new paradigm for integration of 3D printing processes with CAD/CAPP.
For more details please find:
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10845-019-01490-z
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10462-020-09876-9
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Using Blockchain technology in supply chain network 
The application of blockchain is tremendously changing the traditional supply chain paradigms. This thesis tries to use the blockchain for helping the decentralized, smart contract-based planning and management. The topics can be discussed in areas like tokenization in ridesharing/carsharing. Last mile delivery and drone application and crowd sourcing
For more information, please have a look at:
https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2020.1715507
https://cointelegraph.com/news/ridesharing-app-lyft-partners-with-blockchain-startup-to-tokenize-healthcare-transport
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vite-ico-how-blockchain-help-ridesharing-kunal-mahajan/   https://doi.org/10.1007/s10845-019-01490-z
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10462-020-09876-9
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Developing VRP models for Drone based last mile delivery concept
the drones are widely considered for last mile delivery nowadays. The Vehicle routing problem (VRP) deals with OR modeling in most of the last middle delivery problems. In this thesis topic, the new VRP models are developed with special focus on drone application.
For more information please consider:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rvrlmif0y3q90tj/%21%20MAIN%20PAPER%201331.pdf?dl=0
http://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2017.02.017
http://doi.org/10.1016/j.trc.2018.03.025
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Adaptive manufacturing operation scheduling using stochastic processes in industry 4.0 
Industry 4.0 as new paradigm in manufacturing industries necessitates the application of new models for manufacturing operations scheduling in a more responsive and adaptive characteristics. This thesis focuses on the application of stochastics processes to enable new scheduling method fulfilling the Industry 4.0 paradigm.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2452414X18301377
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212827119301714
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Manufacturing service composition model for robust manufacturing supply network design
Cloud manufacturing (CM) is one of the well-known enablers of Industry 4.0. CM has an XaaS (Everything as a Service) approach. Using this perspective, a new look to supply network configuration is inspired. This thesis focuses on a new model for configuring supply network considering the uncertainties in operations fulfillment by service providers.https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1640406
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21693277.2018.1517056
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Manufacturing service composition model with logistic and manufacturing supply network resiliency
Cloud manufacturing (CM) is one of the well-known enablers of Industry 4.0. CM has an XaaS (Everything as a Service) approach. Using this perspective, a new look to supply network configuration is inspired. This thesis focuses on the tactical/strategic planning for forming efficient and resilience supply networks.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925527318302536
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21693277.2018.1517056
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Manufacturing service composition model with logistic and manufacturing supply network Entropy
Cloud manufacturing (CM) is one of the well-known enablers of Industry 4.0. CM has an XaaS (Everything as a Service) approach. Using this perspective, a new look to supply network configuration is inspired. This thesis focuses on diversity of manufacturing operation service providers over the globe and the related costs of logistics.https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1640406
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2018.10.061
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Framework development for enabling digital twins in manufacturing realizing industry 4.0
Considering the IoT concept in Industry 4.0, the opportunity for shaping a virtual factory as a digital twin of real manufacturing factory has been enabled. Using this opportunity new tools for operations management in manufacturing factories can be like real-time and robust planning. This thesis focuses on the IoT characteristics and contribute to the literature of manufacturing operations planning.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736584519302480
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007850619300502
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
An extended VRP model for manufacturing operation service selection focusing on outbound logistics distribution costs
Cloud manufacturing (CM) is one of the well-known enablers of Industry 4.0. CM has an XaaS (Everything as a Service) approach. Using this perspective, a new look to supply network configuration is inspired. This thesis extends a VRP model to encompass the pickup delivery problem for manufacturing supply networks considering OPC and routing constraints toward deliver market points.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21693277.2018.1517056
https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1640406
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Digital platform for enabling digital dentistry with focus on 3D printing applications
3D printing as one of the transformative production system has been find to replace many conventional production system. This thesis focuses on health care domain (Digital Dentistry) and tries to contribute for a collaborative and efficient prosthetic production system.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2019.1686170
https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1683247
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Digital integrated platform for collaboration of CAx tools with 3D printing technology
3D printing as one of the transformative production system has been find to replace many conventional production system. This thesis focuses on seamless communication of CAx tools to enable the fast and agile 3D printing based production system.http://doi.org/10.1177/0954405414546706
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2019.1686170
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Digital integrated platform for collaboration of CAx tools with 3D printing technology
3D printing as one of the transformative production system has been find to replace many conventional production system. This thesis focuses on using feature based design concept and develop self-recognizing mechanism for extracting 3D printing trajectory.http://doi.org/10.1177/0954405414546706
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2019.1686170
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Development of Interoperable mechanism for integration of CAx and ERP modules for engineering change management
Considering the advanced manufacturing system which encompasses various CAx tools as automation islands for product engineering and feedbacks from the operational data in ERP modules, this thesis focuses on enabling agile mechanisms. These mechanisms use the operational data from production planning in ERP system for engineering change management in CAx tools.http://doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2013.766935
http://doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2011.646308
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Development of Ontology models for manufacturing data integration in Industry 4.0
Considering the IoT concept in Industry 4.0, the opportunity for shaping a virtual factory as a digital twin of real manufacturing factory has been enabled. Using this opportunity, a new challenge will be the integrated data models among different CAx and manufacturing software packages. This thesis focuses on development of Ontology models which enable the data integration.http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07398-9_7.
http://doi.org/10.1155/2013/974759
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
 A new model for Reconfigurable Manufacturing  System (RMS) in Industry 4.0 paradigm
Industry 4.0 pushes the manufacturing system for both agility and flexibility. This thesis tries to use the agility in RMS system to enable a flexible production system fulfilling Industry 4.0 requirements.https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1620365
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2017.1412531
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
A new model for Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS) integrated with product family definition
Reconfigurable Manufacturing system (RMS) has been proposed to enable rapid response to market change in manufacturing system. This thesis focuses to enable relation among part family definition in product engineering phases and tools reconfiguration in manufacturing system layout design.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214785317313597
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2017.1412531
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
 Using blockchain based method for novel Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Model
Blockchain Technology has been recently introduced. Considering the capabilities of this topic for decentralized decision making process, this thesis focuses on the well-known Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) problem and tries to enable a conscious mechanisms among the suppliers for better order fulfillment.http://dx.doi.org/10.3846/16111699.2016.1266695
Dr. Fatahi Valilai
Using blockchain based method for design and process planning change management
Blockchain Technology has been recently introduced. Considering the capabilities of this topic for decentralized decision making process, this thesis focuses on the challenges related to design and process planning in product engineering and a conscious mechanisms among the CAD and CAPP is proposed.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007850619300654
Dr. Fatahi Valilai

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Prof. Schupp

Suggest your own topic via a thesis application.  Prof. Schupp

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Prof. Schmidt

Concept of a Competence Center with lab facilities for “Smart Logistics” technologies
Induced by digitization and new technologies, logistics is undergoing partially disruptive changes. The related technologies, such as NB-IoT, 5G, RFID, VR, AR, AI, to name just a few, are partly already in a mature stage (like RFID), under development (like AI) or on the cusp of widespread usage (like 5G). To support their introduction for practical applications, knowledge deficiencies of planners and decision makers in companies have to be overcome. A Competence Center with lab facilities for “Smart Logistics” technologies, potentially affiliated to a research institute, could serve as a consulting and demonstration resource to support making the right choices regarding the usage of such technologies in real-life applications. The concept worked out along with this thesis might become part of an actual competence center in connection with the IFP – Sino-German Institute of Intelligent Technologies in Qingdao, China.
 Prof. Schmidt
Analysis and Assessment of the potentials of the “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)” (also known as “One Belt One Road (OBOR)” strategy) of the Chinese Government for promoting the exchange of goods between Asia, Africa and Europe
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. “Belt” refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called “the Silk Road Economic Belt”, whereas “road” refers to the sea routes, or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Belt and Road Initiative addresses an “infrastructure gap” and thus has potential to accelerate economic growth across the Asia Pacific area and Central and Eastern Europe. The thesis shall give an overview of the various activities of the Belt and Road Initiative with focus on logistics aspects and analyze their potential impact on the exchange of goods between Asia, Africa and Europe.
This topic might specifically be suitable for Chinese speaking students.
Prof. Schmidt
Comparative study of the e-commerce supply chains for “non-large” items in Germany and China – markets, structures, players
In both countries, China and Germany, e-commerce plays an important and ever-increasing role in retail. The scope of goods marketed through e-commerce channels encompasses “non-large” items, such as garments, electronics, books etc., “large” items such as furniture and household appliances, food products and others. The thesis shall analyze the supply chains for “non-large” items in both countries, identify the main “players” in the market – both on the retail and the logistics side – and work out similarities and differences in network structures and operation procedures.
This topic might specifically be suitable for Chinese speaking students.
Prof. Schmidt
Comparative study of the CEP markets in Germany and China – structures, players, networks
The markets for Courier-Express-Parcel (CEP) services in Germany and China are an important backbone for the rising e-commerce business. On the other side, retailers go more and more the way to implement their own logistics networks down to the “last mile”, this way not making use of the services of established CEP providers. The thesis shall, against the background of e-commerce, analyze the structures of the CEP markets in Germany and China, give an overview of the main players and their network set-up and investigate potential reasons for retailers to establish their own logistics networks rather than making use of existing CEP service providers.
This topic might specifically be suitable for Chinese speaking students.
Prof. Schmidt
Characteristics and technologies of “Smart Logistics”
“Smart Logistics”, also dubbed “Logistics 4.0”, is an important aspect of the “Industry 4.0” vision formulated by the German National Academy of Science and Engineering in 2013. Focusing on the inbound and outbound Supply Chain, it relates Industry 4.0 concepts to applications in logistics. The thesis shall work out the characteristics of “Smart Logisitcs” when compared to “classical” logistics operations in an industrial environment, summarize important related technological approaches and envision a scenario for an industrial inbound supply chain of the future.
Prof. Schmidt

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Prof. Hausmann

Lean and Agile Project Management

e.g. hybrid models of scrum, kanban, etc.

Prof. Hausmann
Challenges in Medical Supply of Pharmaceutical Product in Germany 

This thesis analyses recent shortcomings in medical supply with antibiotics and other vital pharmaceutical products in Germany and why that is due to problems in international supply chain management.

Prof. Hausmann
Suggest your own topic via a thesis application.  Prof. Hausmann

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by working group BER (Bremen Energy Research)

Prof. Brunekreeft and his colleagues from the working group Bremen Energy Research (BER) has agreed to supervise the following thesis topics.

1. Hydrogen-Mobility – Prospects and challenges Prof. Brunekreeft
2. Developments in vertical unbundling in the electricity supply chain – experiences, benefits and challenges with different unbundling regimes Prof. Brunekreeft
3. Incentives to improve resilience in network industries – literature review on the different approaches and their evaluation Prof. Brunekreeft
4. Risks evolving from digital applications in electricity networks – which/where/how digital technologies will enter the electricity infrastructure and what are the resulting risks? Topic Taken
5. Innovation and electricity networks – how can regulation foster innovation by network operators? Dr. Buchmann
6. Digital Platform economy and the energy sector – Concentration, oligopolies and the need for regulation. Dr. Buchmann
7. Flexibility in electricity systems – comparison on different market designs Dr. Buchmann
8. The Role of Aggregators in the Electricity Supply Industry – Business models and technical and regulatory challenges. Dr. Meyer
9. Demand Side Management and Smart Electricity Grids – System Benefits and market design issues. Dr. Meyer
10. E-Mobility – Prospects and challenges of integrating electric vehicles into electricity distribution networks. Dr. Meyer
11. Incentives for strategic bidding (“inc-dec gaming”) in two stage electricity markets – literature review on the drivers and countermeasures in the debate Dr. Kusznir
12. National regulatory authorities in the electricity sector. Roles and Responsibilities in the context of technological and climate change. Dr. Kusznir
13. Electricity sector regulatory governance and its influence on utility operation and performance. Dr. Kusznir
14. Regulatory experimentation for better governance in network industries. Comparison of different approaches and their evaluation. Dr. Kusznir
15. Digitalisation of energy transition. Opportunities and challenges for the electricity industry. Dr. Kusznir

Bachelor or Master Topics supervised by Prof. Hütt

Prof. Hütt (Professor of Systems Biology at Jacobs University) has agreed to supervise the following thesis topics. Please approach him directly in case of any questions. The following classification for the topics applies:

  • M: This project has a stronger mathematical component.
  • P: This project requires strong programming skills.
  • T: This project requires reading theoretical (mathematical) literature.
  • D: The focus of this project is on data mining.
  • L: The main focus of the project is a literature review.
Product diversity and network structure: a minimal model

A comparatively unexplored aspect of manufacturing is the relationship between the production network and the diversity of the manufactured products. Previous work on evolved flow networks (Beber et al. 2013) has shown that the network architecture is strongly affected by the complexity of the network’s required ‘output pattern’. In a series of small investigation we want to understand this phenomenon more deeply and apply the findings to manufacturing.
The goal of the project component described here is to formulate heuristics for generating a production network for a given product structure using path combinatorics. Then the network architectures will be statistically analyzed in order to establish relationships between product diversity and network structure.

Further reading:
Beber, M., Armbruster, D. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2013) The prescribed output pattern regulates the modular structure of flow networks. European Physical Journal B 86, 473. DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2013-40672-3.

Classification: M, P, T

Prof. Hütt
Product diversity and network structure: analysis of real production networks

A comparatively unexplored aspect of manufacturing is the relationship between the production network and the diversity of the manufactured products. Previous work on evolved flow networks (Beber et al. 2013) has shown that the network architecture is strongly affected by the complexity of the network’s required ‘output pattern’. In a series of small investigation we want to understand this phenomenon more deeply and apply the findings to manufacturing.
The goal of the project component described here is to study, whether similar relationships are also observed in real manufacturing systems. To this end, product diversity will be analyzed and then statistically compared with the system’s material flow networks.

Further reading:
Beber, M., Armbruster, D. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2013) The prescribed output pattern regulates the modular structure of flow networks. European Physical Journal B 86, 473.

Classification: T, D

Prof. Hütt
Synchronization as a quantifier of activity patterns: delay avalanches

The various concepts of synchronization attempt to capture the pattern of activity in a production network. It has been established before that high synchronization can lead to system-wide failures and thus reduce the robustness of the system against perturbations (Fretter et al. 2010). This project uses the general model paradigm of ‘avalanches on graphs’ to study this phenomenon further: How does the network architecture facilitate such avalanches? Can we adapt standard avalanche models to account for lateness propagation in production systems?

Further reading:
Fretter, C., Krumov, L., Weihe, K., Müller-Hannemann, M. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2010) Phase synchronization in railway timetables, European Physical Journal B 77, 281-289.

Classification: P, M, T

Prof. Hütt
Synchronization as a quantifier of activity patterns: activity as excitable dynamics

The various concepts of synchronization attempt to capture the pattern of activity in a production network. It has been established before that high synchronization can lead to system-wide failures and thus reduce the robustness of the system against perturbations (Fretter et al. 2010). This project asks, how different types of synchronization (termed logistics synchronization and physics synchronization in Chankov et al. 2015) quantify activity patterns in a graph, and thus ‘calibrate’ these measures. In order to understand the generic properties of these synchronization measures, we will use a simple model of activity, namely excitable dynamics on graphs (see, e.g., Müller-Linow et al. 2008) to simulate activity patterns and then analyze the synchronization measures as a function of network architecture and parameters of the dynamics.

Further reading:
Fretter, C., Krumov, L., Weihe, K., Müller-Hannemann, M. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2010) Phase synchronization in railway timetables, European Physical Journal B 77, 281-289.
Chankov, S., Bendul, J. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2015) Synchronization in Manufacturing Systems: Quantification and Relation to Logistics Performance. International Journal of Production Research, under review.
Müller-Linow, M., Hilgetag, C. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2008) Organization of excitable dynamics in hierarchical biological networks. PLoS Computational Biology 4, e1000190.

Classification: P, M, T

Prof. Hütt
The graph chromatic number as a robustness indicator of production networks

The graph coloring problem (distribute colors from a list on a graph such that no same colors are linked) is related to many scheduling problems in logistics. Attempting to distribute the colors based on local decisions only generates coloring dynamics, which are a minimal model of autonomous control (see, e.g., Windt and Hütt 2010, Blunck et al. 2018). Given a graph, the minimal number of colors for which the graph coloring problem can be solved is called the ‘chromatic number’ of the graph. Qualitatively speaking, this quantity determines, how easy scheduling is on the graph. We can expect that logistics performance of, e.g., a production network will depend strongly on this chromatic number. Using numerical experiments with scheduling software this relationship will be explored.Further reading:
Windt, K. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2010) Graph Coloring Dynamics: A Simple Model Scenario for Distributed Decisions in Logistics. CIRP Annals Manufacturing Technology 59, 461-464.Blunck, H., Armbruster, D., Bendul, J., & Hütt, M. T. (2018). The balance of autonomous and centralized control in scheduling problems. Applied Network Science, 3(1), 16.Classification: M, P, T
Prof. Hütt
Network recovery: a literature review with small numerical experiments

How networks recover from perturbations is a general question with deep implications for logistics systems. As an example, in Hao et al. (2015) the performance of a distributed insurance system under spatially and temporally correlated failures has been studied. The goal of this project is to understand, how the recovery of (production or distribution) networks is influenced by their architecture. The starting point will be a literature review of attempts to quantify and analyze network recovery. This survey of theoretical studies will be complemented by own numerical experiments on network recovery.

Further reading:
Hao, Y., Armbruster, D. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2015) Node survival in networks under correlated attacks. PLoS One, in press.

Classification: T, P, L

Prof. Hütt
Network representations of production systems

Across many disciplines, the formal language of nodes and links provides an efficient data structure for representing complex systems. Such representations can help comparing diverse systems.  In the case of production systems, nodes can be machines, processes, inventories, products at intermediate stages of production, or check points. Links can represent material flow, regulation, control and decision alternatives.

As an example, in Becker et al. (2011) production systems are represented as networks of cyclically operating devices. In this way, a comparison with traffic networks and production systems in biological cells (metabolic networks) could be achieved.

The goal of this project is to review the different network representations of production systems and analyze, how these network representations can help understand the functioning of these systems.

Further reading:
Becker, T., Beber, M.E., Windt, K., Hütt, M.-Th. and Helbing, D. (2011) Flow control by periodic devices: A unifying language for the description of traffic, production, and metabolic systems. J. Stat. Mech, P05004.

Classification: T, L

Prof. Hütt
Production networks vs. information processing networks

Across many disciplines, the formal language of nodes and links provides an efficient data structure for representing complex systems. Such representations can help comparing diverse systems.

Such networks tend to fall into two classes: production networks, characterized by their material flow, and information processing networks, characterized by their flow of information.

The goal of this project is a high-level comparison of these two classes of networks: What are the main functional differences (e.g., conservation laws)? Do they differ systematically in their architectures? How do the functional requirements differ for these networks? What do efficiency and robustness mean in each class?

Classification: M, P, T, L

Prof. Hütt
Random walks as a reference model for material flows

Understanding the material flow in manufacturing systems and its impact on logistics performance indicators is one of the principal goals production logistics. In many complex systems, a proper analysis of available data is only possible when contrasted to suitable versions of random data. Here, a simple model for random material flows, based on random walks, will be explored. Over the last decade, random walks on graphs have dramatically enhanced our understanding of the scaling of fluctuations in networks (see, e.g., Kosmidis et al. 2015). The goal of this project is to introduce modifications to a standard random walk (like a preference to move from an input layer to an output layer of the network) and study, how well the random walk reproduces statistical features of real material flows in manufacturing.

Further reading:
Kosmidis, K., Beber, M. and Hütt, M.-Th. (2015) Network heterogeneity and node capacity lead to heterogeneous scaling of fluctuations in random walks on graphs. Advances in Complex Systems 18, 1550007.

Classification: P, M

Prof. Hütt
Scaling laws in production logistics

Scaling relationships are among the most surprising findings about complex social and technological systems: laws allowing to predict with high accuracy the number of patents, crimes and restaurants just from the population size (see Bettencourt and West 2010); laws relating the number of machines to the number of regulators in production systems in biological cells (Maslov et al. 2009). The goal of this project is the search for such scaling laws in production systems. The starting point will be a survey of publicly available databases about company sizes and infrastructures.

Further reading:

Bettencourt, L, and Geoffrey West, G.B. (2010) A unified theory of urban living. Nature 467, 912-913.

Maslov, S., Krishna, S., Pang, T. and Sneppen, K. (2009) Toolbox model of evolution of prokaryotic metabolic networks and their regulation. PNAS 106, 9743.

Classification: P, L, D

 Prof. Hütt
Compiling data for multilayer networks in production and distribution logistics

A new approach to study networks dependent on other networks is summarized in the rich literature on interdependent networks and multilayer networks. Over the last years, several publications have compiled data for examples of interdependent networks or multilayer networks. Such examples range from social systems to transportation, power grids, finance and many more. The purpose of this project is to access data from these and other sources and build up an internal database of multilayer networks relevant to production and distribution logistics.

Further reading:

Aleta, A., and Moreno, Y. (2019). Multilayer networks in a nutshell. Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics, 10, 45-62.

Gallotti, R. and Barthelemy, M. (2014). Anatomy and efficiency of urban multimodal mobility. Scientific reports, 4:6911.

Sluban, B., Mikac, M., Novak, P. K., Battiston, S., and Mozeticˇ, I. (2018). Profiling the eu lobby organizations in banking and finance. Applied Network Science, 3(1):44.

Classification: D, P

Prof. Hütt
Logistics hypothesis networks

From the Basic Laws of Production Logistics by Nyhuis and Wiendahl to the Bullwhip Effect in supply chains and the lead time syndrome in manufacturing – the broad discipline of logistics is full of hypotheses, conjectures and ‘laws’. Similarly to the approach described for another discipline, Invasion Biology, in Enders et al. (2018), the purpose of this thesis work is to compile a catalog of the most important effects, laws, conjectures, etc. in production and distribution logistics, together with the most relevant publications, where these statements have been first introduced. This catalog will serve as a foundation to better understand research trends, conflicting statements and scientific ‘schools’.

Further reading:

Enders, M., Hütt, M. T., and Jeschke, J. M. (2018). Drawing a map of invasion biology based on a network of hypotheses. Ecosphere, 9(3), e02146.

Classification: L, D

Prof. Hütt
Literature review: non-Gaussian fluctuations in supply and production systems

All logistics systems are exposed to fluctuations. Often these fluctuations are modeled as white noise (i.e., as independent random events following a Gaussian distribution). In this project the few exceptions in the academic literature, where non-Gaussian fluctuations are studied are identified and contextualized. The main purpose of the project is to develop some intuition, how relevant non-Gaussian fluctuations are in the study of supply and production systems. This project requires understanding the concept of non-Gaussian fluctuations (colored noise, power laws, etc.).

Andriani, P., and McKelvey, B. (2007). Beyond Gaussian averages: redirecting international business and management research toward extreme events and power laws. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(7), 1212-1230.

Classification: L, D, T

Prof. Hütt
Literature review: public databases in production and distribution logistics

In several other disciplines (Physics, Biology, Chemistry) the sharing of large-scale datasets via public data repositories is by now an established procedure. This is not the case in logistics. The purpose of this project is to compile a list of publicly accessible databases of relevance to production and distribution logistics and, furthermore, to delineate the debates about such databases in the academic literature. Databases should be characterized according to data volume and data type, as well as other criteria, which need to be established in the course of the project.

Classification: L, D

Prof. Hütt