Friday 7th Aug 2020 - Logistics & Supply Chain

High level talks

This summer, from the 25th – 28th June, the Thirteenth Annual ELA Doctorate Workshop will take place in the picturesque Bavarian town of Grainau, close to The Zugspitze – Germany’s highest mountain – and on the border with Austria.

This popular annual academic event provides a creative environment for the exchange of the latest ideas, and the results of research work, relating to logistics and supply chain management.

Last year’s ELA Doctorate Workshop, sponsored by DHL Solutions, also took place in Grainau, and was attended by a select group of PhD students under the invitation of the ELA Research & Development Committee. The Committee members assessed the research proposals submitted in the form of a three-page abstract and four academics with a research interest in logistics and supply chain acted as moderators during the event. The event was chaired and organised by Dr Michael Bourlakis (Brunel University Business School, UK) and the other three moderators were Prof Dr Michael Essig (Bundeswehr University, Germany), Dr Tom Van Woensel (Technische Universiteit, Netherlands) and Dr Allan Woodburn (Westminster University, UK).

At the start of the Workshop, on the Wednesday afternoon, a welcome introduction and reception was organised and supported financially by Taylor & Francis Publishers. The students, who were representing eleven different countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK had the chance to get to know each other and to meet the moderators.

On Thursday morning, students formed groups with the aim of working on a research funding proposal in relation to European logistics. They considered a range of aspects and their impact on European public policy makers, businesses, scientists and other stakeholders. Moderators commented on these proposals and provided constructive feedback whilst the rest of the day was allocated for students” presentations.

In total, eighteen students made presentations during the Workshop analysing a diverse range of topics on logistics and supply chain management issues such as, among other things, humanitarian supply chains, packaging and logistics, maritime logistics, operational analysis of product deliveries and intermodal transportation. These presentations were chaired by the moderators who also provided relevant feedback at the end.

At the Workshop, we were also delighted to Eighteen students made presentations on issues such as: humanitarian supply chains, packaging, and intermodal transportation receive a keynote address by Prof Dr Hans-Christian Pfohl, chairman of the ELA Research and Development Committee, who welcomed the students and analysed contemporary issues in European logistics. During another session, Prof Dr Jan Dul (RSM Erasmus University, The Netherlands) shed extra light on the Case Study Methodology.

The next ELA Doctorate Workshop will be chaired by Prof Dr Stefan Minner and will once again allow PhD students to meet and discuss logistics issues from a wide variety of leading European universities. For further information on this key event, please contact Nicole Geerkens of the ELA by email at

Dr Michael Bourlakis

Brunel University Business School

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