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Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium

22-23 September 2022

Day 2 - 18 September

Session Timing: 1200 – 1330 BST

This focus session will explore resource-efficiency utilisation and the associated implications to supply chains, and the ‘rethink’ of the design of future sustainable supply chain management driven by circularity priorities.

Inputs will draw on the key trends that are requiring a revisiting on how sustainable supply chains are configured to ensure circularity of resources in an economic viable, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable manner, namely:

  • Transformation of renewable feedstocks and ‘waste’ streams into high-value intermediates and/or products.
  • Developments in digital manufacturing technologies and the process industries (such as food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals).
  • Engagement of producers and consumers through informed choices on product design and delivery.
  • Design, configuration, and management of circular manufacturing networks.

The session aims to explore emerging pathways for circular supply chains, taking both academic and industrial perspectives, and identify challenges and opportunities emanating from the valorisation of renewable feedstocks via novel processing technologies.

Do disruptions to supply chain operations, like the Covid-19 pandemic, foster circularity of resources? How can circular supply chain operations be designed to leverage unexploited raw materials? How should firms navigate viable supply chain configuration options arising from renewable feedstock platform technologies?

Keynote speakers

In order to facilitate discussions, the focused session will have introductory contributions from leading speakers to introduce their latest research in this area, and share their perspectives on circular supply chains.


Industrial symbiosis: Impact of competition on firms’ willingness to implement 

Professor Nagesh Gavirneni is a Professor of Operations Management at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. His research interests are in the areas of supply chain management, inventory control, production scheduling, simulation, and optimization. He is now using these models and methodologies to solve problems in healthcare, agriculture, and humanitarian logistics in developing countries. His papers have appeared in Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, European Journal of Operational Research, Operations Research Letters, IIE Transactions, Interfaces, and IEEE Transactions on Reliability. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Before that he was the chief algorithm design engineer of SmartOps, a software architect at Maxager Technology, Inc., and a research scientist with Schlumberger. He has also held visiting faculty positions at Nanyang Business School (Associate Professor, 2011-12) and MIT Sloan School of Management (Professor, 2016-17). His undergraduate degree from IIT-Madras is in mechanical engineering, and he has received master's degrees from Iowa State University and Carnegie Mellon University. Additional information can be found at Google Scholar.


Logistics in the Circular Economy: Challenges and Opportunities

Dr Renzo Akkerman is Associate Professor in Operations Research and Logistics at Wageningen University. Previously, he was Professor in Operations Management and Technology at the Technical University of Munich and Associate Professor in Operations Management at the Technical University of Denmark. He graduated from the University of Groningen with a PhD in Operations Management and an MSc in Econometrics and Operations Research. His (often interdisciplinary) research mainly focuses on food supply chain management. Specific topics range from efficient resource (e.g. water) utilization in food processing to the design and planning of food supply chains considering food-specific characteristics (e.g. quality, safety, and sustainability). Additional information can be found at Google Scholar.


Developing new business models for circular supply chains

Professor Qinghua Zhu is Distinguished Professor in Antai College of Economics & Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She has led 8 research projects at the national level and 9 projects at the provincial or ministry level. She has published three books as well as over 200 papers including 104 SCI/SSCI indexed papers in English journals. Citations of her papers are 9949 (h-index of 46) and 21349 (h-index of 57) for ISI Web of Science and Google Scholar, respectively. She is a Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate Analytics) for 2018 and 2019. She received the JOM 2004 Best Paper Finalist Award, and the 2009 AoM Best Paper Award for emerging markets. She is currently an associate editor of International Journal of Operations and Production Management, as well as an editorial or advisory board member for ten English journals including International Journal of Production Economics and Business Strategy and the Environment. Additional information can be found at Google Scholar.


Digital Supply Network Design: A Circular Economy 4.0 Decision-making System for Real-world Challenges

Dr Naoum Tsolakis is Research Associate in Industrial Systems and Network Analysis at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, where he focusses on the design, analysis and management of multi-level operations in sustainable supply network systems. More specifically, his main research and practice interests include the areas of simulation modelling and optimisation of end-to-end supply chain operations, enabled by digital technologies, to assess emerging configurational designs for the efficient management of circular supply chains. Naoum holds a 5-year Engineering Diploma (top graduate for the Academic Year 2005-2006) and a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering, along with four Masters degrees in the engineering and business management domains. Additional information can be found at Google Scholar.






22-23 September 2022

Reconfiguring global supply chains in the face of continued disruption: towards new design rules and capabilities

The annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium is the chance to hear from world-leading business figures and thinkers on the challenges facing modern manufacturing. It is a unique event that brings together senior industrialists and leading academics to share approaches and experiences in this strategic domain.