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Focus Session 3: Supply Chain Resilience

Day 2 - 18 September

Session Timing: 1430 -1600 BST

Supply chain risk and resilience has been a key research theme for the Cambridge Manufacturing Symposium over the past decade. This platform has advanced academic thinking on the nature of risk in supply chains, and has explored resilience capabilities in distinct production systems and across multiple sectors including food, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and automotive. The recent COVID-19 events forced re-thinking of established practices for mitigating risk and building resilience in supply chains. Short-term impacts have been emphasised in the extant debate: product shortages, recalls, disruptions in operations/logistics, changing purchasing behaviour patterns, and the emergence of a strong regulatory and institutional environment. However, attempting to forecast the long-term repercussions of these events can be baffling. Given the current situation, this session aims to facilitate discussion around the following topics:

  • The role of international institutions/governments in supply chain reconfiguration
  • Strategic perspective vs short-term optimisation
  • Supply Chain Design & Analytics in post-COVID context
  • Limitations of extant methodologies for supply chain risk management, mitigation, and resilience.

Keynote speakers

This focus session includes two invited talks from prominent academics, Professor Steve New (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) and, Professor M K Tiwari (Director, NITIE Mumbai) as well as one joined-up intervention from the organisers. The talks will be followed by a 45 minute questions and discussions from session audience.


COVID-19 and the erosion of key upstream capabilities in UK manufacturing: evidence from defence aerospace

Professor Steve New is Associate Professor in Operations Management at Saïd Business School and fellow of Hertford College at the University of Oxford. As a practitioner, Steve worked for Rolls Royce plc, Collinson Grant and Eaton Corporation. Steve’s research looks at the nuance and complexity of the so-called ‘Toyota Production System’, and its application to different sectors including medical care. He has authored extensively on the concept of provenance in supply chains with his article, 'The Transparent Supply Chain' featuring in the Harvard Business Review.


An operational perspective on data analytics for resilience in the age of ‘digital twin’ supply chains

Professor Manoj Kumar Tiwari, is Director of the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai since Nov, 2019. He was a Professor with Higher Academic Grade (HAG) in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and currently on lien for five years. Prof. Tiwari is a top-ranking author in the domain of Supply Chain Analytical Techniques, and an influential researcher in the area of automating decision support system for complex and large-scale problems in manufacturing and logistics system.



A framework to explore the complex, interlinked nature of risk in supply chains in the light of COVID-19.

Dr Mukesh Kumar and Dr Ettore Settanni 

Dr Mukesh Kumar is lecturer in Operations Management at the University of Cambridge. He has researched extensively the areas of risk and resilience in international manufacturing and supply networks. He has worked with key players such as Sealed Air on developing risk management processes for global manufacturing investment decisions and supply chain management. Before joining the University of Cambridge, Mukesh's previous roles have been in the financial sector as a senior analyst, and corporate finance consultant.


Dr Ettore Settanni is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. He was Supply Chain Data Analytics lead for the ReMEDiES research project (Reconfiguring Medicines End-to-end Supply), providing data-driven and visual analytics to help key players in the UK pharmaceutical landscape evaluate reconfiguration opportunities for their manufacturing networks. He also worked extensively on field data analysis applied to availability-based contracting in the UK defence aerospace sector.

24th Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium goes online: 17-18 September 2020


This year’s Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium will be an online and interactive event. It will take place as previously scheduled, on 17-18 September 2020. We will take the opportunity to extend our international keynote contributions and broaden access to offset current restrictions on travel related to COVID-19.

The new, redesigned format will feature facilitated and interactive discussion sessions. Two days of focused discussions will ensure the live engagement of participants from both industry and academia on the future of manufacturing supply networks.

We are not seeking academic paper submissions this year.

An overview of the programme involving main plenary sessions on Day 1 and specialist thematic topic discussions on Day 2 is available here.

Jagjit Singh Srai
On behalf of the organising committee