2022-2023 Master Thesis Topics
(Already Selected)

Here is the list of topics which are already selected by students for their master thesis

2022_001

Field of Study:

Modelling a cyclic maritime inventory routing problem

Optimization

Contact Details:

Lars Magnus Hvattum, Sebastian Urrutia

The inventory routing problem (IRP) arises when a company is responsible for the transport of goods from a production site to consumption sites and for maintaining proper inventory levels throughout the supply chain. Maritime IRPs, where the transport is conducted by sea-going vessels, have been studied frequently. Typically, such IRPs are solved for a fixed time horizon. This leads to solutions with poor decisions near the end of the time horizon: production ports can be almost full and consumption ports can be almost empty, since this is consistent with the goal of minimizing total costs. The resulting solution may then be impossible to apply in practice, since it leads to a state of the system that cannot be recovered and may lead to unavoidable stock outs.


A cyclic maritime IRP was studied in a master thesis from 2022. Here, the goal is to find a cyclic plan that can be executed repeatedly. This means, that over a fixed time horizon, the inventory levels as well as the loads and positions of the vessels used have to be identical in the beginning of the time horizon and the end of the time horizon. However, one is allowed to optimize the positions and loads of the vessels and the inventory levels, so that the total costs over the planning horizon can be minimized.


This topic is an extension of the thesis from 2022: it can be difficult to find a feasible solution for a cyclic problem when the time horizon is fixed. Therefore, we would like to develop an alternative model where the time horizon is variable. As a consequence, the objective function should be changed from minimizing total costs, to minimizing the costs per day. This leads to non-linearities, and the goal of the thesis work is to find a good way to linearize the resulting model and to perform computational experiments to test whether the model has advantages over the previously proposed model with a fixed time horizon.


This task requires excellent skills in mathematical programming, and the use of AMPL or similar software.

Selected By:

Simen Fjælberg

2022_003

Field of Study:

Supply chain in the food industry

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Berit Irene Helgheim

Master theses for Salgslaget AS; www.salgslaget.no


· The value chain (supply chain) for local food and drink products for both the grocery sector and the catering industry includes several links and actors between raw material producers and end customers. Among the most important factors that affect the consumer price are the various costs and margins used by wholesalers and retailers. The relative importance of distribution costs is increasing for changes in supply and demand over time and particularly affects producers' profitability. This is especially true for local food and beverages, where the producers’ geographical coverage where the SC is different from the ordinary industrial value chains.  The objective for this thesis is to investigate the local food chain, challenges and opportunities.


· These various costs and wholesalers' margins have changed over time. There is a certain spread in the margin calculations between the different single wholesalers and wholesale groups. But usually they use their purchase price from the producer as their basis for a given percentage surcharge. This percentage is not changed by, for example, a price increase due to increased raw material costs. The margin shall cover the wholesaler's costs for warehousing and distribution as well as labor and various services offered within sales and administration. These services are very often oversized and therefore unnecessary expensive. As these costs neither do increase due to increased raw material or packaging prices, the producers only get coverage for their extra costs while the wholesaler gets a profit increase. Such a practice therefore makes wholesalers becoming a directly expensive intermediary.  The objective for this thesis is investigate how costs elements are distributed in the supply chain and the impact on the actors.


· The retailers’ and different industry organizations' acceptance of this practice takes away the motivation for wholesalers to implement productivity improvements in their business. With a retail sector that is changing for local food and drinks, the growth in online shopping and changing consumer preferences may provide new knowledge and framework conditions for wholesalers and distributors in how they organize their business for local food and beverages. The objective for this thesis is to investigate the impact of online shopping for local producers.

Selected By:

Natasha van der Linden

2022_004

Field of Study:

Evaluation model – price vs. quality

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Deodat E. Mwesiumo

Statens innkjøpssenter (a central purchasing body in Norway) is responsible for entering into and managing joint contracts for state agencies. The joint contracts are mandatory for all state administrative bodies in the civil sector.  The proble is presented as received:


"I Norge er poengsetting av pris mest utbrett. En utfordring med modellen oppstår når det er mer enn 100% prisforskjell. En annen utfordring med modellen oppstår når man vurderer prisene på tilbud opp mot et tilbud som ikke er aktuelt. For eksempel hvis man har 4 kvalifiserte tilbud, men skal tildele til 3. Dersom leverandør som blir innstilt som nummer 4 har lavest pris, kan dette medføre at rangeringen på tilbudene endres. Prissetting av kvalitet har ikke de samme utfordringene som poengsetting av pris. Modellen vurderer pris mot tilbudt kvalitet hos den enkelte leverandør og ikke mot laveste tilbudt pris. Modellen innebærer derimot at påslaget i pris for manglende kvalitet vil variere fra tilbud til tilbud. (Vi ser der ikke dette som et problem i seg selv, men dette er det mange som stusser over).


Vi har simulert og sammenlignet modellene mot hverandre på flere konkurranser. I de fleste tilfellene vil man få samme rangering, men ikke i ekstremtilfellene hvor det skiller mye i pris. For at man skal være konfortabel med å ta ibruk modellen med prissetting av kvalitet, har vi behov for større (matematisk) forståelse av hvordan modellen virker og konsekvensene av å benytte denne versus poengsetting av pris"

Selected By:

Daniel Hosana

2022_006

Field of Study:

Master theses within the GOLF project

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Heidi Høgset

The Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences is involved in an international research project on sustainable and resilient food systems, called “EC-Asia Research Network on Integration of Global and Local Agri-Food Supply Chains Towards Sustainable Food Security” (GOLF). This project is now recruiting MSc students to do their MSc thesis on topics that will contribute to the project objectives. The topics are appropriate for students of either Logistics, or Economics and Business Administration, or two students from either study program working together. This initiative is a collaboration between Molde University College, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and Global Biotechnology Transfer Foundation, a UK-based non-governmental organization. The project coordinators at these 3 partner institutions will organize data collection for student projects in all 3 countries. Ass. Prof. Heidi Hogset is the project coordinator at MUC and will be the supervisor for students at MUC.


Topics for student projects must contribute to the objectives of one or several of these 4 work packages:


WP3 (MUC) Assessment of agri-food systems in a local eco-economy context


WP6 (GBTF) Develop tools for design and implementation of bio economic solutions in local ecological context


WP7 (WU) Develop collaborative strategies for integrated agri-food supply chains to promote eco-economic development


WP8 (WU) Design physical agri-food supply chain configurations through eco-economic mapping of local–global supply chain resources


These descriptions contain several complex concepts that are difficult to operationalize. Defining doable MSc thesis projects from these descriptions will have to happen in a dialogue between students and the supervisor. This dialogue will have to start early in the fall semester of 2022.

Selected By:

Mudassar Khalid

Vilde Bjørhusdal/Sander Haugen

2022_007

Field of Study:

Creating customer value through the provision of accurate carbon footprint data (tentative title)

Transportation

Contact Details:

Harald M. Hjelle

About SG Logistics

SG Logistics is a logistics service provider (LSP) offering services based on road transport, maritime transport, aviation and rail services world-wide. The services are provided based on a carefully selected network of international and national sub-contractors. Our main office and terminal is located in Breivika in Ålesund. Students writing this thesis will be offered an office space with us for three months in the spring of 2023.


Background

Emissions of climate gases from transport in Norway constitutes almost one third of total emissions (2020). This means that minimizing the carbon footprint from transport activities is crucial within the Norwegian logistics industry. SG Logistics wants to contribute to this development by facilitating well-informed choices to be made by their customers. This thesis should prepare the ground for mapping the carbon footprint of our services, enabling us to provide accurate data to our customers.


Tentative content of the Master’

The detailed focus and problem statements of the thesis must be developed in dialogue between the students and the focal company, and in co-operation with the tutor, but here are a number of potential research questions that might be relevant:

· RQ1 To what degree do customers of LSPs demand accurate carbon footprint data of the services provided?

· RQ2 Which commercially available, and which in-house solutions for carbon footprinting are currently used by LSPs active in the ### market? (specific market to be defined)

· RQ3 To what degree are the applied tools transparent and scientifically well documented?

· RQ4 Do the different tools available provide the same results? Why/why not?

· RQ5 Which are the sources of default values applied by the various models?

· RQ6 To what degree could the tools be refined by case-specific input data?


Supervisor:

Professor Harald M. Hjelle, harald.hjelle@himolde.no


Contact person at SG Logistics:

CEO Nils Erik Bjørkedal, neb@sglogistics.no

More information abot the company: https://sglogistics.no/

Selected By:

Joanna Ervik

2022_008

Field of Study:

Master thesis for Ekornes AS

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Geir Arne Svenning

The furniture producer Ekornes manufactures the brands Stressless, IMG and Svane, all of them registered as individual companies in Norway. This means that logistics costs have to be allocated to each company.

The company wants an analysis of potential savings in the logistical costs if they choose to merge the companies into one. Then they might increase the volumes which again can lead to a lower cost for each shipment.

Selected By:

2022_009

Field of Study:

Master thesis for Glamox AS

Inventory Management

Contact Details:

Geir Arne Svenning

Glamox produces various types of lighting solutions. They have a variety of different items on stock and want to monitor the level and the development of demand to ensure a high service level to their customers. Theory and practice should be combined in models to ensure a uniform policy in the corporation and give indications on what should generate adjustments in the inventory policy.


In addition, they have changes in the assortment from year to year and need good routines when phasing products in and out.

Selected By:

Silje Raum

2022_010

Field of Study:

Optimizing localization and inventory management for Mørenot AS

Optimization, Inventory management

Contact Details:

Arild Hoff, Kristina Kjersem

Mørenot is a company selling finished goods and producing different types of equipment for the fishing industry. The company owns several locations and production facilities along the Norwegian coast for serving the fishing fleet, while the central warehouse is located in Søvika, close to Ålesund.


Their current inventory policy is characterized by long lead times and several challenges when deciding the optimal stock level for different products. Hence, they are considering a solution of decentralized warehouses for parts of their assortment. The master thesis will look into this problem and analyze locations of the warehouses and reasonable service level for the products.


The topic will require some knowledge of inventory management models and mathematical modelling as taught in the Logistics Analytics specialization of the master study.

The thesis suits well for two students working together.

Selected By:

Bjarte Nordhaug

Martin Skaug

2022_013

Field of Study:

The impact of corona pandemic on purchasing of fast-moving consumer goods

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Berit Irene Helgheim

The ongoing covid pandemic situation has already negatively influenced the speed and the cost of deliveries. At the same time little research is done (check it!) on how the pandemic changed or not the behavior of the end-customers in B2C sector. The objectives are:

“An investigation of changes in customers purchasing pattern during- and after the pandemic.”


Questions can be addressed to groups of products, for example, meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables, medicine, household chemicals, etc.

Results of this study can be beneficial for the retailers and warehouse managers in the downstream part of supply chains. More efficient solutions with respect to buffer stocks levels can be made by managers if they know that pandemic situations may considerably change purchasing patterns of the end-customers.

Selected By:

Rahim Arman

2022_014

Field of Study:

Assessment of product information of fish origin to final consumers and its impact on buying decision

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Berit Irene Helgheim

Service quality is a relevant subject to develop and maintain competitive advantage. Information availability can influence the decision to buy products. In the case of fish and fish products, it is yet not clear if the availability of information about product origin can influence the buying decision. This research aims at assessing the relevance of information availability about the origin of the fish in the buying decision of the final consumer. The research will use as method a questionnaire, to be adjusted from a pre-existing one, and applied at retail points where fish and fish products are sold.

Method: questionnaire (to be adjusted form a pre-existing one)

Selected By:

Nichlas Huseby Botten

2022_016

Field of Study:

Tourism Sustainability Reporting using Blockchain

Information systems

Contact Details:

Bjørn Jæger

There is a growing need for tourism organizations to consider their impact on sustainability. The tourism sector is a complex web of relationships between a variety of organizations and services interacting to give a holistic tourist product for their customers. The company DMO Spesialisten is exploring the use of blockchain as a platform to support information exchange across actors and to provide enhanced tourist information services.


The goal of this project is to investigate the use of blockchain to support a service that gives tourists trusted sustainability information that enables them to select sustainable tourism products.  The service could have elements from typical web-shops where customers sort offers based on criteria such as price and quality. In addition, a sustainability indicator is envisioned. It should incorporate the triple-bottom-line (TBL) accounting (TBL) concept. DMO Spesialisten believes that enabling tourists to signal their demand for sustainability will contribute to a more sustainable tourism sector.


This thesis will be defined in cooperation with DMO Spesialisten. Data from regional transportation companies, hotels and other service providers exists. The technology part is in cooperation with the blockchain service provider UNISOT.


Interested? Please contact Fredrik Gosch at DMO Spesialisten (fredrik@dmospesialisten.no)  and/or Prof. B. Jæger at HiMolde (bjorn.jager@himolde.no)

Selected By:

Chaudhary Abdul Manan Khan

2022_017

Field of Study:

Circular economy vs. Sustainable supply chain management

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Antonina Tsvetkova

Circular economy pushes frontiers of environmental sustainability by emphasizing the idea of transforming products in such a way that there are workable relationships between ecological systems and economic growth. It is implied that circular economy is not just concerned with the reduction of the use of the environment as a sink of residual like sustainable supply chain strategies but rather with the creation of self-sustaining production systems in which materials are used over and over again.


Finding ways to align sustainable supply chain strategies to circular economy principles has become crucial. However, it remains underexplored how environmental sustainability boundaries are to be pushed. Further, the circular economy primarily concerns material flows in economic systems through a paradigm shift in production philosophy. As a result, there is still a lack of understanding of how environmental impacts (related to energy usage and carbon emissions) and the implications of these impacts can be resolved.

The students who are interested in this field of knowledge should provide deeper insights into the following research issues:


-           How can sustainable SCM be enhanced by aligning it with the circular economy concept?

-           Does a circular economy contribute to the vision of sustainable development?

-           How does a circular economy influence society and societal values?


Each of these research questions can be addressed qualitatively. The candidate(s) will be encouraged to conduct a single case study or multiple case studies to reveal the adaptation of circular economy principles to SCM in real practice.

The empirical case is expected to be within the fish farming industry.

A more specific problem definition will be done in cooperation with the company and the supervisor.

Selected By: