2019-2020 Master Thesis Topics

(Already Selected)

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

The Nofima Research Station for Sustainable Aquaculture is located at Sunndalsøra, about 1 hour 30 minutes driving from Molde. Many of the about 40 employees working at this facility are highly qualified holding masters and PhD degrees mainly in biology-related fields. This is an international environment with people coming from many different countries. At this land-based research station with fresh water, seawater and recirculated water, biological and technological experiments are carried out along the complete aquaculture value chain.

 

The station was earlier this year awarded a Lean innovation prize at the Lean conference on Stavanger arranged by Lean Forum Norge.

 

The masters these will apply the case study research strategy creating a longitudinal case narrative. Through a series in-depth interviews it will seek to describe following a timeline in detail how and why Lean principles were implemented at this facility. The success of this development over only a few past years should also be discussed in relation to various economic criteria. Importantly, the adaptation of Lean principles in this particular empirical context will be discussed.

 

Nofima at Sunndalsøra has accommodation facilities which can be used if students want stay at the facility more than one day.

 

https://nofima.no/en/research-facilities/sunndalsora-aquaculture-research-station/

https://nofima.no/nyhet/2018/09/inspirasjonspris-til-sunndalsora/

Lean at Nofima Sunndalsøra

2018_038

SCM

Per Engelseth

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Lina Bjarnesdotter Venjum

Kristin Dehlimarken Braathen

The following research question is suggested: How does traffic data influence the planning of routes for last-mile deliveries of goods, both when considering time-dependent travel times and when considering fixed travel times?

 

The research will be conducted in cooperation with Zendera. Zendera provides a prize-winning logistics system for small and medium-sized transport companies. The system solves complex logistical challenges and helps transporters of goods to use their resources in the best possible way, to the benefit of the transporters and the environment. The system differentiates itself from its competitors by automatically planning and distributing orders to the drivers, as well as dynamically optimizing the routes.

 

When planning routes, Zendera does not currently use traffic data. Instead, dynamic changes are made during the execution of the routes to correct for delays caused by traffic. That is, the planning is reactive, rather than proactive (planning using traffic data to avoid delays happening in the first place). Taking into account traffic data is demanding in terms of costs and resources, and an analysis of the cost/benefit tradeoff is therefore highly interesting.

Analyzing the effect of time-dependent travel times for last-mile deliveries

2019_003

Operations Research / Optimization

Lars Magnus Hvattum

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Thi Thao Uyen Ngo

Sadok Aguel

Proactis, a global spend management and B2B eCommerce company, has recently announced the results of their survey that aimed at identifying key spend management challenges that Finance and Procurement professionals are facing in 2019. Among other challenges, they found that organisations whose non-payroll expenditure is predominantly on services face different challenges such as receiving incomplete work, visibility issues and lack of auditability. Conceivably, the fundamental nature of services makes it difficult for procurement professionals to manage the category with similar approaches used on standardized goods. As Wynstra et al. (2018) found in their investigation, managing the procurement process for service transactions tends to be more costly and problematic. As the service economy is growing in magnitude and impact, therefore, it is not surprising to see that procurement of services is attracting the attention of practitioners and academics. Against this background, a study is proposed to address the following main research question: How can procurement of business services be managed effectively? Note: The above questions is mere suggestion, candidate(s) are free to develop and pursue their own research questions. Proposed methodology Depending on the nature of research questions that candidate(s) will decide to pursue, the subject can be addressed either qualitatively or quantitatively. If addressed qualitatively, candidate(s) will be encouraged to collect qualitative data from multiple case organizations. If quantitative approach is chosen, then survey strategy and subsequent analysis of data using multivariate techniques will be encouraged. Reference Wynstra, Finn, Gerrit Rooks, and Chris Snijders. 2018. “How Is Service Procurement Different from Goods Procurement? Exploring Ex Ante Costs and Ex Post Problems in IT Procurement.” Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management.

Effective approaches to managing procurement of business services

2019_004

Supply chain management

Deodat Mwesiumo

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Simai O. Abdalla

There is now a wide consensus that circular economy provides the means for realizing sustainability ambitions and promote economic growth. As Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment (2015) found in their study, circular economy, enabled by the technology revolution, would allow Europe to increase resource productivity by up to 3% annually and generate a primary resource benefit of as much as €0.6 trillion per year by 2030. Moreover, it would generate €1.2 trillion in non-resource and externality benefits, bringing the annual total benefits to around €1.8 trillion. However, these high hopes will be fulfilled only if businesses start to embrace circular economy strategically and operationally, and if governments start establishing a consistent set of rules (Arup and BAM, 2017; CEPS, 2018). More importantly, it calls for changes in the way companies create, deliver, and capture value (Pieroni, McAloone, and Pigosso 2019). On the other hand, purchasing function is increasingly viewed as one of the important management activity through which organisations can realize their strategic objectives. As competition, broadening product range, altering customer demands and economic pressure continue to intensify, executives everywhere have opened their eyes to the strategic benefits that can be achieved through intelligent use of purchasing function. Given the call for businesses to embrace circular economy strategically and operationally, then a new approach to purchasing is needed. An approach that is more collaborative and inclusive, where purchasers are encouraged and have the confidence to work with the market to develop new solutions that are more sustainable, more circular and in the long term more profitable. Hence, the role of purchasing function in promoting the implementation of circular economy business models warrants attention. Potential research questions include: 1. How can purchasing function contribute to the implementation of the circular economy business model? 2. Which capabilities are critical for the purchasing function to contribute to the implementation of the circular economy business model? 3. What are the purchasing barriers that may be encountered in the implementation of the circular economy business model?

The role of purchasing function in the implementation of circular economy business models

2019_005

Supply chain management

Nina Pereira Kvadsheim

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Ine Opseth

Monika Bjekic

Complex procurement refers to the procurement that involves many actors, several phases, numerous requirements, extensive documentation, and a substantial amount of time, cost, effort, and risk. As such, complex procurement are prone to dilemmas and challenges related to uncertainties. For that reason, insights about complex procurements are relevant and useful to both practitioners and scholars. Although scholars have devoted substantial amount of effort to explore various aspects related to governance mechanisms used in complex projects (e.g., Olsen et al. 2005; Caniëls, Gelderman, and Vermeulen 2012), little attention has been directed to the techniques and approaches involved in handling complex procurement. Against this backdrop, a topic for master thesis is proposed to explore pertinent questions related to handling complex procurement. Some potential research questions include the following: 1. When and how do procurement managers engage stakeholders involved in complex procurement? 2. Which tactics do procurement managers deploy when carrying out complex procurement? 3. Which factors are critical for the success of complex procurement? 4. How do procurement managers manage uncertainties associated with complex procurement? Note: Candidate(s) are free to develop and pursue their own research questions. Proposed methodology Depending on the nature of research questions that candidate(s) will decide to pursue, the subject can be addressed either qualitatively or quantitatively. If addressed qualitatively, candidate(s) will be encouraged to conduct multiple case studies. If quantitative approach is chosen, then survey strategy and subsequent analysis of data using multivariate techniques such as multiple linear regression and structural equation modelling are recommended.

Procurement managers’ approaches to complex procurement

2019_006

Supply chain management

Deodat Mwesiumo

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Mads Kristiansen

Martin Nergido Johansen

In recent years, especially after the enactment of the new EU procurement directives (Directive 2014/24/EU), public procurement of innovations (PPoI) has gained significant traction. Understandably, there is widespread consensus that public procurement of innovations contributes to improvement of efficiency and quality of public services along with addressing major societal challenges. Recognizing its importance, Norway has taken several measures to promote PPoI. One the measures taken is to strengthen of the national programme for supplier development. Among other initiatives, the national programme for supplier development encourages and supports public buyers to collaborate in the procurement of innovations. Plausibly, this is because collaborative procurement helps organisations to drive efficiencies and reduce risk. Nevertheless, collaborative public procurement faces multidimensional operational barriers as it creates conflicts of legitimacy that arise from within and between organisations (Meehan et al. 2016). Considering the barriers of implementing public procurement of innovations, one may argue that collaborative public procurement of innovations should be even much more challenging. Interestingly, a couple of collaborative PPoI projects have been completed successfully in Norway, and they have begun to gain international attention. Against the above backdrop, a number of questions related to successful execution of collaborative public procurement of innovations are intriguing: 1. How are successful collaborative PPoI organized? 2. What are the challenges involved in executing collaborative PPoI organized? 3. How do procuring entities involved in executing collaborative PPoI overcome challenges? 4. What are the key success factors for collaborative PPoI?

Collaborative public procurement of innovations

2019_007

Supply chain management

Deodat Mwesiumo

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Erika Susana Gopar Casas

 Sykehusinnkjøp HF is an organization responsible for making acquisitions on behalf of all health care organizations in Norway. They are involved in almost all areas of specialist health care, such as IT equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical-technical equipment, medical and administrative consumables, and services such as temporary agents and flights. They lead the procurement projects, in close cooperation with specialist groups comprised of relevant professionals. Among other things, they carry out tenders and manage the contracts after they have been concluded. In Norway, they are the major purchaser of equipment, materials, goods and services. The health companies collectively buy goods, equipment and services for several billion NOK a year. Given the wide range of issues related to procurement, Sykehusinnkjøp HF invites master students to conduct research on aspects related to public procurement. Interesting topics include: 1. Collaborative public procurement of innovations 2. Management of complex procurement 3. Managing relationships between public procurement units and user departments 4. Use of positive incentive contracts in public procurement 5. Post-award contract management Sykehusinnkjøp HF will provide workspace in any of their offices across the country and will make their employees available for data collection (e.g. through surveys, interviews etc.).

Diverse topics in collaboration with Sykehusinnkjøp HF

2019_010

SCM

Deodat Mwesiumo

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Kristina Haavik

Operations in the oil and gas industry are associated with considerable hazards. Many incidents such as offshore collisions, oil spills, gas blowouts, etc., happen every year. Some of the incidents have relatively mild consequences, such as production losses due to facility downtime, whereas others may lead to harm to personnel, environmental damage, and other negative socio-political effects. The area of risk analysis and risk management studies the barriers aiming to prevent such incidents and reduce their consequences. One of the critical aspects crucial to preventing hazardous events is training the operators running and monitoring the processes. The students who are willing to choose this research direction for their master thesis will have to study how the personnel operating oil and gas facilities are trained and to collect statistical data regarding the incidents in particular country/area/region/company. Further, the students will use the modeling framework suggested by the standards IEC61508 and IEC61511 to determine the operator’s role in resolving incidents. Ultimately, the students will be required to study the details of operators’ training and their job routine to examine how the likelihood of incidents may be decreased by addressing the analysis of possible human errors. 

Risk analysis in oil and gas industry operations

2019_013

LA/OPT

Yuri Redutskiy

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Lubhit Gambhir

Many businesses in oil and gas industries are vertically integrated companies, meaning that the majority of interactions within this industry in a particular country or a region is the cooperation between the entities (subdivisions, subsidiaries, departments) of the same large company.  Due to the specifics of production and transportation infrastructures in the petroleum branch, as well as the physical properties of the goods, certain crucial aspects of these interactions along the entire chain from the hydrocarbons production sites to the distributions of the end-products to the customers must be properly coordinated. Such aspects cover processing and storage capacities, throughputs of transportation links, maintenance planning, and many others. The students who are willing to choose this research direction for their master thesis should narrow down their consideration of the oil and gas industry to addressing particular actors of a certain country/area/region/company. They will have to study the context the cooperation between the actors in the supply chain, as well as model the performance of each actor with respect to the identified relevant technological and logistical aspects. The students will ultimately develop a large-scale decision-making model to mobilize the flows in the infrastructures of a particular industrial branch in the most efficient way.

Coordination of operations in a vertically integrated oil and gas supply chain

2019_014

LA/OPT/SCM

Yuri Redutskiy

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Sahab Ali

The airline industry operates in an intensely competitive market where airline companies aim to provide the best services at lower costs. Various approaches have been developed in the literature, making the application of optimization techniques one of the most impressive success stories of operations research. These approaches solve the operations’ planning problems in a sequential or integrated procedure including mainly: schedule planning, fleet assignment, aircraft routing, and crew scheduling. These problems are usually modeled as deterministic mixed-integer programs and solved using optimization techniques. However, optimized schedules may be significantly affected by unpredictable disruptions, such as aircraft breakdowns, air-traffic, congestion, crew shortages, aircraft arriving late, and inclement weather conditions, which translate into delayed and canceled flights, and thereby additional profit loss.

 

In recent years, some attempts were made to build robust schedules that are less vulnerable to disruptions, and others considered the integration of two or more planning processes. The thesis will focus on the challenging and integrated problem of fleet assignment, aircraft routing, and crew pairing. The candidate will have to implement an existent mathematical formulation of the problem, as well as investigating new techniques to improve the performance of the solver.

 

 

This topic is suitable for a student with good programming skills in AMPL, and a willingness to learn more about airline transportation problems. The student will have to use available data obtained from a major airline company.

Robust integrated models for airline planning

2019_015

LA/OPT

Lars Magnus Hvattum

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Maryia Hryhoryeva

The majority of the extant literature on sustainable supply chains has primarily focused on issues in making supply operations environmentally friendly through the minimization of environment impact and fuel consumption to improve economic performance. At the same time, the concept of sustainability encompasses not only the environmental and economic dimensions but also the social impact of supply chain operations. The balancing of the three equally dimensions – economic, environmental, and social – has been identified as crucial in making management decisions and companies’ performance for achieving sustainability in supply operations. Although previous research on sustainable supply chain management (SCM) has advance the understanding of issues and possibilities of sustainable supply chains, there is, however, still to date, a significant shortfall in the literature regarding the social aspect of sustainability in SCM. This creates difficulty in measuring advances in sustainable SCM practices. The students who are interested in this field of knowledge should provide deeper insights into how organizations address the role of SCM as socially responsible and develop the social aspect in supply chain operations in real practice over time as a result of the interaction of supply chain operations, pressures of regulations and context. The thesis can also investigate how SCM can contribute to the needs of society and/or local communities. It is beneficial that the students find a company in their chosen sector to gather the data about how social responsibility principles evolve in the existing SCM practice and enable supply chains the social needs.

Social responsibility in sustainable supply chain management

2019_017

SCM

Antonina Tsvetkova

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Fahad Bin Khalid

Riffat Dinam

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 important. However, it still remains underexplored how the boundaries of environmental sustainability are to be pushed. Further, the circular economy is primarily concerned with material flows in economic systems through a paradigm shift in production philosophy. 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 to the circular economy concept? - Does a circular economy contribute to the vision of sustainable development? - How does a circular economy impact society and societal values? Each of these research questions can be addressed qualitatively and the candidate(s) will be encouraged to conduct a single case study or multiple case studies in order to reveal the adaptation of circular economy principles to SCM in real practice. A more specific problem definition will be done in cooperation with the company and the supervisor.

Circular economy vs. Sustainable supply chain management

2019_018

SCM

Antonina Tsvetkova

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Youssef Amr Mohamed Ali Nosseir

Offshore maritime logistics operations are essential in the value chain between the supply base and the offshore drilling and production units to ensure continuous offshore activities. Strategies that allocate and manage the bundle of appropriate resources and distinct competencies are required to gain a high level of functionality and make offshore operations both economically and technically resilient. The literature on resource allocation strategies mostly focuses on resource utilization as a measure of efficiency and operational effectiveness that should ensure a firm’s sustained competitive advantage. Supply chain operations engender resource heterogeneity due to their different capabilities and purpose of utilization. The amount of productive and strategic resources can be limited and scarce in relation to its demand. This, in turn, may result in shortfalls in resource utilization and resource allocation along the supply chain without a desirable combination of resources to subsequently increase their efficiency. Further, offshore logistics value has been recognized not only in cargo transportation but also in providing extra support regarding safety at sea, environmental considerations, and security standards according to the international regulations. Due to the complexity of offshore operational issues, the offshore logistics system should be constituted through the discovery and deployment of specific value-creating activities. However, the knowledge of how offshore logistics resources can facilitate value-creating activities is still very limited in the literature. So this thesis suggests focusing on resource allocation strategies and emergency response strategies within the development of offshore field projects. The students who are interested in this field of knowledge should provide deeper insights into how resource allocation strategies may contribute to the resilient development of the offshore field projects and facilitate value-creating activities to meet unforeseen challenges, mitigate the possibility of accidents and increase offshore operational effectiveness. The study can be addressed qualitatively and the candidate(s) will be encouraged to conduct a single case study or multiple case studies in order to reveal how resource allocation strategies and/or emergency response strategies within offshore logistics operations are implemented in real practice and developed over time as a result of the interaction between oil and gas field activities and context. A more specific problem definition will be done in cooperation with the company and the supervisor. It is also beneficial if the candidate(s) find a company in their chosen sector to gather empirical data.

Offshore logistics operations and emergency preparedness

2019_019

SCM

Antonina Tsvetkova

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Ane Kleiven

David Grahl

Engineer-To-Order (ETO) is a production approach where the customer is involved from the design to the delivery phases. That implies that the decoupling point (the point where the customer gets involved in defining the final product is at the design phase). However, ETO product are delivered through a close collaboration between a large network of suppliers. Some of these suppliers use also an ETO approach while others have different decoupling points in the way they deliver to the main project. The focus of this research is to analyze the existing variety of decoupling points within several ETO projects and how these differences affect the planning process. The students interested in this research will be part of a larger research project that is performed in collaboration with Ulstein Shipyard. For more details, contact kristina.kjersem@himolde.no

ETO Ullstien Verft

2019_21

SCM

Kristina Kjersem

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Pia Botterli

Malene Hammerstrøm

Analyze how lack of planning of purchasing activities influence the total cost of shipbuilding projects. The students interested in this research will be part of a larger research project that is performed in collaboration with Ulstein Shipyard. For more details, contactc kristina.kjersem@himolde.no.

Purschasing Shipyard

2019_22

SCM

Kristina Kjersem

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Kristian Granberg

Vetle Terland Nilsen

Materials and equipment received from suppliers are sometimes delivered with a packing list that is set up differently than the PO sent from the procurement division. That makes it challenging for the purchasers to register the invoice in the ERP-system. There are additionally different preferences for how detailed the packing lists should be, because technical department and production want as many details on the received components as possible for their work. Therefore, the idea is to find a balance where the purchaser is able to register the invoice, while at the same time provide sufficient information for the engineers. The students interested in this research will be part of a larger research project that is performed in collaboration with Ulstein Shipyard. For more details, contact kristina.kjersem@himolde.no

Purchasing analysis

2019_23

SCM

Krisitna Kjersem

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Simon Hustad

Sandra Hellesø

The new channels (eg web shopping) creates new channels for retailers in the way they are doing business. For example we-based shopping in more or less based on transactions, while the traditional shopping have a high degree of relation based in the business model. In this thesis the student may focus on: 1) Information flow and type of information in different channels 2) What consequences the new business models may have for the retailer 3) What kind of costs is connected to the different channels.

The research method will be a case study of four companies where the student(s) can do interviews as well as getting relevant numbers from the companies. This project is a corporation with DRIW. For more information contact: Steffen Larvoll steffen.larvoll@driw.no

Omni-channels: New business models and new channels

2019_26

Supply Chain Management

Steffen Larvoll

Field of Study:

Contact Details:

Selected By:

Syed Qasim Hussain

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