2020-2021 Master Thesis Topics

2018_007

Field of Study:

Reconstructing and analyzing grocery shopping behavior in Norway

Transportation Economics

Contact Details:

Edoardo Marcucci

Problem Description: Grocery shopping is one of the most basic elements of consumer behavior. The thesis investigates the present grocery shopping activities in terms of their fundamental components: channel (on line, off-line), product categories, quantity and characteristics, frequency, motivations, etc. In particular, the issue of pick-up/delivery is investigated in depth to discover the transport and environmental issue related to this phenomenon. The analysis should also consider the socio-demographic characteristics of the consumers and correlate them to the main behavioral categories. The results of the research will be fundamental to define the status quo situation with respect to the upcoming changes in business model implementations that the major players (e.g. pure e-players, brick & mortar and Omni channel) are bringing on the market and to estimate their likely impact on congestion, environment and consumer welfare.

 

The candidate will have both to use the available data sources while also integrate them with primary data acquisition using ad-hoc developed questionnaires. The investigations should cover both end consumers’ behavior as well as retailers activities linked to the supplying of groceries.

2018_008

Field of Study:

The role of automated parcel lockers in e-commerce pickup/deliveries

Transportation Economics

Contact Details:

Edoardo Marcucci

Problem Description: Home deliveries are the preferred delivery option of online consumers but they are not sustainable in the long term. They are very expensive and increase freight traffic while not necessarily decreasing shopping travel. Deliveries to a locker in an automated parcel station (APS) could be a more sustainable alternative but this solution is not very popular. Only a small percentage of online consumers had at least one delivery delivered to such a locker in 2015. This thesis investigates: a) how citizens perceive this solution, b) what they like and dislike about it, c) how their perception depends on their location and availability, d) what is the role of ancillary services linked to this type of delivery. The candidate will have to define and carry out a filed survey to acquire the necessary data and elaborate them to determine the main drivers capable of explaining consumers’ perception of this delivery/pickup technique. The results derived will be useful to determine the relative attractiveness of the delivery/pickup technique with respect to various e-commerce-related items and, possibly, estimate the environmental, economic and financial implications this might have.

 

The goal is to provide support for decision making by offering a consumer perspective. From this perspective, the thesis should provide recommendations of how public procurement of parcel lockers can be conducted, in terms of developing specifications.

2018_009

Field of Study:

Analyzing and forecasting grocery shopping behavior in Norway

Transportation Economics

Contact Details:

Edoardo Marcucci

Problem Description: In the ICT age, E-grocery shopping becomes a realistic opportunity and affects consumers and retailers globally. With respect to this trend, one should try to predict how grocery shopping behaviour will change according specific items characterising this peculiar activity (e.g. what do I buy, how frequently I buy it, how close is the supermarket, how much does it cost me to get to the supermarket, which are the product available on-line, how easy is to get them delivered to my house, etc.) in Norway.

 

The thesis should focus on understanding the factors that account for variations in shopping behavior across households. The thesis will have to estimate the changes in a typical household grocery behavior pattern given a potential supply scenario (e.g. availability, under different conditions of home delivery services, click and pick services, automated parcel locker availability, etc.). The level of changes will need to consider: 1) buying frequency, 2) shopping chart composition; 3) mix of alternative channel choice in a given time unit (e.g. week, month, fortnight, etc.)

 

Additionally the thesis could/should also investigate the role the Public Administration can/will play in governing the process and avoiding the potential market coordination failures.

2018_020

Field of Study:

E-groceries, purhcasing behaviour and sentiment analysis

Urban freight transportation

Contact Details:

Edoardo Marcucci

Problem Description: The information age has increased the use of internet by people. At present, people have started to shop consistently online including groceries. The online stores provide different options for the shipment of goods such as pick up from a local store, pick up from a general point, and home delivery. During a purchase, many people post their opinions online in social media while companies also post different offers for online purchasing. This provides a lot of unexplored information which, when converted to knowledge will help to shape the logistical movement of the future. In short, the thesis is designed with the use of text mining concept to understand and predict the future of logistics movement in online grocery shopping.

2019_024

Field of Study:

Economic feasibility of the Northern Sea Route container shipping development

SCM

Contact Details:

Antonina Tsvetkova

Problem Description: From year to year, the traffic of goods between Europe and Asia rises, the need for a new route for transportation becomes more and more obvious. The new route should be competitive to the others and has its own competitive advantage. Nowadays an extra day of transportation can increase costs dramatically for trade companies, so it is necessary to develop a route, which has a short transportation period as the main advantage. The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is a challenging alternative. The thesis suggests estimating the costs of establishing a permanent transportation line along the NSR between East and West; calculating the operational costs for the line and comparing it to the route through the Suez Canal. The students who are interested in this field of knowledge should provide deeper insights into the economic feasibility of using the NSR by shippers for transit container shipping. 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

2020_001

Field of Study:

Digital transformation of the auditing process by utilization of knowledge on logistical operations -- Digital Signatures on Global Integrated Accounts

Logistics - information systems

Contact Details:

Bjørn Jæger

Problem Description

The topic is suggested by Abendum (https://abendum.io/)


Background: The Auditor collects audit evidence to give reasonable assurance as to whether a client's financial statements are free from material misstatement. To do this the auditor forms his/her own independent opinion based on information collected in the audit. Audited financial statements are deemed to be trusted. An auditor verifies financial information by checking receipts, invoices, bank statements and payment records as well as the timeline of the documents, since the time of a transaction and transfer of risk and control affects when revenue and expenses are recognized. Thus, a central activity for an auditor is the verification of records. Verification means "proving the truth" or "confirmation". To increase efficiency and quality, Audit Data Analytics (ADA) can be used. When using ADA, the trustworthiness of data points that the analytics is built upon is of high importance. Verification is time consuming and expensive since the auditor must contact persons, companies and banks to verify the records. The digitalization of logistics and supply chain operations gives transparency to the actual operations of a company, and since the financial statements are a result of logistical operations the new transparency can be used to automate the provision of strong evidence of financial records. Transparent operations will not only improve the documentation quality of the financial data, but also provide more and better structured non-financial data to be used in the audit risk assessment and ADA. Triple Entry Accounting is a new emerging technique that supports automated verification of integrated accounts, this achieved by both parties of a transaction digitally sign the underlying invoice or receipt. It extends the classical double entry bookkeeping by using a common shared & encrypted ledger in the form of the public blockchain, resulting in a triple entry accounting system. This system lowers costs by delivering reliable and supported accounting, it makes much stronger governance possible in a way that positively impacts on the future needs of corporate and public accounting. This master thesis will study how logistical information can contribute to verify financial records and provide relevant & reliable nonfinancial data by the use of Triple Entry Accounting. 


Problem: Auditors need too much time to gather sound evidence to form an opinion about the financial statements. Cross-border transactions are especially difficult to inquire for and authenticate. 


Solution: Currently manually handled invoices, receipts, vouchers, contracts etc. can be generated with a QR-code, facilitating for an easy on-chain digitally signed attestation from both parties of a commercial transaction by the use of a mobile phone. Plug-in integration with an Accounting/ ERP system can help automate the process for professionals. From an audit perspective, the solution gives solid evidence material for the completeness and validity of financial transactions. Both parties of a transaction can simply scan & authenticate themselves with the transaction. Even simpler with the Plug-in integration. 


Students: This thesis is suitable for students with knowledge of financial accounting, logistics and supply chain management and digital signatures. The thesis might be in cooperation with faculty and master students at Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). 


Advisors: Project Architect Torje Vingen Sunde torje@abendum.com, +47-975 01 075 


Supervisors: Associate Professor Bjørn Jæger bjorn.jager@himolde.no and Associate Professor Oddbjørn Sættem Oddbjorn.Sattem@hiMolde.no

2020_003

Field of Study:

Workforce planning and employee scheduling for processes run in remote locations

Logistics Analytics / Optimization

Contact Details:

Yury Redutskiy

Problem Description: The specifics of some industrial branches are associated with conducting operations in remote and unpopulated areas poorly accessible by transportation. In such areas, employees have to work shifts, i.e., travel from the bigger cities / industrial centers to the facility location and back. It leads to travel costs being a sizable share of the operational expenditures the companies are facing.  In some cases, a local subsidiary of the main company may be established, and local workforce may be hired and trained to operate the processes.  Operations run in such remote locations bring up a lot of workforce-related logistic challenges: staffing size required for running the operations, the necessary qualifications of the crews, shift work and vacations, a system of bonuses to reward the employees, challenges of establishing a subsidiary, and so on.  The students who are willing to choose this research direction for their master theses should narrow down their choice to a particular industrial sector and establish a cooperation with a company operating in a remote area. They will have to study the context of the company’s operations in detail. They will have to examine the relevant research in the area of employee scheduling to identify the workforce organization issues pertinent to the chosen context. Ultimately, the students will develop a mathematical model for employee scheduling covering all these crucial aspects.

2020_004

Field of Study:

Coordination of operations in a vertically integrated petroleum supply chain

Logistics Analytics / Optimization

Contact Details:

Yury Redutskiy

Problem Description: Many businesses in the petroleum sector 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 petroleum 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 decision-making model to mobilize the flows in the infrastructures of a particular industrial branch in the most efficient way.

2020_007

Field of Study:

Machine learning used to improve discrete simulation of underwater waste distribution in oceans

Discrete event simulation and machine learning

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description: For the purposes of collecting and disposing of plastic garbage and ghost fishing tools such as nets and traps, we aim to combine discrete event simulation and machine learning to predict where artefacts of various kinds are most likely to gather underwater. The problem is that manual inspection of vast areas of ocean space will require excessive cost for most corporations, municipalities and even nations. Combined techniques need to be applied to pinpoint the most likely locations, and machine learning may iteratively contribute to improve each simulation as data is collected from the designated sites using underwater drones. The result of the thesis work could be a concrete set of simulations for a concrete area of ocean, with intermediate steps between in which machine learning demonstrably was is applied to improve precision of the next search.

2020_008

Field of Study:

Visualization of waste creation, management, recycling and loss.

Logistics analytics

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description: Visualization of waste creation, management, recycling and loss is probably the most efficient way to prevent dangerous ocean pollution of plastic and chemical components. Creating a “digital twin” of selected industries’ conversion of raw materials into waste and products, and visualizing its distribution until it is “lost” from the existing business models, allows unclear responsibilities and innovative possibilities to be concretized, in order for waste to be recaptured and new sustainable business models to be established. This research ought to produce a compelling visualization of materials conversion and waste flows for one or two most relevant industry partners, for instance aquaculture or oil & gas, which is assessed in a workshop resulting in new or extended business models. Current estimates of the amount and location of floating, semi-floating and sinking debris in the oceans are highly variable, and this research project should also be used to narrow downs the scope toward the ones that are probably, from the ones that are overly speculative.

2020_009

Field of Study:

Legislation and law for the supply chain of ocean waste

Supply chain management

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description: There is a common understanding of excessive pollution of the world’s oceans. The equivalent of a 54 000 meter tall skyscraper made out of waste is allegedly tipped into the oceans every year. Once it ends in the ocean, it is hardly retrievable. This project seeks out which contractual obligations commonly exist between parties of the supply chain which transforms raw materials into services and consumer products. The objective is to point out the need for more definitive legislation, regulation and enforcing of obligations to recover waste, and distribute the cost fairly in a model of the supply chain.

2020_010

Field of Study:

A sustainable business model innovation for drones used in ocean waste collection

Supply chain management

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description:  It is currently highly unlikely that the world’s oceans can be searched, and waste retrieved in any efficient manner using traditional vessels. The spaces are vast. Unless on beaches and in gyres, it is hardly visible in spite of its total volume. In gyres, albeit characterized as islands of debris, the concentration of plastic can vary from 100 down to 10 kilograms per square kilometers which means that recovering it, would require an immense financial investment if it were to be centralized. Decentralizing monitoring, identifying and collecting debris in local waters, however, seems technically and financially feasible, except that there is no scalable business model or motivation that is broadly compelling enough to encourage every citizen to deploy probes and drones to contribute to the global chore. Thus, this master project sets out to explore and exploit peer funding and sharing economy models as an alternative paradigm, to sustain totally decentralized collection of debris from fjords and oceans using nano-underwater drones. The complete value proposition needs to be assessed and a strategy for long-term supply chain development proposed to deal with the environmental challenges.

2020_011

Field of Study:

Sustainable city development and citizen participation

Logistics

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description: Smart city development project have become commonplace, and most employ what is popularly known as “the quadruple helix”. This master research project empirically examines previous and ongoing smart city projects, to find out of the design thinking of citizens actually manage to become the voice of the city and it inhabitants, compared to the systematic planning made by the municipality’s politicians and bureaucrats. The project will operationalize what makes cities “smart”, and suggest, if possible, a better approach to future sustainable cities planning.

2020_012

Field of Study:

Sports from the doorstep, spectator or participant

Logistics

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description: In most cities, amusements are mainly structured and systematic, even when there are possibilities to enjoy them freely from almost everybody’s doorstep. This creates travelling patterns, which may have to be changed in order for cities to become more human- and environmentally friendly. For instance, running can be performed virtually everywhere, but a large number of people travel to the gym to run on a treadmill. Horses might have had more space and attention of their owners in their owners’ gardens and yards, than they have in rented stables, still most owners travel far by car to see their horses. Climbing centres indoor replicate structures that are freely found outside, creating a need for transport, parking, utilities such as ventilation, electricity and water, etc.  In both an environmental and a health-and well-being perspective, could other sports take back their natural arenas in ways similar to parkour and skateboarding, rather than continuing to optimize convenient execution of swimming, downhill cycling and the simulated experience of climbing trees in a ”park”, at the cost of common and flexible cityscapes? What are the better trade-offs between our transport systems, places of living and the sports with which we engage? This thesis project explores the limits of de-industrializing sport.

2020_013

Field of Study:

Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Supplier Risk Management

Logistics and IT

Contact Details:

Alok Mishra

Problem Description: Supplier and supply-chain risk management has risen up the agenda as business has become faster moving, more complex and global. AI will help organisations to make sense of the huge amount of data and information available and that could help in terms of risk management. AI can be used in supplier risk management to monitor and identify potential risk positions across the supply chain. For example, Risk methods identifies new and emerging supply chain risk events by handling data gathered from different sources, helping to identify emerging risks faster. Data analysis and making decisions on time will facilitate organizations in best decision making and in saving time and cost in its operations. There are many approaches to be considered for instance Petri nets, multi-agent systems, automated reasoning and machine learning etc.

2020_014

Field of Study:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Adoption in Vendor Management

Logistics and IT

Contact Details:

Alok Mishra

Problem Description: the use of AI in procurement and supply chain management is still in the early stages. AI in vendor management has great potential. In procurement it can provide a more modern, more effective, and intelligent technique of streamlining business processes. It can help in greater automation of procurement tasks, better visibility, strategic sourcing, etc. AI tools that will indeed start to impact on these issues – strategic sourcing and supplier management, identifying innovation in the supply chain, and true supply chain risk management.

2020_015

Field of Study:

Digitalization and AI in Contract Management

Logistics and IT

Contact Details:

Alok Mishra

Problem Description: Contracting is a common activity, but it is one that few companies do efficiently or effectively. In fact, it has been estimated that inefficient contracting causes firms to lose between 5% to 40% of value on a given deal, depending on circumstances. But recent technological developments like Digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) are now helping companies overcome many of the challenges to contracting. AI is likely to play a role at every stage of the contract management process. It is already being used to search the existing contracts in organisations for terms and conditions that may carry a risk for the buyer. It will also support the drawing up of new contracts, suggesting appropriate clauses and conditions. Then AI will identify the information needed from the supplier to manage the contract and performance, and ensure this is captured, recorded and reported. And there will be no risk of missing key dates such as a notice to terminate – AI will provide calendar alerts.

2020_016

Field of Study:

Software Services for the Circular Economy

Logistics and IT

Contact Details:

Alok Mishra

Problem Description: Natural resources are finite and when we junk electrical items such as mobile phones, white goods and other technological devices, it releases toxic waste into the atmosphere. Most of the component parts are not bio-degradable, meaning they sit on top of the earth rather than being broken down and absorbed back into the ecosystem. Biological ecosystems already operate on a cyclical basis and experts believe that humanity needs to adopt this same approach in order to reduce the impact our current throw-away culture is having on the environment. We need to operate in an economy that priorities the principles of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ rather than ‘take, make and dispose.’ “If the production model is based on the circular economy, then you only produce what you know you can recycle… It works on planet Earth in the ecosystem.

Software supports circular economy; at the same time the instruments of circular economy serve as tools for circular software development.  Digitization, Big Data and other software solutions mainly as enablers for circular economy. For many of these business models, software is very valuable – because it is about decoupling the required use from the need of additional resources. Knowing exactly what materials and components the products are made of is becoming increasingly important. Only in this way can the individual components be reused or recycled.  This work will explore different ways, models, frameworks and strategies in this regard.

2020_017

Field of Study:

Management of the Digital Transformation in Logistics Sector

Logistics, Management, IT

Contact Details:

Alok Mishra

Problem Description: The path to increased operational efficiency and customer satisfaction lies in the digitalization of logistics sector. Efficiency, optimization, speed and timing have always been critical in logistics and transportation. Today, amidst a range of accelerating evolutions and in an increasingly digital environment where digitalization are affecting the next revolution of industry, and moving towards Industry 4.0. There are many challenges in this digitalization process. Speed and time are always challenges in logistics and crucial towards competitive advantage and real-time economy. In the era of digital business, with evolution of new business models management of digitalization will contribute a major role towards customer-service, information management, data-driven manufacturing and marketing in the logistic sector.

2020_018

Field of Study:

Inventory management under uncertainty for Deep Sea Mooring

logistics analytics

Contact Details:

Lars Magnus Hvattum

Problem Description: Deep Sea Mooring specializes in renting out mooring equipment for mobile offshore rigs and other floating installations. The company has three main bases where the equipment is stored: outside of Bergen, Norway, in Aberdeen, Scotland, and in Australia. The equipment includes thousands of components such as e.g. anchors, chains, swivels, buoys, and wires, and due to being very specialized equipment, both the value of the equipment and the cost of moving the equipment are very high.

The demand for equipment changes over time: the customers moves their rigs around, and the equipment needed depends on the time of the year and the depths of the waters. It can be difficult to predict when a rig is going to move, and hence the time when a customer will require the equipment to be changed. In addition, the equipment requires regular inspection and maintenance, and may need to obtain a certification for continued use, or to be replaced by investing in new equipment.

An interesting challenge for Deep Sea Mooring is to decide how much equipment should be stored at each base. Having too large inventories is costly and should be avoided. However, failing to supply the customers with the equipment needed has severe consequences, leading to a potential loss of a valuable customer or the need to rent equipment from competitors to cover the demand.

The company wants to examine strategies for forecasting future demands (which aspects of the future demand can be predicted, and which aspects are important when making decisions), and research whether this can be used to make good decisions regarding how much equipment to keep at each base. Equipment can to some extent be shipped between bases, but this is also very costly and time consuming.

For this topic, we are looking for students that are interested in the combination of simulation and optimization, potentially dealing with large and rich historical data sets. Good programming skills, or an interest and ability to learn, are required.

Contact: Professor Lars Magnus Hvattum


External contact: Kai Roger Nilsen, Deep Sea Mooring, http://deepseamooring.com/

2020_025

Field of Study:

Blockchain-traced seafood in the supply chain

Logistics - information systems

Contact Details:

Bjørn Jæger

Problem Description


Background: The World   Economic Forum announced that Blockchain could be a major contributor to the   jobs market and stimulate economic growth towards 2030 (WEF 2020). The report   highlights both economic and sustainability initiatives, where implementing   Blockchain can help to drive “nature-positive” solutions following the   COVID-19 outbreak. A key Blockchain use is within the food sector to reduce   food waste and increase food safety through supply chain transparency and   traceability. Solutions for the seafood are beginning to appear: DNV-GL News   (2019), IBM Food Trust (2020) and SeafoodChain (2020). 


Problems: What are the   unique properties of blockchain-traced seafood and how will they impact the   seafood supply chain? 


Approach: Explore the blockchain technology and how it   affects the supply chain operations. Students This thesis is suitable for   students with knowledge of logistics and supply chain management and digital   technologies. The thesis might be in cooperation with UNISOT.com. 


Advisor:   Please contact Associate Professor Bjørn Jæger bjorn.jager@himolde.no 


Literature:

DNV-GL News (2019) Blockchain can revitalize trust in seafood industry by   boosting transparency, https://www.dnvgl.no/news/blockchain-can-revitalize-trust-in-seafood-industry-by-boosting-transparency-142622?

gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1Zqq59be6wIVQRV7Ch1WUgZKEAAYAiAAEgIoWfD_BwE  IBM Food Trust (2020). A new era for the world’s food supply.

https://www.ibm.com/sg-en/blockchain/solutions/food-trust  

SeafoodChain (2020) https://seafoodchain.no/  

WEF (2020). The Future Of Nature And Business, World Economic Forum http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Future_Of_Nature_And_Business_2020.pdf

2020_026

Field of Study:

Follow the waste of electrical and electronic equipment

Logistics - information systems

Contact Details:

Terje Andersen

Problem Description: 


Background: The amount of   waste from electrical and electronic equipment are increasing (Andersen,   Jæger & Mishra 2020). There is a growing need to implement circular   economy solutions ideally replacing the waste. Problems: It is only limited   knowledge on the actual reverse supply chain of electrical waste. In order to   move towards a circular economy, there is a need for information of waste   flow. 


Approach: Explore the flow of waste by a case study following the waste   through the reverse supply chain in a Lean Gemba Walk approach used for the   extended supply chain. 


Students: This thesis is suitable for students with   knowledge of logistics and supply chain management. 


Advisor: Please contact   PhD student Terje Andersen terje.andersen@himolde.no  


References: Andersen, T., Jæger, B., & Mishra, A. (2020). Circularity in   Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. Comparison of a   Manufacturer’s Danish and Norwegian Operations. Sustainability, 12(13), 5236.   (See also references within this paper)

2020_027

Field of Study:

Evalueringsmodell – poengsetting av pris versus prissetting av kvalitet

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Deodat Mwesiumo

Problem Description: 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"

2020_028

Field of Study:

Sammenheng mellom formålet i anskaffelsesregelverket og resultatene fra anskaffelsene

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Deodat Mwesiumo

Problem Description: This research problem is given by The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), an organization that administers a third of the national budget through schemes such as unemployment benefit, work assessment allowance, sickness benefit, pensions, child benefit and cash-for-care benefit. The problem is presented as received: "Er det funnet sammenheng mellom formålet i anskaffelsesregelverket og resultatene fra anskaffelsene, og for hvilke formål i anskaffelsesregelverket ser en størst effekt gjennom anskaffelsene?"

2020_029

Field of Study:

Hvordan offentlige oppdragsgivere kan få til innovasjon i kontraktsperioden

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Deodat Mwesiumo

Problem Description: This research problem is given by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), which is an organization that administers a third of the national budget through schemes such as unemployment benefit, work assessment allowance, sickness benefit, pensions, child benefit and cash-for-care benefit. The problem is presented as received: "Hvordan offentlige oppdragsgivere kan få til innovasjon i kontraktsperioden?"

2020_030

Field of Study:

Anskaffelsesregelverket og formåls- og kostnadseffektivitet

Supply Chain Management

Contact Details:

Deodat Mwesiumo

Problem Description: This research problem is given by 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: "På hvilken måte har anskaffelsesregelverket bidratt til formåls- og kostnadseffektivitet og hvordan måler man dette?"

2020_032

Field of Study:

Contracting strategies for stimulating technological innovation in the public transport sector

Transport/contracting

Contact Details:

Lisa Hansson

Problem Description: The thesis proposal is linked to the ongoing research project “Innovation and technological change in public transport markets” (Lund University, Malmö University, VTI and HiMolde are academic partners). The public transport area is currently facing/undergoing rapid innovation changes (electrification, automation, micro mobility, cash-free ticket systems etc). At the same time, operations are largely framed by extensive procurement processes and long contracting periods, as well as mature markets with a few large tenderers. There is a tension between the rapid technological development on the one hand, and the stability given by the form of procurement on the other hand. The thesis will focus on contracting (public procurement) strategies that are used for stimulating technological innovation in the public transport sector. 

Example of themes (will be further developed in discussion with supervisor and student/s): What strategies are transport authorities using to stimulate innovation in procurement settings? How is innovation included in the contract design? Are some contracting designs more or less effective in relation to stimulate technological innovation? 

The project can take on an in-depth case study design (for example analyzing two or three procurement processes/transport authorities), or a broader comparative design, covering contracting structures linked to public transport innovation in different countries.

2020_033

Field of Study:

Urban transportation in the sharing economy: drivers and challenges for sustainable development

SCM

Contact Details:

Antonina Tsvetkova

Problem Description: Increased urbanization has transformed freight and passenger transportation within urban areas into a challenge. Urban transportation is a lifeline for citizens, urban retailers, and industries. Still, it has a significant negative impact on the quality of life in urban areas in terms of congestion, emissions and space consumption. Urban logistics initiatives have long suggested the need for collaborative and environmentally friendly urban transportation, which could mitigate the negative effects of urban transportation. However, they face organizational and technological problems of collaboration. 

Recent research suggests that the sharing economy principles give hope green and affordable urban transport (Cassetta et al., 2017; Vazifeh et al., 2018) that addresses only environmental and economic concerns for achieving sustainability. However, the social aspect of sustainability remains poorly understood. So this thesis suggests focusing on how urban passenger transportation incorporates the sharing economy principles and what possible effects of implementing these principles for city governance. 

The study can be addressed qualitatively, and the candidate(s)will be encouraged to conduct a single case study or multiple case studies to reveal how the sharing economy principles facilitate the sustainable development of urban transportation with a particular focus on the social dimension. 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.

2020_034

Field of Study:

Social responsibility in sustainable Supply chain management

SCM / Sustainability

Contact Details:

Antonina Tsvetkova

Problem Description: 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 environmental 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 advanced 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.

2020_036

Field of Study:

Environmental footprint consequences of using more marine ingredients for feeding in aqua culture

Informatics, sustainability, smart cities and innovation, mobile IT, autonomous vehicles and embedded/ubiquitous computing, information systems development

Contact Details:

Steinar Kristoffersen

Problem Description: There is an ambition to greatly increase the capacity of the Norwegian aqua culture sector. The Norwqegian innovation system, epecially the TTOs (technology transfer offices) currently work together the double the salmon stocks several times over, which means that new feed ingredients are called for. One alternative is meso-pelagic spieces, such as Maurolicus muelleri ("laksesild", or pearlside). 


The problem is that albeit the marine stocks of pearlside are massive, its role in the ecosystem is less understood. Moreover, it is troublesome to harvest, since it spoils easily, the waste blocks equipment and pumps and onshore the strains and sorting usually is too couarsly calibrated. In addition, the harvesting season falls alongside more profitable spiecies to catch for the ship owners. 


We aim in this project to be assembling the equations needed to model the alternative fisheries, stabilizing catches, keeping and sorting the resources, etc. opposite the benefits of increased yields froma aqua culture in order to calculate precisely the environmental footprint consequences of using more marine ingredients for feeding in aqua culture. The results may contribute to revolutionize the entire industry, not only in terms of realizing its growth potential, but also to indicate limitations and possibilities of alternative means of farming, such as on-shore farms or offshore floating barges.


motivating problem: Some marine resources seem plentiful for a great increase of aqua culture yields in Norway. However, as long as the environmental footprint is unknown, the required supply  chain will not be supported by the stakeholders. This research aim to be making a unique contribution towards formally modelling and quantifying the environmental impact of  marine harvesting, using logistical methods.

2020_037

Field of Study:

Offshore logistics operations and emergency preparedness

Offshore logistics / Emergency preparedness

Contact Details:

Antonina Tsvetkova

Problem Description: 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.

2020_038

Field of Study:

The reliability of helicopter medical services and response times in Norway (or any other context): a strategic perspective on emergency preparedness operational logistics

SCM / Emergency preparedness

Contact Details:

Antonina Tsvetkova

Problem Description: Emergency preparedness operational logistics is a new field of knowledge that includes planning, implementation, strategic resource allocation, and reliable response times when any emergencies and/or incidents occur. It has been identified as a knowledge gap that there is little research on the emergency response actors' performance and response time. In recent years, the air ambulance has become a vital emergency medical resource in minimizing the differences in health services between central and peripheral regions. As the hospitals' emergency preparedness schemes change, it seems like patients’ need for prompt medical treatment will increasingly be dependent on ambulance helicopters. 


The students who are interested in this topic should provide deeper insights into how reliable the helicopter is in a particularly difficult to reach area. The placement of emergency medical services is critical strategic decisions that can have a significant impact on the quality of medical assistance to the population. The topic suggests focusing on logistics operations in emergency situations and medical service preparedness to reduce the population's skepticism about reorganizing the local hospitals. 


The study can be addressed qualitatively. The candidate(s) will be encouraged to conduct a single case study or multiple case studies to reveal how emergency preparedness and response operations are managed and developed in highly complex environments. A more specific problem definition will be done in cooperation with the company and the supervisor.

2020_040

Field of Study:

A Novel Approach for Airline Fleeting and Routing with Revenue Management Considerations

Quantitative Logistics

Contact Details:

Mohamed Ben Ahmed

Background: Fleet assignment and aircraft routing are two sequential steps in airline planning. The fleet assignment problem (FAP) matches aircraft types to flight legs in the airline’s network to maximize the total expected profit while fulfilling operational restrictions on passenger demand, fleet composition, and aircraft seat capacities. The aircraft routing model generates a route for each aircraft to ensure that the route-specific requirements for maintenance and connection times are satisfied.


Problem Description: However, it is known that the sequential approach is not able to maximize the total profit and often result in suboptimal problems. Some attempts were made to build aircraft schedules by considering integrating two or more planning processes (Hryhoryeva, Maryia, Master thesis, 2020). The model described here uses a path-based estimation of the revenue while ignoring the leg interdependency of revenues, caused by multi-leg itineraries. However, the benefits of integrating modeling revenue management in fleeting models are crucial when solving both airlines fleeting and routing. In this research, a novel model and solution approaches are proposed for assigning a fleet for fulfilling path-based demand while explicitly accommodating a nested seat allocation policy.


Outcome: After completion of the project, the master student is expected to: 1)express familiarity with the following topics: (i) Aircraft fleeting and routing, (ii) Revenue Management, (iii) Seat-inventory control problem, (iv) Nested and non-nested allocations, (v) Single-leg seat-inventory control problem (vi) Network multi-seat inventory control problem (very briefly). 2) Write a literature review on fleet assignment models with revenue management. 3) Formulate and solve a model of the Airline Fleeting and Routing Problem with Revenue Management Considerations.


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


Advisors: Prof. Lars Magnus Hvattum, Prof. Mohamed Haouari, and PhD fellow Mohamed Ben Ahmed.

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