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Centre for Sustainable Supply Chain Innovation (SSI)

Prof. dr. Jos van Hillegersberg, Prof. dr. Henk Zijm, Dr. Martijn Mes, Dr. Maria Iacob


SSI conducts internationally leading interdisciplinary research focused at the design and implementation of sustainable innovation of global supply chains. SSI is achieved by enhancing and implementing breakthrough ICT, operations and coordination methods for planning and control, and organizational theories in complex multi-actor settings. SSI conducts research projects following design science and action based research methods, with a strong foothold in Operations Research and Information Systems, while closely collaborating with industry, knowledge institutes and government agencies. Projects are conducted in both national and global networks, bringing together engineering, ICT, operations management and governance and business disciplines. We focus on projects that have substantial impact on innovating practice/society while at the same time contributing significantly to the international scientific knowledge base. Our innovative methods include algorithm design, large scale simulations, serious games, architecture modeling and distributed systems engineering.

Research Agenda and Scientific Goals

The overarching challenge in the next decades will be to design supply chains that meet future economic, environmental and social requirements, in short that are “people, planet, profit” oriented. We focus on the following themes (see also the agenda of the EU ETP for Logistics):

1. Supply Chain Consolidation and Coordination

Major challenges concern the design of an appropriate information architecture, methods for planning and control in view of many uncertainties, and business and governance models that respect the role of individual stakeholders and define appropriate allocation and revenue sharing mechanisms. Recent developments in smart RFID and mesh networks allow us to study a new class of business analytics to improve supply chains.

2. Hubs, corridors and Synchromodality

Hubs serve as nodes in complex transport networks and have to operate efficiently to minimally disrupt transport flows. The fact that many (often competing) operators have to make use of the same infrastructure can be addressed by the design of multi-agent architectures and distributed planning systems in such nodes.

3. Urban Logistics and e-commerce

The ongoing urbanization and the limited possibilities to re-design the physical infrastructure of cities and metropolises calls for optimal exploitation of space by smart logistics planning and control, as well as smart mobility. The rapid penetration of e-commerce has deepened the logistic problems faced, and calls for radical solutions.


4. Service and Closed Loop Supply Chains

Service supply chains are dedicated towards the aftermarket support process, in particular to all the logistics and maintenance needed to guarantee optimal operation of an installed base. Remote monitoring, diagnostics and sometimes even maintenance, based on proper sensor networks, enable the shift from corrective to preventive (i.e. from unplanned to planned) maintenance.

5. ICT architectures for Supply Chain management

A sound information architecture forms the basis in modern supply chain engineering, where the often multi-actor environment poses enormous challenges. Our research in semantic standards, pluggable software service architectures, sensor data and big data business analytics is aimed at addressing the future challenges in a sustainable way.

Core Researchers



Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS)

Prof. dr. Jos van Hillegersberg

Business information systems, Multi-agent systems

Prof. dr. Henk Zijm

Manufacturing systems, supply chain management, material handling systems, project planning, maintenance systems

Dr. Martijn Mes

Logistics, Transportation, Simulation, Multi-agent systems, Stochastic optimization

Dr. Ahmad Al Hanbali

Service logistics, manufacturing systems, traffic management, inventory management in supply chains

Dr. Maria Iacob

Enterprise architecture, business process management, SOA, Model-driven development, Cloud computing

Dr. Chintan Amrit

Business Intelligence and Data Mining, Social Network Analysis

Dr. Matthieu van der Heijden

Service logistics, Inventory management in supply chains, transportation management

Dr. Peter Schuur

Warehousing, Supply chain management, transportation management

Dr. Marco Schutten

Production planning and scheduling, Vehicle routing, Materials handling systems

Services, Cyber security, Safety (SCS)

Dr. Marten van Sinderen

Service Science, Service architectures, Model driven systems development