Fully funded PhD Studentship Dynamic pricing and scheduling to reduce carbon dioxide emissions



This is an exciting opportunity to undertake research into the developing field of global sourcing of Services.  The School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University invites excellent applications for the above PhD Studentship starting October 2013. 

The Studentship is open to home/EU and international/overseas students. It will run for 3 years and it includes:

A stipend of £13,726 p.a. plus fees paid at the home/EU rate

* Please note that due to funding restrictions international/overseas students will be required to find funding to cover the difference between home/EU fees.

About the project:

Many companies face the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emission and improving efficiency in their operations. In this research we consider a problem faced by companies that deliver maintenance and/or installation services. Such a company has a set number of resources available (e.g., engineers, vans) and has a commitment to try and meet customer demand.  In current practice, a large proportion of the resources’ time is spent on travelling between different locations, due to traffic jams and poor timing of the jobs, resulting high carbon dioxide emission and waste of resources. We propose using a dynamic pricing model to schedule the jobs so as to minimise the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the vehicle traveling. In particular we will be looking how to price to incentivise customers to choose their maintenance / installation times that help reducing carbon dioxide and better utilising resources, given the resources available, scheduled jobs and congestion period.

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We aim to collect raw data and analyse them using statistical techniques (e.g., regression, cluster analysis) to understand the relationship between variables, e.g., to understand customer purchasing behaviour, to identify how resources are being utilised at different periods of the day and which factors cause delays (e.g., traffic congestion on routes). Thereafter an optimisation model will be built using mathematical programming and further developed to include real-time demand learning by using reinforcement learning algorithms.

Supervisory team:

Professor Jiyin Liu, Professor of Operations Management

Dr Rupal Rana, Lecturer in Management Science

How to apply

Candidates are requested to submit:

  • An application form
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in, and aptitude for, the topic of this research project. In particular we would like to learn about:
  1. Why you are attracted to this particular research opportunity?
  2. What qualities you feel they can bring to the project?
  3. How does the studentship fit with you career aspirations?
  • A 2,000 word research proposal based on the topic of the research project. We ask you to specify a research question, clearly identify a gap in the academic literature and generally develop a roadmap for this research.
  • Two academic references.

For enquiries and details on how to apply please contact:

[email protected]

Please quote SBE Dynamic13 on your application. Studentship application deadline: 31st July 2013

For further details please contact: Professor Jiyin Liu ([email protected]) or Dr Rupal Rana ([email protected]).

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