You were recently awarded the Venia Docendi by the Johannes Kepler University in the subject business administration. This academic examination procedure constitutes the supreme discipline in science. What did you work on in terms of content?
I deal with the influence of information uncertainty and randomness on the management of production and logistics.
Please illustrate this by means of an example.
I investigate, for example, how uncertain customer information affects the lot size to be produced. The method underlying this research question is the analytical modeling of stochastic production systems.
Another question is how the impact of forecast errors is “weakened“ by a hierarchical planning structure. Here, the simulation of production and logistics systems is the focus of my scientific work. We have implemented this forecast error analysis in practice at ZF Steyr.
How did you get started in research?
This started in 2005 while I was studying Production and Management alongside working for Profactor where I also wrote my diploma thesis. After completing my diploma I joined the University of Applied Sciences OÖ, campus Steyr. Here I carried out an initial orientation phase in order to find out for myself which topics I could identify myself with in the long term. I then started my doctoral thesis in autumn 2007 and enrolled at the University of Vienna with Professor Minner. The resulting research collaboration - Professor Minner has since moved to the Technical University of Munich – has continued to this day. I completed my PhD thesis in early 2011…
…in 2011 you became a professor at FH Upper Austria Steyr Campus!
Yes, you could say that as a researcher I have followed a textbook career path. The professorship at the course of studies Production and Operations Management followed shortly after completing my doctorate in the autumn.
What are you working on at the moment?
A project that has just started is called “Material and Capacity Requirements Planning.“ We are investigating the MCRP approach further. This approach integrates the capacity planning directly into the MRCP-run whereby the determined production orders are more easily integrated into the available capacity. Dynamic transition times are also determined for scheduling in addition to the constant schedule transition times depending on the workload of existing orders and holdings.
I also teach in the areas of product planning, production management and simulation. I like to make sure that I integrate my research results into my lectures in order to offer students up-to-date knowledge. In addition to my teaching and research activities, I also work as a reviewer for a number of highly respected scientific journals such as the European Journal of Operational Research, the International Journal of Production Economics and the International Journal of Production Research.
Do you have a message you would like to pass on to young scientists for their career path?
It is important to continually work on your own research work so that the publication pipeline is always filled. Furthermore, tight time discipline and very high self-motivation are essential in order to create a path into the world of science.