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Dynamics in Logistics: First Graduate Leaves International Graduate School

26.06.2008 - (idw) Universität Bremen

The "International Graduate School for Dynamics and Logistics" at the University of Bremen takes First Positive Stock / Continues to Optimise Excellent Curriculum Bremen, the International Graduate School for Dynamics in Logistics (IGS) at the University of Bremen was officially inaugurated in April 2006. It took up its work with ten graduates and one scientist as managing director. Today, seventeen graduates from eleven countries do research in the interdisciplinary graduate programme -- and the first graduate received her doctorate just now: Salima Delhoum from Algeria.

Delhoum studied operation research in Algiers, a branch of applied mathematics which may be compared with the German study course "industrial engineering". After an excellent final degree, she received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a joint institution of the German universities and their student bodies initiated for the purpose of establishing international relationships. This is how the young woman came to Germany in April 2004, first completing her German language knowledge in Frankfurt and then, five months later, starting research for her doctoral thesis at the University of Bremen -- at a time when the infrastructure of IGS was in a state of early development.

The doctoral candidates are concerned with the aspect of dynamics in logistic processes and networks: from identification and modelling up to a future-viable learning laboratory for experts in logistics. This is what Delhoum elaborated in the scope of her thesis. She studied decision-making patterns and, based on them, developed qualification measures such as learning laboratories, i.e. real scenarios in which teams learn to learn together.

Interdisciplinary, practice-oriented research at an excellent logistics location

At the University of Bremen, the IGS graduates are supervised by eight professors in an interdisciplinary manner that reaches beyond the competence of single institutions. The departments of physics/electrical engineering, mathematics/informatics, production engineering, and economical sciences cooperate in the Bremen Research Cluster for Dynamics in Logistics (short: LogDynamics). Contributions are made, apart from IGS, by the Collaborative Research Centre "Autonomous Cooperating Logistic Processes -- A Paradigm Shift and Its Limitations" (CRC 637) as well as the "LogDynamics Lab", a demonstration and application centre for mobile technologies in dynamic logistic structures.

Research cooperation on site already exemplifies the broad spectrum of IGS qualification. In addition, there are the numerous contacts with industry, not just with the companies at the upsurging logistics location Bremen. "Progress made in science and the development of technology is nowadays often created at the interfaces between the science disciplines and by the cooperation of basic research with the fields of practical application," says Professor Dr. Ing. Bernd Scholz-Reiter. He is managing director of Bremen's Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH (BIBA), speaker of CRC 637 and IGS. "Controlling the dynamic aspects is of global significance to successful production and transportation logistics. It safeguards strategic competition advantages," says Scholz-Reiter.

After nearly three years of IGS work: first summary and new ideas

Graduate School management is established at BIBA. This is where IGS manageress Dr. Ing. Ingrid Rügge has her office too. She took over management in the summer of 2007 from Dr. Ing. Renate Klempien-Hinrichs who was among those who had built up IGS. "The IGS concept has basically proven to be successful -- with regard to both contents and structure", says Rügge, "now we have to improve the details based on our experience." Consequently, she is currently contemplating about organizational changes and reviews the concept. "By now we have seen where we have to optimise. Above all, we want to extent structured student guidance," Rügge mentions as one of her goals. "In the future we will be able to respond better to the individual needs of the doctoral candidates." The increasing shortage of staff is a permanent problem we are facing," says Rügge and remarks that this will probably not change. Her new concept is supposed to make up for the shortcoming to some extent. "We keep on trying to ascertain the best possible guidance despite the steady increasing workload of the scientists involved."

Doctorate at the International Graduate School

The IGS programme addresses internationally high-qualified scientists up to 28 years of age working in the areas of engineering, life sciences and social sciences, who want to dedicate their work competence to a application-oriented interdisciplinary subject. Conditional for IGS admission is an over-average master degree in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics or economics, which is acknowledged by German universities, as well as a specific idea for a doctoral thesis subject. IGS is currently financed with funds of the University of Bremen, individual scholarships from industry, and DAAD support programmes.

The graduates at the University of Bremen can expect a structured training programme leading to a doctorate including seminars and lectures held in English, intercultural cooperation, and individualised guidance concept. The curriculum covers a period of three years. Apart from the actual doctoral project in the graduate's specific discipline, it comprises collective thematic introductions, interdisciplinary colloquia, dialogue forums with the industry, requirement-related coaching, and seminars specific to the specialist fields. The graduates are required to submit annual interim reports. After the first year, they have to pass a research-oriented intermediate exam.

The doctoral candidates of IGS are integrated into disciplinary research groups where they receive individual guidance and supervision. In addition, mentors from other research areas will stand at their sides as well as the IGS manager when it comes to the interdisciplinary and intercultural subjects. The continual communication between IGS graduates and university scientists provides many opportunities to exchange experiences and establish contacts. IGS not only encourages such partnerships it supports them to the best of its ability.

(Sabine Nollmann)

Attention editorial staff: Photographs are available at the press office of the university or IGS.

More information and contact:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Scholz-Reiter (IGS Speaker)
Telephone: +49 (0) 421 218-55 76
Dr.-Ing. Ingrid Rügge (IGS Management)
Telephone: +49 (0) 421 218-56 39
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