PhD SCHOLARSHIP: “Collaborative and decentralised farming value chain planning under uncertainty in global and local agriculture production systems”, at University of Liverpool
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
About This PhD Project
Project Supervisor contact
Dr. Jorge Hernandez
Dr. Edoardo Patelli
PLEASE APPLY ONLINE via the above-mentioned website TO THE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, PROVIDING THE PROJECT TITLE, NAME OF THE PRIMARY SUPERVISOR AND SELECT THE PROGRAMME CODE "EGPR" (PHD - SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING)
The studentship is granted for 4 years and includes, in the first year, a Master in Decision Making under Risk & Uncertainty. The project includes extensive collaboration with prime industry to build an optimal basis for employability.
Uncertainty in agriculture is an aspect that has been present since the word agriculture has existed. This is mainly due to uncontrollable variables (e.g. weather, pests and diseases, volatile market conditions and commodity prices) that require risk informed decision-making. Hence, those risks have to be analysed, quantified and mitigated on-time, to avoid or prevent catastrophic consequences across the farming production process and, as a domino effect, across the whole agriculture value chain (e.g. farmers, suppliers, customers, agriculture production systems, transportation, food quality and security and local economies).
Farmers usually react to these high uncertain conditions by making decisions in a reasoned way, which is frequently based on their experience and traditional knowledge. Therefore, providing optimal and robust decisions still remains an open challenge for researchers and practitioners. For instance, decentralised and collaborative solutions might turn into acceptable solutions, especially to support farming production planning systems within high uncertainty. Nevertheless, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of agribusiness production systems is not an easy task and solutions must also consider external requirements and constraints (e.g. regulatory, physical risks, the full life cycle of agricultural products).
The modelling of risk in farming production systems requires the right understanding of how uncertainty impacts on the system, especially where decisions are to be made. This research project will focus on supporting collaborative and decentralised farming value chain planning under uncertainty, in global and local agriculture production systems. In connection with this, the H2020 European Project, RUC-APS (www.ruc-aps.eu), will provide access to agriculture value chain information from the seed genetic design process, going through the forecasting, planning and replenishments of planting and harvesting processes, to end-customers. This will be used to model, simulate and analyse several agriculture-based value chain decision-making scenarios and to understand the uncertainty and main risk implications by using in-house software for uncertainty quantification as well as linear programming models and multi-agent systems. Thus, this high impact research project will focus on integrating real-life based agriculture requirements, providing alternative land management scenarios, coping with unexpected weather and environmental conditions as well as supporting innovation in the development of agriculture production systems, operations, logistics and supply chain management. This should lead to the integration of standard and customised solutions for facilitating collaborative engagement within the agriculture value chain decision-making process.
The PhD Studentship (Tuition fees + stipend of Â£ 14,296 annually over 4 years) is available for Home/EU students. In addition, a budget for use in own responsibility will be provided.