Deakin takes on leadership in ‘Supply Chain and Logistics’

Designing Smarter Technologies

A new Centre aims to meet exploding industry demand for skilled graduates and quality research.

It has only joined Deakin this year, but the new Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL) is making its presence felt.

The Director of the Centre, Dr Hermione Parsons, has just received the “Personality of the Year Award” at the Australian Freight Industry Awards, one of the most coveted accolades in the Australian transport industry.

Sponsored by the Victorian Government’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, the award recognises the person who has made the most outstanding contribution to the Australian transport and logistics industry over an extended period of time. The judges looked for specific business initiatives, commitment to staff, contribution to the transport and logistics industry, profile in the community and overall leadership qualities.

“This award is such an honour because it recognises the great work our Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics is doing to support the industry in relation to independent research, attracting talent to the industry, and capability building,” said Dr Parsons.

“I’m so proud that what we do matters to our esteemed colleagues in industry. This is a great honour.”
Dr Hermione Parsons
Dr Hermione Parsons CSCL Director

The new Centre is home to 12 researchers and five PhD students and is based within Deakin’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment (SEBE). CSCL conducts strategic supply chain research to build capacity and improve public and private sector decision-making.

The Faculty’s Executive Dean, Professor Trevor Day, congratulated Dr Parsons, noting that Deakin’s research and development capability in freight logistics, supply chain strategy, international supply chains and agribusiness value chains has made for a perfect marriage between the University and CSCL.

“The CSCL team is working closely with the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF) and other disciplines inside and external to the Faculty,” he said. “We are delighted at the outcomes Dr Parsons and her team are already achieving at Deakin.”

Since arriving at Deakin, the Centre has worked on several major contracts, including work for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Avalon Airport and Fremantle Ports.

Two big projects currently dominate the Centre’s work. The Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has invited CSCL to play a key part in developing Australia’s first supply chain, freight and logistics strategy.

The next big step for this project will involve providing about 100 of the brightest minds in the industry with workshops in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, where participants will be presented with four different pictures of the future, based on the research so far. They will then be challenged for their views on what the supply chain and logistics industry looks like in that world.

“Women in supply chains” is the focus of the second project. This initiative brings together some of the biggest companies in supply chain and logistics, with the goal of providing improved pathways in an industry that has traditionally been male-dominated.

Expanding postgraduate programs is another of the Centre’s key priorities, as a response to the demand identified through the team’s large network of national and international partnerships in industry and government.

“Industry is crying out for skilled graduates in this field,” said Dr Parsons. “The discipline has evolved since the term was first coined in 1989, and is now truly cross-disciplinary, involving skills as diverse as engineering, business, informatics, analysis and optimisation.

“CSCL is cross-disciplinary and the only research centre in Australia that focusses on the broader aspects of freight logistics and value added supply chain.

“The sector plays a very important role in the economy, but, today needs strong links to research and universities. Many organisations are making important supply chain decisions, but they don’t provide staff with the education to understand all the factors involved or realise how research can provide the best means to optimal solutions.

“Joining with Deakin provides the traction for us to make a big difference; to support private and public industry in freight, supply and value design-creation nationally and internationally.”

The Centre recently recruited a new expert researcher to help build its research profile: Dr Roberto Perez-Franco, former Director of the Supply Chain 2020 project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Centre is supported by its Industry Advisory Board, consisting of some of the most successful people in supply chain and logistics, combining practical, strategic and regulatory experience.

Main photograph: AFIA Personality of the Year Award winner, Dr Hermione Parsons, CSCL Director, with, from left: Peter Anderson, CEO, Victorian Transport Association (VTA); Tim Pallas MP, Victorian Treasurer; and Cameron Dunn, VTA President.

Published by Deakin Research on 19 September 2017

Centre for Regional and Rural Futures

The Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF) delivers innovative research solutions to regional and rural communities by collaborating with industry, government, community and not-for-profit sectors. We also contribute to the design of smarter technologies to enhance regional and rural productivity.