Topics for master theses

Topics for master theses

The research interests of the center’s members revolve around two major fields: economics and operations research. The aim of our research work is to explore the use of the theoretical and empirical results of these two fields to innovate in the transport and logistics area to help improving the competence of the Norwegian industry. Here is a list of possible topics to write a Master thesis under the supervision of the center’s researchers:

  • How will autonomous vessels change the operations in the shipping industry (including deep-sea shipping, short-sea shipping and local waterway transport)?

    How will autonomous vessels change the operations in the shipping industry (including deep-sea shipping, short-sea shipping and local waterway transport)?

    Background

    If you are a hunter from the Stone Age and one day you are facing an offer to replace you wooden stick with a brand new shotgun, will you still use your new weapon just as a harder stick made of steel to kill your prey, or use it in a better way? Similar challenges are now faced by the shipping companies due to the forthcoming technological evolution, namely the autonomous ship. Obviously, an autonomous ship with no crews on board can significantly reduce a shipping company’s crew cost.

    However, just like the increased hardness of a shotgun in the hunter example, the reduction of crew cost might just be a tiny benefit of the autonomy of our ships. Besides the lower crew cost, what are the fundamental advantages of an autonomous vessel comparing to the conventional manned ship?

    Greater potentials are expected by better utilizing these advantages with innovative ideas in the daily operation of the vessels, such as higher frequency of ferry in the night time, flexible hub location for waterway taxi and multi-functioned vessels with different remote control teams. The world’s first commercial autonomous vessel (Yara Birkeland) will be soon launched in Norway in the end of 2018. And it is a great opportunity for the students here to also take the leading position in the research of the autonomous vessel.

    Potential Reference

    Toth, P., Vigo, D. (2002). The Vehicle Routing Problem. Philadelphia: SIAM Publications Stopford, M. (2009). Maritime Economics. London: Routledge.

    Contact: Yewen Gu

  • Using autonomous vehicles to improve our emergency services

    Using autonomous vehicles to improve our emergency services

    • The aim of emergency medical services (EMS) is to provide timely assistance to emergencies in order to save lives. Within this service, quality and capacity have sometimes deteriorated because staffing is not satisfactory and because the organization and directives are not clear. My interest is to work on the use of autonomous vessels to help ameliorate the burden that EMS staffing represents in the case of boat ambulances, and to improve the logistics planning of the system. The aim is to analyze the use of autonomous vessels to improve response times and coverage. For example, by combining autonomous vessels with geographic information systems, one may use real time information of potential patients to improve the deployment of the resources. In particular my interest is to explore the following key research topic: designing algorithms with predictive capabilities that can be included in real time systems and capable of managing a continuous feed of data points coming from users’ cell phones and other sources.

      Contact: Julio Cesar Goez
  • Flexible transport scheduling with autonomous vessels & autonomous buses

    Flexible transport scheduling with autonomous vessels & autonomous buses

    • Analyze how autonomous transport can increase the inhabitants use of public transport and move transport from road to see or from road to train. How should the routing be conducted so that people are willing to replace road transport with train/sea transport on the main distance? Discuss parameters, constraints and objectives for the routing model. For example: Autonomous busses picks up passengers in the Voss region transport them to Voss railway station where they can take the train to Bergen railway station.

      Contacts: Mario GuajardoSigrid Lise Nonås
  • Economics of deep-sea autonomous shipping

    Economics of deep-sea autonomous shipping

    • This thesis aims at identifying and analyzing opportunities created by autonomous vessels in the delivery of services. The focus will be on new opportunities in economics of deep-sea cargo shipping.

      Contact: Siri Pettersen Strandenes

  • Using the physical internet analogy to design modern logistic networks

    Using the physical internet analogy to design modern logistic networks

    • I am interested in working on exploring new designs for logistics systems. A big problem with our current transport and logistic methods is that they are unsustainable from an economic, environmental, and societal perspective. Inefficiencies can be found thought all the processes, from empty trucks dead-heading to pick up their next loads, to underutilized distribution centers. Recently an new paradigm has been propose called the physical internet, which is define in the literature as “an open global logistics system founded on physical, digital and operational interconnectivity through encapsulation, interfaces and protocols”. This aims to fix several of the inefficiencies of the logistics systems introducing ways to move goods using standardized, modular containers. This vision is attracting significant investments especially in the European Union.

      Contact: Julio Cesar Goez
  • Optimization and simulation models to improve efficiency in a Norwegian refinery

    Optimization and simulation models to improve efficiency in a Norwegian refinery

    • Develop optimization and/or simulation models to improve the efficiency and increase the production rate in a Norwegian refinery (Elkem Bremanger).

      Contact: Sigrid Lise Nonås
  • Waste management

    Waste management

    • New waste pipelines are built below the surface in the city center. How can BIR improve the efficiency and increase the utilization of the pipelines?
      • Topic 1: Use optimization, simulation and tools from supply chain management to improve the waste management in BIR.
      • Topic 2: BIR can only collect data from garbage handling for the owner of a house or an apartment. Many of the houses in the city center are divided in several apartment that are rented to students or other inhabitants. How BIR can increase individuals (renters) incentives to sort garbage when BIR only can collect aggregate data from all the apartment in the house? If BIR could track the for each household, which impact would that have on the individual willingness to sort their garbage?

        Contact: Sigrid Lise Nonås
  • Supply chain analysis of a multi-channel clothing company

    Supply chain analysis of a multi-channel clothing company

    • Analyze the supply chain configuration for a multi-channel clothing supply chain. Discuss if the current configuration is a good fit for the markets the company serve. Take into account all the dimensions of supply chain performance (facilities, inventory, transportation, data handling and data analysis, sourcing, pricing). Based on the result from the analysis, identify in which areas the company have the largest challenges and suggest how they can improve supply chain performance. To narrow the scope of the thesis you could for instance analyze if inventory management and revenue management are in line with the supply chain strategy and the current supply chain configuration (facilities, inventory, transportation, data handling and data analysis, sourcing, pricing) for a company selling children clothes in Norway.

      Contact: Sigrid Lise Nonås
  • The operational and economic impact of autonomous ship application, comparing to the traditional manned vessels. Wartsila, Fjellstrand, NYK

    The operational and economic impact of autonomous ship application, comparing to the traditional manned vessels. Wartsila, Fjellstrand, NYK

    • The operational and economic impact of autonomous ship application, comparing to the traditional manned vessels. Wartsila, Fjellstrand, NYK.

      Contact: Yewen Gu
  • Shipping

    Shipping

    • Empirical models of vessel valuation
    • What determines tripcharter rates? (fixture analysis)
    • Can you hedge vessel values with FFAs?
    • Can you hedge shipping company values with FFAs? (or speculative pair trading)
    • Trading rules for optimal operation/trading
      • Spot or TC?
      • Relocating tonnage between regions
      • Switching between segments
    • Can you beat the market in FFA trading? (size spreads, outright long/short)
    • Is the newbuilding market integrated across geography and segments?

    Contact: Roar Os Ådland

  • Offshore/rig

    Offshore/rig

    • How does vessel/owner specifications influence idleness? (are the best vessels picked first – “big data”)
    • What influences spot rates? (fixture analysis)
    • Is the rig market perfectly competitive or is there scope for differentiation?
    • What are the microeconomic determinants of rig rates?

     Contact: Roar Os Ådland

  • Repositioning of empty vessels in the dry bulk shipping market

    Repositioning of empty vessels in the dry bulk shipping market

    Aim: find key drivers for decision-making process of repositioning empty vessels - current market conditions, sentiment - repeating patterns, etc.

    Contact: Vít Procházka

  • Time series analysis of changing supply and demand in the shipping market

    Time series analysis of changing supply and demand in the shipping market

    Contact: TBA

  • Emission abatement technology for a shipping company - is the uncertainty of fuel prices important?

    Emission abatement technology for a shipping company - is the uncertainty of fuel prices important?

    Is the uncertainty of fuel prices important to be considered when a shipping company selects its emission abatement technology for the compliance of ECA regulation.

    Contact: Yewen Gu

  • Operations Research applications in TINE

    Operations Research applications in TINE

    Dairy farmers with combined milk and beef production face complex decisions regarding optimum milk yield, slaughter age for bulls, calving age for heifers, disposal of farm land etc. The aim for this topic is to explore how operations research may help farmers improve their decision making process to increase their profitability. In this project the students will interact with TINE, Norway's largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products with 11,400 members (owners) and 9,000 cooperative farms.

    Contact: Mario Guajardo and Julio C. Goez

Previous master thesis

2017

2016

2015

2014