What's new in DIAL
January 2017
Welcome from Professor Duncan McFarlane 

Welcome to the first DIAL Newsletter of 2017. For better or worse 2017 seems to be bringing in a period of change and at DIAL we have also been doing a little restructuring to reflect the growing activities in recent years.

But before you start getting worried I should emphasise that in no sense are we planning to exit from industrial automation or information!

In fact the new arrangement simply reflects some particular strengths in specific aspects of our core areas of:
  • Automation & Control
  • Asset Information Management
  • Industrial Data Management
  • Manufacturing Analytics
  • Intelligent Logistics
  • Industrial Resilience
In the next issue we will provide more details on the activities of these groupings with DIAL and the way in which each is helping to address issues for DIAL’s industrial partners and academic collaborators.
Resilient Airline Operations Workshop

On 22nd November DIAL held the Resilient Airline Operations Workshop, with the aim of bringing together airline disruption stakeholders to create a greater understanding of typical disruptions and exploring potential solutions.
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Automation Assessment Tool

DIAL and ECS have worked together to develop a tool to support companies in this type of decision making, and this has been successfully deployed in a wide range of businesses, including Foxconn, Jaguar Land Rover, and Schlumberger.
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New study on drivers for Industry 4.0 in Food and Beverage Industries
At the next Open Innovation (OI) Forum meeting in March, DIAL will be conducting an interview study about the current awareness of the drivers, challenges and features of industry 4.0 amongst leaders in the food, beverage and FMCG industry. 
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ITALI project comes to an end

In December 2016 the final deliverables from the ITALI project (Information Technology Architectures for Logistics Integration) were handed over to the partner organisation YH Global as part of the project’s conclusion. 
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DROPS-2016 International Workshop

DIAL organised a 5-day International Workshop in Cambridge as part of the Disaster Resilient Supply Chain Operations in South Asia (DROPS) project held between 28 November– 2 December 2016.
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Workshop on Sustainable Development of Critical Infrastructure for Nigeria

On 13 January, DIAL PhD student, Joel Adams ran a one-day workshop in Niger Delta University, Nigeria titled: Sustainable Development of Critical Infrastructure for Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities.
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New people in DIAL 

Alice Missenden joins us as the new Administrator for DIAL. She is an experienced administrator having worked both in business and the University, most recently in the Department of Medicine. Alice is a highly organised individual and is a good point of contact as she can direct any queries to the most relevant person in the group. She can be contacted at


JQ Wang and Wenrong Lu both successfully completed their PhDs in the last half of 2016. We wish them well in the future.

Latest Research Publications

Brintrup A., Wichman P., Woodall P. and McFarlane D. (2016) Predicting hidden links in supply networks. Submitted

Brintrup A. (2016) The Landscape of Digital Manufacturing in the UK, Digital Catapult Report Series. Submitted

Brintrup A., ‘Supply Network Analytics’ at ‘Risk, resilience and robustness of dynamic supply networks; bridging mathematical models and practice’ conference at ‘International Centre for Mathematical Sciences’, 11-13 Jan 2017

Giannikas, V. and Lu, W. and Robertson, B. and McFarlane, D. (2016) An interventionist strategy for warehouse order picking: evidence from two case studies. International Journal of Production Economics.

Ledwoch A. and Brintrup A. (2016) Topological risk mitigation in supply networks. Submitted

Pan S., Giannikas V., Han Y., Qiao B., and Grover-Silva E. (2016) Mining customer-related data to enhance home delivery in e-commerce Industrial Management & Data Systems. Under review for the special issue on “Data-driven Food Supply Chain Management and Systems”

Rashid, A., Masood, T., Erkoyuncu, J.A., Tjahjono, B., Khan, N and Shami, M. (2016) Enterprise systems’ life cycle in pursuit of resilient smart factory for emerging aircraft industry: a synthesis of critical success factors, theory, knowledge gaps and implications. Enterprise Information Systems. In press

Robinson, J. and Masood, T. (2016) Implications of product modularity changes on designing resilient supply chains for the manufacture of modular buildings. Submitted

Stoltz M. –H., Giannikas V., Strachan J., McFarlane D., and Um J. (2017) Augmented reality in warehouse operations: Opportunities and challenges. IFAC World Congress. Submitted

Woodall P. (2017) The Data Repurposing Challenge: New Pressures from Data Analytics. Journal of Data and Information Quality.

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Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering,
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