Bio

I am full professor in the application of Business Analytics and Operations Research (BA/OR) at Tilburg University, and co-founder and director of the Zero Hunger Lab. My research interest is the application of techniques from data science to make this world a better place; especially in the domain of reducing hunger (SDG-2).

My main specialization is transport & distribution and in particular express networks. Big organizations I have worked for are Philips Electronics, TNT Express and DPD. In 2010, I changed my research focus to humanitarian supply chains because the same business analytics methods that are used for companies can as well be used for humanity. Together with my Master’s thesis students and PhD’s, I have initiated a research program at the United Nations – World Food Programme (WFP). This research has contributed a lot to the efficiency of the food supply chains and better food baskets for; the impact was big and has led to the foundation of Zero Hunger Lab.

Expertise

My main specialization is using data science (optimization, simulation and econometrics) in transport & distribution. I not only look at the methods itself but also how to apply them and how to convince 'non-mathematicians' of using data science.
With my work I've won two times the prestigious Franz Edelman award: in 2012 with TNT Express and in 2021 with the World Food Programme.
Managers of WFP have stated that with the analytics program two million people more can be fed with the exact same budget. This has led to the foundation of the Zero Hunger Lab at Tilburg University where Data Science helps to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger by 2030. Our program is called “bytes for bites”.

Teaching

I teach how you can become more effective and efficient in organization with all the expertise you have on math and data science. Together with some colleagues with similar backgrounds we teach the course: Professional Business Analytics Skills.

Courses

Collaboration

From the Zero Hunger Lab we work with several organizations: the World Food Programme, the Dutch Foodbanks, the Worldbank, Solidaridad, ZOA and of course with our sponsors: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tilburg school of Management.

Highlights

To learn more about the Zero Hunger Lab: 

https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/impact/creating-value-data/z…

 

To see the statement of WFP on the joint analytics program:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1m35SXqn5D_ECPx4Pc5t69KhrVhgaZUoW&auth…

 

An extended version of the description of our work from the New Scientist:

https://issuu.com/vmadmin/docs/ns_special_tilburg_eng

 

Publication about our work (in Dutch) from Logistiek.nl:

https://digimagazine.logistiek.nl/supply_chain_data_delen/optimus?utm_s…

 

 

 

 

Recent publications

  1. The dawn of a new common

    Aarts, E., Fleuren, H., Sitskoorn, M., & Wilthagen, T. (2021). The dawn of a new common. In E. Aarts, H. Fleuren, M. Sitskoorn, & T. Wilthagen (Eds.), The New Common: How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Transforming Society (pp. 1-15). Springer.
  2. The new common - How the Covid-19 pandemic is transforming society

    Aarts, E., Fleuren, H., Sitskoorn, M., & Wilthagen, T. (Eds.) (2021). The new common: How the Covid-19 pandemic is transforming society. Springer.
  3. Forecasting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is inherently ambiguous given th…

    Koenen, M., Balvert, M., Brekelmans, R., Fleuren, H., Stienen, V., & Wagenaar, J. (2021). Forecasting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is inherently ambiguous given the current state of virus research. PLOS ONE, 16(3 March), [e0245519].
  4. The nutritious supply chain: Optimizing humanitarian food assistance

    Peters, K., Silva, S., Gonçalves, R., Kavelj, M., Fleuren, H., Hertog, D. D., Ergun, O., & Freeman, M. (2021). The nutritious supply chain: Optimizing humanitarian food assistance. INFORMS Journal on Optimization, 3(2), 200-226.
  5. Optimal depot locations for humanitarian logistics service providers …

    Stienen, V. F., Wagenaar, J. C., den Hertog, D., & Fleuren, H. A. (2021). Optimal depot locations for humanitarian logistics service providers using robust optimization. Omega: The international journal of management science, 104, [102494].

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