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Dr David Lai PhD

Lecturer in Supply Chain and Management Science

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Dr David Lai is a Lecturer of Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton. His research interests are in the broad areas of Supply Chain and Management Science. David’s current research is within the fields of Mathematical Optimisation in Green Logistics. He develops solution approaches in Operational Research and Artificial Intelligence to analyse and understand complex decision-making problems in the context of green logistics and transportation.

David Lai obtained a PhD in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014. Before joining the University of Southampton, he was an assistant professor at the OPAC research group at Eindhoven University of Technology. From 2014 - 2020, he was a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Supply Chain Analytics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

David has worked for over 10 years in different fields, including last mile logistics, freight transportation, vehicle routing, manpower planning, warehousing, supply chain optimisation, and production planning. In terms of methodology, he is specialised in exploiting mathematical structures to invent efficient solution approaches such as branch-and-cut, column generation, metaheuristic, simulation, etc.

You can find his publications in leading academic journals including European Journal of Operational Research, Transportation Science, Transportation Research Part-E, Computers & Operations Research, and Transportmetrica. Furthermore, David enjoys collaborating with industry partners and delivering research-based decision support systems that address real-life challenges. He also serves as a reviewer in several leading operational research and transportation journals, and presents regularly at international conferences.

David Lai has also experience in teaching subjects such as decision making in supply chains, transport and logistics, mathematical modelling, and simulation. He has supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds on topics such as green vehicle routing, intermodal transportation, warehousing, production planning and etc. David also welcomes new PhD students and applicants to contact him to discuss their plans and ideas.

PhD Supervision:

David welcomes both new PhD students and applicants to contact him to discuss their plans and ideas.

Primary Research Centre:

CORMSIS (Centre for Operational Research, Management Science and Information Systems)

Research interests

  • Green Logistics
  • Vehicle Routing
  • Manpower Planning
  • Intermodal Transportation
  • Warehousing
  • Production Planning
  • Metaheuristics
  • Optimisation
  • Simulation
  • Operational Research
  • Machine Learning

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Previous teaching experience:

Eindhoven University of Technology, 2020-2022

  • Operations Management and Logistics master program
  • Decision Making in Transport and Logistics

VU Amsterdam, 2014-2020

  • Transport & Supply Chain master program
  • Decision Making in Supply Chains
  • Supply Chain Lab / Distribution Logistics & Inter-Organizational Systems
  • Global Supply Chain Management
Dr David Lai
Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Room Number : 2/4051/M1


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