Kopfgrafik Nano

Urban Systems

Logistics, centred on the lead disciplines of engineering and micro-economics/business management, is an area of research that encompasses specific aspects of (quantitative) planning, operations management and controlling the highly dynamic flow of substances, goods, people, energy and information in urban systems, as well as aspects of integrating diverse media in logistical management processes. Logistics is therefore central to dealing with issues relating to complex and dynamic processes; it applies practical (mathematical and technical) methods and develops tools pertinent to central questions in the field with the goal of maximising efficiency. The exceptional visibility of logistics and transport systems research at the University of Duisburg-Essen has attracted a considerable number of national and international projects and new research approaches, only a small selection of which is listed here. The efficiency cluster "LogistikRuhr" [Ruhr Logistics] recently received 100 million euros (40 million public-sector, 60 million private-sector funds) as part of a BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) call for Federal Excellence Clusters. The starting point for LogistikRuhr's work includes the challenges posed by environmental and resource efficiency, securing supply chains in urban areas, developing essential competency-development strategies for authorities and organisations, and preserving the autonomy of individual lifestyles. With the grants received, the cluster will work over a period of five years in seven technical and socio-technical topic areas, including 33 integrated research projects. In total, 124 companies and organisations and 18 research and educational institutions are involved in the cluster's activities. The university locations in Dortmund and Duisburg, along with the Center for Logistics and Traffic (ZLV) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, form the core of the cluster network. The field of Quantitative-Mathematical Logistics Research/Supply Chain Management has acquired exceptional international visibility for planning production processes, choosing locations for manufacturing facilities and logistics parks, and for planning transportation routes to connect these facilities in accord with extant infrastructure and traffic rhythms, ecological considerations and minimising costs. By applying operations research methods to logistics systems, researchers are working on complex models for corporate cooperation in line with research on revenue management in corporate alliances funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The research concentration on logistics simulation is another leading programme at international level (examples include "pearl chain logistics" at the "Gläserne Manufaktur" in Dresden, the Swiss mail distribution network, planning of the manoeuvring area and parking apron at the new International Airport in Tripoli, person flow simulations and security at airports in Athens, Zurich, etc.). Software applications developed for these specific projects are among the leaders on the global market. Transport and traffic jam research utilising the principle of cellular automata is unique to the University of Duisburg-Essen and can be applied to intelligent traffic control systems and navigation. The methodological competencies of logistics and traffic experts at the University of Duisburg-Essen are also being applied to innovative strategies for evacuation scenarios for large infrastructural and traffic hubs (train stations and airports) and for large-scale events in urban areas; here the focus is on optimally coordinating the work of different catastrophe management teams.