Koç - IBM Supply Chain Research Center


Sponsored Reserach Projects

Sustainable Energy Supply Chain
    Energy, a necessity for modern life, is vastly consumed in the industrial commercial and service sectors as well as in social activities.  Unfortunately, a majority of this energy comes from the widespread use of fossil fuels that causes considerable detrimental effects to the environment.  Energy production systems are traditionally based on burning fossil fuels emitting greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
    This project, sponsored by TÜB‹TAK, aims to address sustainability of energy supply chains by considering techno- economic analysis of emerging energy production methods, development of mathematical models and optimization algorithms. The development of simulation and optimization models for carbon capture and sequestering systems that will be a major approach to curbing carbon emission in the near future had been completed.  In addition, modeling and optimization studies to integrate bio-fuels into energy supply chains have been completed.
    Development of techno-economic models for photovoltaic cells used to convert solar energy into electricity is under study.  Last, development of algorithms to solve mixed-integer multi-objective optimization problems is being addressed.  The models and solution algorithms developed in this project will be used to analyze sustainable energy supply chains through optimization and scenario studies.

Disaster Logistics
    Every year, around 500 natural or man-made disasters affect 200 million people, causes around 75,000 deaths, and material damage that is measured in billions of dollars.  The human and economic losses can be reduced by improved planning, preparations, and coordination.  Disaster Logistics focuses on undertaking the necessary planning and precautionary steps to respond to a disaster.  During the pre-disaster phase, relief supplies such as dry food and blankets should be stored at critical points,
coordination and distribution plans should be established based on possible disaster scenarios.  We are all aware that Istanbul faces the risk of being hit by a serious earthquake. A scientific study published in 2000 estimated that the possibility of experiencing a strong earthquake in Istanbul is 62.6±15% over a 30 year period.  Earthquake scenarios and damage estimates developed in 2003 propose 30-40 thousand fatalities, 120.000 heavy injuries and 1.2 milion homeless people, indicating the magnitude of the required logistics activities.  To coordinate the post-disaster logistics activities, several Disaster Response and Distribution Centers (DRDC) are planned to be built by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) throughout the city.
    This project, which is sponsored by the IMM Disaster Coordination Center, develops methods for the selection of the locations of these centers. In selecting the locations, the first factor to be taken into consideration is the ability to distribute supplies effectively in the event of a disaster.  The objective is to reach the maximum number of victims within the shortest time.  We developed a mathematical model to find the DRDC locations that minimize the weighted time to distribute supplies to affected residential areas while making sure each affected area is close enough to a DRDC.  Using damage estimates, the inputs of the mathematical modeling have been generated from the collected data and several DRDC locations have been identified out of the 39 potential areas.  We are working on identifying the amount of relief items to be stocked at the facilities as well as the suppliers of these facilities.  One more problem is on identifying post- disaster travel times.  We are also analyzing the required capacity and location of field hospitals to be built in affected areas.

Inter-Modal Transportation and the Use of Ro-La System in Marmaray
    One of the most important steps in logistics is transportation that uses different diverse modes including sea, rail, road, air and pipeline.  Some of these modes are economical while others have the advantage of being more environmentally friendly.  This project involves modeling and optimization in the design and operation of inter-modal transportation systems.
    The project is supported by TÜB‹TAK and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.  The objective in this project is to develop scheduling and facilities planning models to integrate capacity planning with the operations.  These models are being used to analyze the establishment of Ro-La system in Marmaray.

Automotive Logistics Planning in Marmara Region
    The Marmara region requires significant logistics improvements in order to meet the transportation demand in supplying raw materials and spare parts to its automotive manufacturing industry, and to effectively transfer finished goods to demand points in different parts of the globe. The objective of this project, which is supported by the Automotive Industry Association, is to analyze the current logistics infrastructure and provide insights into establishments of a sustainable logistics system for automotive industry in the Marmara region.
    In addition to these projects, we are planning to start two new projects in the near future:

Establishing a Reverse Logistics System and a Recovery Facility for Used Batteries
    Batteries are used to power many electronic devices. After the energy content of batteries is depleted, they are disposed of in landfills that greatly harm the environment for centuries. This problem can be reduced by initiating city-wide recycling programs and facilities to recover useful metals in batteries without harming the environment. This project is supported by both TÜB‹TAK Marmara Research Center, Ministry of Environment and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In this project, mathematical models will be developed and optimization studies will be conducted to design a reverse logistics system for batteries. In addition, a recycling facility for batteries will be designed to extract useful materials from used batteries and recycle back them to industrial use. The production planning and scheduling for the constructed facility will also be addressed. Eventually, a waste battery recycling facility will be built and operated in the near future in Istanbul.

Optimization of Water Consumption in Boron Plants
    Large quantities of water is consumed during the mining and processing of the boron mineral which is one of Turkey’s leading industrial minerals. It is important to improve the mining technologies to reduce water consumption and also develop efficient systems for recycling water during operations in boron processing plants for sustainability.  This project in collaboration with Eti Mining General Management and TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center intends to design an efficient water usage network which limits water usage by minimizing fresh water consumption and generation of waste water in boron mining and processing facilities.
    Supply chain management and logistics is a central theme for industrial and commercial sectors. Due to the accelerating pace of globalization, the financial, environmental and social effects of supply chain and logistics systems are observed at every corner of the globe creating concern regarding sustainability of these systems. Sustainability of supply chain and logistics systems can be achieved by an integrated analysis of financial, environmental and social objectives. The Koç-IBM Supply Chain Research Center seeks innovative approaches for modeling, optimizing, and analyzing sustainable supply chain and logistics systems. The methods developed at the center will be applied in real life problems illustrating their effectiveness.


 Koç Üniversitesi, Rumelifeneri Yolu 34450 Sarıyer İstanbul
Tel: 0212 338 26 48
Genel sorular için e-mail: mturkay@ku.edu.tr