At many universities in the Netherlands, research groups are active in the area of Operations Management & Logistics (OML). The total number of PhD students at those groups is in the order of 60-100. These students have a need for PhD courses on OML-topics. These courses should prepare students to do research on those topics. Hence, these courses are in-depth courses with a close connection to actual research. To provide such courses, it is important that the OML-groups in the Netherlands join forces and offer a joint program of PhD courses. For this purpose, the KNAW-accredited research schools TRAIL and Beta have taken the initiative to start the Graduate Program Operations Management & Logistics (GP-OML).   

At the GP-OML, the focus of the courses is on operations management problems in various domains, and on scientific knowledge to handle these problems. For the analysis, several methodologies are being used, among which Operations Research (OR) techniques. At the PhD course program of the Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research (in Dutch: Landelijk Netwerk Mathematische Besliskunde; LNMB), the focus is on these OR techniques. Hence, the programs of the GP-OML and LNMB are complementary.

Core activities of the GP-OML program
  1. To offer PhD courses within the area Operations Management & Logistics;
  2. To control the quality of the offered PhD courses and the whole program.
Program Board of the GP-OML program

Erwin Hans – Beta (
Geert-Jan van Houtum – Beta (chair and scientific director Beta,
Johann Hurink – Beta (represents the LNMB,
René de Koster – TRAIL (and ERIM, )
Vincent Marchau – TRAIL (
Iris Vis – TRAIL (and RUG,
Bert van Wee  – TRAIL (scientific director TRAIL,


Points of departure of the GP-OML program

  • The program started Spring 2014 and works with cycles of 1.5 years (three semesters). The Spring semester runs from February-June, and the Fall semester runs from September-December;
  • The courses are mostly given on Wednesdays;
  • Location: as central as possible in the Netherlands (for the coming semester this is Boswell-Beta Institute, Utrecht, at ca. 5 minutes walking distance of Utrecht Central Station;
  • The program offers on average 3 PhD courses per semester, each of 4 ects (4 ects for a course is the preferred size, the Program Board may deviate from this preferred size for some of the courses);
  • Each course day is from 10:00-16:00 h. and is devoted to one course. Each day corresponds roughly to 1 ects (including preparation and assignment), and thus a 4 ects course is given on 4 days. There are (at most) 12 course days per semester in a rotating schedule (ABC-ABC-ABC-ABC). As such, the student has enough time in between two subsequent course days to study the contents and to work on assignments;
  • The courses are open for all PhD students within the area of OML. This holds also for PhD students who are not connected to TRAIL/Beta. The courses are also open for students from research masters and honors tracks of master programs;
  • We also welcome participants from the industry and governmental sector. Their pre-knowledge should be at the same level as for participating PhD students (per course, the precise pre-knowledge is specified). The lectures are fully focused on PhD students rather than a ‘business audience’. This program could be attractive for PhDs or other graduates who are working in companies or the governmental sector on business, software or policy development;
  • The maximum number of students per course is 25 - Beta and TRAIL PhD students have priority, from four weeks prior to the start of a course it will be 'first-come, first-served'; 
  • We check if applicants can be accepted for a course;
  • For all courses, there will be an assignment;
  • Per course, one responsible lecturer is appointed, who is preferably a leading scholar for the topic of the course. The responsible lecturer can invite co-lecturers;
  • For participants of the groups that are part of TRAIL/Beta, there will be no participation fee. For other participants, the fees are as follows: 500 Euro per PhD course for students (PhD students, research master students, honors track students) of groups that are not part of TRAIL/Beta, and 1000 Euro per PhD course for participants from the industry and the governmental sector (when courses are less than 4 ects, the fees will be lower);
  • All courses are taught in English.


Courses Fall 2015 – Fall 2016

The first two cycles of 1.5 years (Spring 2014-Fall 2016) have been successfully completed. The course program for the period Spring 2017 - Spring 2018 is:

  • Domain knowledge of transport systems (Spring 2017; Van Wee; Annema)
  • Data-analysis and statistics (Spring 2017; Kroesen, Molin)
  • Facility logistics management (Spring 2017; De Koster, Adan)
  • Operations Research and Health Care (Fall 2017; Hans
  • Quantitative modelling and analysis of supply chains (Fall 2017; De Kok)
  • Freight transport management (Fall 2017; Vis)
  • Transport Logistics Modelling (Spring 2017; Zuidwijk; Tavasszy)
  • Advanced inventory theory (Spring 2017; Van Houtum; Dekker)
  • Public transport 

For a possible fourth cycle (Fall 2018 – Fall 2019), the Program Board will again consider which topics are most relevant and may decide to adapt this list of courses.