BSc, MSc, PhD
Reader in Operations Management
Dr Li Zhou is a reader in the Department of Systems Management & Strategy, Business School, University of Greenwich. She has been a member of the faculty since July 2005, and she is the founder and director of the Supply Chain Management research group at the Business School.
Li received a BSc and an MSc in Engineering, and a PhD in Management Science and Engineering. Prior to joining the University of Greenwich, She was a post-doctoral researcher at Logistics Systems Dynamics Group (LSDG), Business School, Cardiff University, UK; a visiting scholar at the Department of Production Economics, Linköping Institute of Technology, Sweden; an associate professor and an associate dean in the Institute of Industrial Automation, Nanchang University, China.
She has had excellent opportunities to teach a variety of courses and do research in different universities in China, Sweden and the UK. During over 20 years in the profession, she has taught at levels ranging from part-time adult education to full-time undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD supervision. Currently, she leads and teaches the courses of ‘Purchasing and Distribution’, ‘International Purchasing and Procurement’, ‘Research Methods and Foundation of Scholarship’, and ‘Dissertation’. She is the first supervisor for three PhD candidates and second supervisor for three PhD candidates as well.
Li has acted in several different leadership roles during her international career, ranging from project leadership to team leader and team member in a number of projects funded by the Chinese government, the Swedish Institute, and enterprises. These projects range from product design to education and management consulting. She therefore has accumulated a wealth of experience working with industry partners and acquired a real view of the manufacturing process starting from product design, purchasing, production, to marketing, and to recycling, where the operations management concept embeds in each stage.
So far, she has had over 70 articles published in various forms including journal papers, edited book chapters, and conference papers. Her work appears (inter alia) in internationally recognised and high-impact journals such as “International Journal of Production Economics”, “OR Spectrum”, “OMEGA - The International Journal of Management Science”, and “Supply Chain Management: An International Journal”.
Li is a regular reviewer for a number of international journals and an invited reviewer for some funding bodies. She is a frequent contributor to professional institutes and educational organisations.
Responsibilities within the university
Li Zhou is the course leader for three postgraduate courses – Foundation of Scholarship and Research Methods, International Purchasing and Procurement; Dissertation – and the undergraduate Purchasing and Distribution course.
Li Zhou provides MPhil/PhD supervision in the subjects of operations management and supply chain management, which includes supply chain dynamics performance, inventory management, reverse logistics, sustainable supply chain management, closed-loop supply chain management, business model development in the era of the Internet of Things. She is currently supervising three PhD candidates.
Li Zhou is director of the Supply Chain Management Research Group. From 2006–11, she was director of MA E-Logistics and Supply Chain Management, MSc Project Management for Logistics, MA Logistics and Transport Management.
Lin, Y., Zhou, L., “The impacts of product design change on supply chain risk”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41(2), 162-186. This paper is awarded as the “Highly Commended Paper 2012” by Emerald, the “Top 20 Articles 2011” (rank No. 7), and the “Top 20 Articles - Immediacy 2011” (rank No. 10).
- International Journal of Applied Management Science, Inderscience
- International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies, Inderscience
- International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, Inderscience
- Operations and Supply Chain Management: An International Journal (OSCM)
- International Journal of Network and Mobile Technologies, cited in EBSCO system.
Chief guest editor for International Journal of Production Economics
- Special issue on Supply Chain Management in the Era of the Internet of Things.
- HuaZhong University of Science and Technology, China
East China Jiaotong University, China.
External examiner for professional bodies
- The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)
- The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).
External examiner for UK universities
- MSc Management Science and Operations Research programme reviewer for Middlesex University Business School, UK (2009)
- MSc Purchasing and Supply Chain Management for the University of Westminster (2010)
- MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management and MSc Engineering Business Management, Business School, Bedfordshire University, UK (2011–15).
Dr. Li Zhou's expertise mainly lies in operations management and supply chain management. There are five coherent themes:
- Economic assessment and systems dynamics performance measurement of the supply chain
- Reverse logistics management
- Inventory management
- Sustainable purchasing and procurement
- Development of new supply chain strategies in the era of the Internet of Things.
The focus of her research has been to analyse economic and environmental performance of businesses and their supply chains by using modelling simulations.
Li's research in these areas not only contributes to academic theory and knowledge, but also business success and societal development. For instance, from an operational aspect, inventory management is a critical element for any organisation - holding too much inventory will tie up space and capital which incurs significant operations and opportunity costs, but on the other hand, running out of inventory can lead to catastrophic slowdowns across the supply chain which can additionally impact many downstream companies. Her research on optimising inventory levels, reducing the bullwhip effect, and measuring performance in the supply chain has been well received by practitioners in terms of setting up the optimum level of inventory.
Reverse logistics and green supply chain, one of her research areas, has benefited the Chinese battery recycling industry in terms of how the industry can improve their performance through financial support from the government, environmental awareness campaigns, adoption of new technology and development of a new business model to stimulate a higher product return rate. Part of this research outcome can also be applied to other industries to minimise environmental impact.
Recent funded projects
Research on remanufacture planning and its implementation
Dr. Li Zhou (key researcher) and Prof. JiaPing Xie (PI, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China). Funded by National Nature Science Foundation of China, 1/1/2013 – 31/12/2016
The research project, based on a rather thorough documentary review, aims to establish a theoretical framework of remanufacturing planning; to forecast products’ return quantity and return period; to build simulation models of integrated remanufacturing planning; to analyse the similarities and differences between the traditional MRP and remanufacturing MRP; Finally, to extend its functionality and advance a framework and algorithm.
Contract optimisation in a closed-loop product service chain
Dr. Li Zhou (key researcher) and Prof. JiaPing Xie (PI, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China). Funded by National Nature Science Foundation of China, 1/1/2010 – 31/12/2012
The practice of recycling and remanufacturing needs a business model which can essentially reduce the resource consumption during the process of offering products or services. This research project focuses on optimising contract in a closed-loop product service chain from three aspects: value proposition of closed-loop product service chain; Government green incentive and recommendation; modelling, simulation, and optimisation of contract coordination.
Research on the development supply chain management on Internet of Things (IOT) envirornment
Dr. Li Zhou (PI) Funded by competitive RAE funding, University of Greenwich, 1/8/2012-31/7/2013
The strategic development of IoT technology in the UK can be traced back to over the last two decades. The research on the application of IoT on supply chains has lagged behind industrial implementation. While the evidences show that the IoT has been applied in retail, food, energy, recycling, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and humanitarian supply chains, and transport and logistics sector, there are no effective economic models existing to make the supply chain work seamlessly. This research focuses on the development of a new business model in terms of SC coordination, integration, and optimisation.