For the first time a researcher from a Norwegian university received a prestigious award from the Finnish university Hanken School of Economics.
The Finnish university, Hanken School of Economics, gives an award every second year to the best doctoral thesis in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. The award has formerly gone to candidates from American universities, but this time it was the University of Agder’s turn.
“It is a great recognition to have a team of experts evaluate my work and finding it valuable. It has been my goal to work on something that provides value to others”, Hossein Baharmand at UiA says.
The award winner is attached to the Centre for Integrated Emergency Management and the Department of ICT as postdoctoral research fellow. Baharmand defended his doctorate in December 2018 with his thesis on more flexible relief distribution networks for natural disasters.
The Finnish school of economics and the Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG) grant the so-called HUMLOG award. Hanken School of Economics has a long tradition of being a focal point for research in the field of humanitarian relief work. They use the award to acknowledge postgraduate students who bring something new to the field.
The award consists of 1000€, an invitation to attend the EurOMA Conference in June and an invitation to submit an article to the recognised Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
The award winner also gets a six months research fellowship at the HUMLOG Institute. The aim of the fellowship is to provide a platform for mutual exchange of knowledge and research in the field of humanitarian logistics.
The award winner became interested in the field when he experienced the earthquake in Bam in Iran in 2003. More than 20,000 people were killed, and Baharmand lost several relatives.
Following the earthquake, he saw several weaknesses in the emergency relief efforts. Some measures took too long. It took several months for instance to provide people with products they needed.
“That is why I decided to continue my studies and focus on logistics and humanitarian relief management”, Baharmand says.
Hossein had Professor Tina Comes from the Department of ICT as his main supervisor. Professor Matthieu Lauras from IMT Mines Albi at University of Toulouse in France was his co-supervisor. The professors nominated Baharmand for the award.
“We are impressed with his work. The thesis is important for developing a theory in the field, but also for those working with humanitarian relief efforts. His work can potentially bring positive change to relief distribution networks”, Comes says.