Professor Prem Chhetri, Research Priority Area Director of Global Supply Chain and Logistics, discusses his contributions to bushfire evacuation and climate change strategies.
Professor Chhetri is internationally recognised for his research contributions and has received several grants to research critical areas including logistics clusters, urban fire and emergency planning, port logistics and climate change. He was a member in the international panel of experts on the 7th RTD Framework Program of the European Commission and has published over one hundred refereed papers and research reports.
How did you come to be a researcher in your field?
As a Geographer, I am interested in understanding the mobility of people, goods or ideas across space and over time. Logistics and supply chain is intrinsically linked to location and time so working in this field allows me to model and visualise the spatial and temporal organisation of logistics systems to help predict freight flows or examine logistics systems and supply networks.
What do you see as your mission as a Research Priority Director?
To develop the Global Supply Chain and Logistics (GSCL) priority area as a self-sustained centre of excellence that facilitates industry-led, policy-oriented applied research in the field of logistics, transport and supply chain management.
How do you see your research area developing in the future?
The GSCLarea will provide thought leadership in conducting multi-disciplinary research andblending different yet complementary approaches to address complex industry and societal challenges. It will bring researchers from across the University together to help integrate crucially linked areas of transport, infrastructure, logistics and supply chain management.
What is your current research / teaching focus?
My research focuses on the application of spatially-integrated methodologies to solve the challenges associated with the globalisation of production and consumption. My recent work modelled bushfire evacuation, mapped urban fire risks, optimised market areas for retail logistics and developed cluster-led economic growth models.
My research interests align well with my teaching focus which emphasises the development and application of new pedagogies and learning methods to teach Global Trade Operations and Transportation and Freight Logistics.
What were the contributions of your research on bushfire evacuation and urban fire risks?
I received two Australian Research Council Linkage grants with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services which have developed spatial decision support tools to help mitigate fire risks. The modelling outputs enabled Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to carry out evidence-based strategic planning to enhance and streamline their service delivery provisions and fire safety programs.
How do you approach your work, who can benefit from it?
I believe in team building to undertake multi-disciplinary research to tackle key questions that challenge the embedded and often contradictory assumptions we hold about an issue, context or organisation. This approach promotes our ability to influence the development of public policy, practice, strategy, shaping legislation and altering human behaviour.
The demonstrable impact of my research involves making a shift in understanding and advancing scientific method, theory and application across and within disciplines.
How has your research developed or influenced strategies to benefit organisations and communities?
The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) project is an example of high-impact research that examined the inter-operability of the spatially integrated modelling framework to measure the resilience of seaports to extreme weather events. The outcomes of the NCCARF project have significant impacts on port operation and asset management planning.
The applied and industry-focused nature of this research has generated outputs such as database schema, assets vulnerability maps and logistics process models that can inform complex operational decision making. For example, the agent-based simulator developed to capture intra-port container flow and movement has been utilised to plan future infrastructure developments and in the preparation of climate adaptation strategies.
Story: Monaliza Platini