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About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. I.F.A. (Iris F.A.) Vis

prof. dr. I.F.A. (Iris F.A.) Vis

Professor of Industrial Engineering

My research focuses on the development of new planning and control concepts to design and improve processes by combining quantitative and qualitative research methods. The projects are characterised by the development of practically relevant concepts within a variety of themes at the crossover of logistics with other sectors. Examples include the design and optimisation of sustainable transportation and port networks and logistics processes in, for example, container terminals, libraries and schools.

Phd Projects

  • Ece Kayacik; on-going; Hydrogen Networks; University of Groningen (promotor).
  • Ayse Aslan; graduation date March 3, 2022; Capacity management for personalized services in education; University of Groningen (promotor).
  • Jose Lopez Alvarez; graduation date September 3, 2020; Supply chain design and planning for LNG as a transportation fuel; University of Groningen (promotor).
  • Albert Schrotenboer; graduation date February 6, 2020; Exact and heuristic methods for optimization in distributed logistics; University of Groningen (promotor).
  • Marjolein Veenstra; graduation date May 15, 2017; Formulations and algorithms for rich routing problems; University of Groningen (promotor).
  • Roel van Anholt; graduation date December 15, 2014. Optimizing Logistics Processes in Cash Supply Chains; VU University Amsterdam (promotor).
  • Paul Buijs; graduation date September 18, 2014. Horizontal and vertical collaboration in distribution networks with cross-docks; University of Groningen (promotor).
  • Susanne Wruck; graduation date June 30, 2014. Warehouse Operations Revisited - Novel Challenges, New Methods; VU University Amsterdam (promotor).
  • Marco Bijvank; graduation date October 22, 2009. Service inventory management: solution techniques for inventory systems without backorders (co-promotor).

Current Projects

Educational logistics for personalised learning

Project leader

Partners: schools in secondary education all over The Netherlands in the Zo.Leer.Ik! network as well as Quadraam.

Other information: pod-cast and web-page

We are in the midst of a great change in education: the transfer to personalised teaching and learning. It is not easy to organise this. How do you ensure that each child can learn at the right moment and according to their needs? Inspiration and knowledge derived from logistics may help solve this problem. In collaboration with students and a large network of secondary schools, researchers associated with the University of Groningen (RUG) are working on this issue.

SMiLES: Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics enable Sustainability


Subsidy from: NWO, TKI Dinalog, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

Time period: 2019-2024

Consortium partners: University of Groningen, Qbuzz Public Transport, Koopman Logistics Group, Arriva Passenger Transport Netherlands, Bidfood, Wagenborg, Suikerunie, KPN, Natuur & Milieu, Province of Groningen, Gemeente Groningen, Groningen Bereikbaar, Port of Lauwersoog, Horus View and Explore B.V., New Energy Coalition Foundation, Next Generation Shipyards, OV bureau Groningen Drenthe, Vinturas, 5Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Noorderpoort.

Project page: SMiLES: Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics enable Sustainability

Finished projects

Zorglogistiek in de 1,5 meter maatschappij: Een planningstool voor Nederlandse ziekenhuizen

Project leader and main applicant

Subsidy from: ZonMW

Time period: 2020

Consortium partners: Martini Ziekenhuis Groningen

Project page: Zorglogistiek in de 1,5 meter maatschappij: Een planningstool voor Nederlandse ziekenhuizen

Nieuwe logistieke beslisregels voor gepersonaliseerd leren: planning van personeel


Subsidy from: NRO

Time period: 2020

More information: Nieuwe logistieke beslisregels voor gepersonaliseerd leren: planning van personeel

PIONEER: Physical Internet, an Outlook on Neighborhood and Environment for E-commerce Retail


Subsidy from: TKI Dinalog

Time period: 2019-2022

Consortium partners: University of Groningen, Districon, ViaTim, Cycloon/, Wehkamp, DHL, Centric, IMCC, Dropper, ZUPR.

5th IPIC Conference


Subsidy from: TKI Dinalog

Time period: 2018

Logistics challenge pupils in primary/secondary education


Subsidy from: TKI Dinalog

Time period: 2018

More information: press release

Towards virtual ports in a physical internet

Project leader and main applicant

Subsidy from: NWO/TKI Dinalog

Time period: 2016-2021

Consortium partners: University of Groningen, Delft University of Technology, Port of Rotterdam, Groningen Seaports

Project information: video and web page

The project revolves around the role of ports in the Physical Internet initiative. To use analogy with sending e-mails through the digital web, the Physical Internet (PI) is based on universally interconnected, open networks of logistic services, in which physical goods are moved around, stored, delivered and used. PI can be seen as an expansion of the current synchromodal approach, by making real-time decisions about routes, choice of transport and transhipment location of sea containers and their contents. In addition to conceptual research into the role of ports in PI, the project also involves developing decision-supporting systems for logistic operations in ports and their hinterland. This is the first Dutch research project studying PI, and is widely considered to be the world’s first project to focus primarily on the role of ports within PI networks.

2nd COPE conference


Subsidy from: TKI Dinalog

Time period: 2016

Teaching materials logistics primary education


Subsidy from: TKI Dinalog

Time period: 2015 - 2016

More information: Teaching materials logistics and report

Ten-T project LNG4Haul

Knowledge partner

Subsidy from: LNG24

Time period: 2015 - 2016

Sustainable logistics service offshore wind farms


Subsidy from: NWO

Time period: 2015 - 2019

Consortium partners: University of Groningen, Province of Groningen, DHL Supply Chain Benelux, Groningen Seaports, Siemens Nederland N.V., Van Oord Offshore Wind Projects B.V., Wijnne Barends Logistics B.V., Eekels Technology B.V., ECN, , Oliveira International Group, EYEWIND, Energy Valley, Dutch Institute World Class Maintenance.

We aim in this project at developing new innovative methods for the sustainable design and operation of service logistics for offshore wind farms.  This project is composed of several work packages that cover network design, condition-based maintenance strategies, cross-chain control of goods flows, as well as collaboration and governance aspects. In each work package, new methods will be developed that can serve as enablers for an improved service logistics process. These methods contribute in general to the field of Operations Research, proposing novel combinatorial and stochastic optimization and improvement approaches. Extensive simulation studies and scenario analyses will be performed to test the robustness and resilience of the integrated network for offshore wind farms.

Design of LNG Networks

Project leader and main applicant

Subsidy from: Dinalog

Time period: 2013-2016

Consortium partners: University of Groningen, TU Eindhoven, Gasunie, Vopak, Ecos-Energy BV, Stichting Ubbo Emmius Fonds, Groningen Seaports, Stichting Energy Valley, Feederlines, IMS, Oliehandel Klaas de Boer BV, GDF Suez.

Other information: video, final report and web page

LNG will become a prime fuel for ships and trucks in the foreseeable future. The European Union and national governments have outlined their policies, and many companies are preparing for a transition period towards intensive use of LNG. There is a strong need in industry for the development of the building blocks needed to develop their business cases. We develop these building blocks, some business cases, as well as methods for planning and control of the logistics in LNG synchromodal transportation networks.


  1. Blueprint definition LNG supply chains and synchromodal transport networks
  2. Multi-modal inventory-routing problems: deriving tools to enable an efficient and effective supply
  3. Direct delivery: deriving decision tools to enable efficient direct ship-to-ship refueling at sea.

To reach these goals, this project unites representatives of all relevant stakeholders in the LNG supply chain: among others production of bio LNG (Ecos Energy B.V.); infrastructure (Gasunie, Vopak); refueling stations (GDF Suez); locations for establishing business (Groningen Seaports), ship-to-ship supply (Oliehandel Klaas de Boer); government (via Energy Valley Foundation); users (Feederlines, HUSA) and is supported by the National LNG Platform (with Shell Nederland, Port of Rotterdam and others as its participants) and is performed in cooperation with the TUE.

Quick scan port Harlingen

Project leader

Funding: Harlingen

Time period: 2013 - 2014

Cargo Hitching

Subsidy: Dinalog

Time period: 2012 - 2016

Consortium partners : Eindhoven University of Technology (main applicant), Biblionet Groningen, Binnenstadservice, Last Mile Logistics (COEPA), Connexxion, Green Cab Company, Lekkerland, Sectorinstituut Openbare Bibliotheken, Stichting Ubbo Emmiusfonds, Medialogistics, Urgenda & DOET, Groningen Seaports, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Universiteit Twente.

Cross-chain order fulfillment coordination for internet sales


Subsidy: Dinalog

Time period: 2010 - 2015

Consortium partners : University of Groningen, VU University Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Amsterdam,, Ctac, Centraal Boekhuis,, Sectorinstituut Openbare Bibliotheken (SIOB), Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken (VOB).

Library Network Design

Libraries face various challenging global developments. On one hand, demand for books has decreased during the last two decades. An important reason for this decrease has been the increased availability of electronic resources, such as internet and e-books16. Furthermore, subsidies have reduced due to the economic downturn17. To stay within budget limits, it is therefore vital for libraries to reduce expenses in logistics operations. At the same time, there is the desire to maintain a high service level. Our overall aim is to design solution approaches to deal with logistics challenges of libraries.  In our studies we focus on designing tools to decide on internal logistics operations in libraries and their warehouses, the locations of facilities, their functionality and assortment, taking into account that demand and funding are decreasing, while service level, accessibility and societal value are to be maintained at a high level.

Part of the library research performed is part of the Dinalog R&D project Cross-chain order fulfillment for internet sales.

Other sub projects are done with: UB VU (PhD project; 2009 - 2014), UB Groningen (post-doc project; 2011 - 2012 and 2016-2017) and Libraries of De Bilt (2014).

More information: project page

Port Network Design

The containerised trade market continues to grow and ports all around the world must stay attentive to retain their level of competitiveness. As a consequence, container terminals are constantly seeking new ways to increase their transhipment and storage capabilities. Next to that, terminal managers seek innovative ways to cooperate in networks of terminals. The common goal of several research projects in this area is to design new planning and control mechanisms to assist in these decision making processes. Past projects were performed in cooperation with the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. An endowment from the Ubbo Emmius Fund, sponsored by Groningen Seaports, provided in the period 2011-2015 funding for researchers to work with Iris Vis in research projects on port network design.

More information: project page

Last modified:01 June 2023 11.57 a.m.