Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL)

This centre uses an interdisciplinary research approach to provide cutting-edge sustainable solutions, with research covering a wide spectrum of issues.


This centre, known as CENTRAL, explores research interests covering a wide spectrum of issues associated with the organisation, planning, design, operation, and control of transportation and logistical systems. Currently, our research activities focus on airport and air traffic management, hazardous materials transportation, demand responsive transport systems, multimodal itinerary planning, emergency response and humanitarian logistics, green and city logistics, and project management.

Advances in information and communication technologies make possible the acquisition, transmission, and processing of big data that can track, monitor, and manage transportation and logistics assets around the globe. The availability of big data, coupled with predictive, descriptive, and prescriptive analytics, and the capabilities of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide huge opportunities for better understanding and managing transportation and logistical systems. 

The interrelation between application areas and methodologies is illustrated in the CENTRAL diagram.

Our Mission

We aim to develop strong ties with all stakeholders involved in, and affected by, the development and operation of transportation and logistics systems (e.g. companies, governmental and non-governmental organisations), and promote international research cooperation

Our Research Themes


Aviation and Air Transport

Aviation plays an increasingly important role for the efficient transport of passengers and goods in the globalized economy. The rapid increase in demand for air transport services, coupled with the scarcity of airport and air-space capacity, require the development and implementation of models and solution methods that can optimally determine the capacity of the various components of the air transport system, make optimum use of available resources, and estimate the impacts associated with the operation of the air transport system. 

CENTRAL researchers have worked extensively on Aviation and Air Transport-related projects. Currently, our research activities are focussing on the development of decision support capabilities associated with the Optimization of Airport Operations and Planning, Air Traffic Flow Optimisation, Aircraft Maintenance and Airline Scheduling.

View our publications and projects.


Freight Transport Logistics

Freight Transport Logistics focuses on the planning, organisation, management, control and execution of freight transport operations in the supply chain. CENTRAL researchers have worked on several projects related to Freight Transport and Logistics. 

Recently, we have been working on several decision problems for transhipment terminals and general routing aspects arising in the industry related to 1) the optimization of transhipment operations, 2) vehicle routing and scheduling with environmental and societal considerations and 3) hazardous materials transportation. We are developing mathematical models and algorithms that are able to capture the inherent dynamics and stochasticity of the problems.

View our publications and projects.

Freight Train

Public and Shared Transport Systems

CENTRAL researchers have been working on various problems of shared transport systems and multimodal itinerary planning.  Recently, we have been addressing issues related to strategic, tactical and operational decisions in (electric) carsharing systems. 

Our current research interests are focusing on an implementation of an operational framework which deals with decisions of carsharing systems (e.g. relocation of vehicles and personnel, accepting/rejecting demand) in real time. We are also working on developing mathematical models and efficient algorithms for solving multimodal, multicriteria, international, door-to-door trip planning systems.

View our publications and projects.


Emergency Response Logistics

Large scale technological and natural disasters require the effective planning and deployment of emergency response resources that are the responsibility of a diverse set of public and private organisations. Emergency response logistics constitutes an essential component of emergency response management and provides the means for coping effectively with the negative impacts of large scale disasters. 

CENTRAL researchers have been working on diverse problems related to emergency response logistics, addressing issues related to location of emergency response units, designing districts for emergency response units, coordinated deployment of emergency response resources, and evacuation management. Our current research interests are focussing on the development and implementation of models able to forecast the temporal and spatial characteristics of disasters, the optimum scheduling of emergency response crews, and the optimization of evacuation operations in large scale disasters.

View our publications and projects.

Fire engine

Research Projects

Research Project: OR-MASTER


OR-MASTER is led by a team at Lancaster University Management School, working with Computing, Science and Mathematics researchers at the Queen Mary University of London. The research has been funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) in response to growing concerns over airport capacity, rising demand, and the impact of congestion on both the travelling public and the air transport industry.

The work will build on the UK's world-leading expertise in Operational Research to find the most efficient ways to schedule flights, developing and testing new models and solution algorithms that take into account all the factors involved in the allocation of flight 'slots': individual airport operations, networks of airports, airline operations, air traffic management systems, airport authorities, civil aviation authorities, airlines and the travelling public.

Project lead, Professor Konstantinos G. Zografos at Lancaster University Management School, said: "Existing approaches to airport slot allocation do not consider all the real-world complexity involved. Therefore, there is room to improve airport capacity utilization which will benefit airlines, airports and the travelling public."

Our OR-MASTER staff include the following members:

This research group participates in a wide range of activities and hosts events such as conferences, presentations and more. Visit OR-MASTER Past Events for more information, and refer to the articles below:

View our publications.


Latest Activities

Discover the latest updates from the OR-MASTER project including our latest research papers, news, events and blogs. For our activities to date, please visit our Events Archive.

More Events

Research Project: OptiFrame


An optimization framework for trajectory based operations. OptiFrame is a two-year SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research Project led by Lancaster University in partnership with EUROCONTROL (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, Belgium), CFR (Consorzio Futuro in Ricerca, Italy) and NLR (Stichting Nationaal Lucht- En Ruimtevaartlaboratorium, The Netherlands). The project started on the 1st March 2016, and will be completed on the 28th February 2018. View our publications.

Visit the dedicated OptiFrame website


Tab Content: Project

The main objective of the OptiFrame research project is the application of principles of mathematical modelling and optimization to configure and assess the performance of the Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) concept. The focus is on the pre-tactical operations planning phase.

The project aims to verify the viability of the TBO concept, to identify barriers and enablers associated with the  concept, to understand whether, under which conditions, and to what extent the objectives of : i) airspace users’ flexibility, and ii) predictability of the ATM system, can be achieved. In particular, OptiFrame seeks to demonstrate that it is possible to assign trajectories to all flights operating in the entire ECAC area, taking into account the preferences of all users (i.e., airlines) and optimizing the overall air traffic system efficiency.

The primary outcome of this research project is a framework that can be used:

  • as a “simulator” to address several of the issues and questions arising for the exploitation and deployment of the TBO concept, to fully understand the benefits and limitations of the TBO approach;
  • to investigate the optimal balance between different contrasting Key Performance Indicators relevant for the TBO concept;
  • as an engine for the preliminary identification, on a daily basis, of promising Air Traffic Management interventions on a continental scale in Europe (ECAC-wide area).


Sesar Horizon 2020Smaller Optiframe logos

Tab Content: Consortium

Lancaster University

Lancaster University is a dynamic and multidisciplinary university ranked in the UK Top 10 and as one of the top universities in the world. At Lancaster, the OptiFrame project will be undertaken by the Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL), a recently established research centre within Lancaster University Management School. In addition to coordinating the OptiFrame project, CENTRAL will contribute to the following OptiFrame activities:

  • mathematical modelling of Trajectory Based Operations, 
  • design and implementation of exact and heuristic algorithms,
  • development of user requirements for complex decision support systems.


CFR (Consorzio Futuro in Ricerca) is a non-profit research organisation with public and private participation aiming at the promotion, development and evaluation of human, scientific, technological and economic resources and whose main purpose is to conduct fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development and to disseminate their results via means such as teaching, publication or technology transfer.

The core activity of CFR within the OptiFrame project is the design and development of a Data Management Platform that will be used to interface the models adopted in OptiFrame with the existing databases.


EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, is an intergovernmental Organisation with 41 Member States, committed to building, together with its partners, a Single European Sky that will deliver the ATM performance required for the 21st century.  EUROCONTROL employs more than 1,900 professionals spread over four European countries. Their expertise is deployed to address ATM challenges in a number of key roles in the ATM domain, and not least, in the European ATM research.

In the OptiFrame project, EUROCONTROL will contribute to set the project baseline, by directly consulting major stakeholders (ECTRL NM, ANSPs, Airspace Users) for ensuring coherency between the current SESAR R&D Initiatives and the concept to be developed by OptiFrame.


NLR (the Netherlands Aerospace Centre) is a non-profit technological research institute in the Netherlands performing applied aerospace research on areas such as aerospace vehicles, aircraft systems and applications, air traffic management, and related research. The activities include concept development, system technology, advanced information processing and planning, human factors, and simulation.

NLR’s national and international activities are performed by around 660 scientists and engineers working in projects that are market oriented, independent, socially relevant, and without profit priority.

Within the OptiFrame project, NLR will be responsible for three main areas of expertise and related activities. NLR will provide experience and expertise on:

  • validation,
  • modelling and integration of Airspace User priorities and preferences into the TBO concept,
  • resilience engineering and robustness. 

Smaller Optiframe logos

Tab Content: Management Structure

The OptiFrame Project is led by Lancaster University and the Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL), in partnership with CFR, EUROCONTROL and NLR. A Steering Committee, composed of four members - one representing each organisation participating in the project - has the responsibility to monitor the project progress and to support strategic decision making for the development of the project.

An Advisory Committee of stakeholders has been established to ensure the alignment of the scientific activities, project results and deliverables to the stakeholders’ expectations, to the Industrial Research SESAR2020 Projects, the European ATM Master Plan and the SESAR Concept of Operations.

The OptiFrame project is organised into the following work packages (WPs):

  • WP1 Project Management
  • WP2 State-of-the-art and Stakeholder Expectations
  • WP3 Data Management
  • WP4 Modelling of TBO
  • WP5 Development and Implementation of Solution Algorithms  (exact and heuristic)
  • WP6 Validation of the OptiFrame approach in normal and disturbance cases
  • WP7 Implications for Decision Makers and Dissemination of results
  • WP8 Ethics

The Organogram of the research project represents the management structure, the relationships of the substructures/divisions to each other, and the hierarchy of management.

Tab Content: Group Members

Our OptiFrame staff include the following members:

Research Project: FRAME

Community resilience and sustainability

The Framework for Community Resilience Assessment and Measurement (FRAME) aims to address the problem of community resilience and sustainability under regular and crisis situations in South East Asian countries.  To achieve this aim, an integrated framework for assessing and measuring community resilience in South East Asian countries will be developed.  

FRAME focusses on Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11). Community resilience is one of the major pillars of SDG 11. One of the key targets of SDG 11 is the significant reduction of deaths and the number of people affected and the significant decrease of economic losses caused by disasters with focus on protecting poor and vulnerable populations (Target 11.5).

FRAME addresses directly this target, while it cuts across a number of other Sustainable Development Goals including: Good Health and Well Being (SDG 3), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Climate Action (SDG 13) and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).

Project Participating Organisations

Lancaster University, Sunway University in Malaysia, Universitas Indonesia, Thamassat University, Telekom Malaysia

Principal and Co-Investigators

Principal Investigators
 Co-Investigators (Lancaster) Co-Investigators (Malaysia) Co-Investigators (Indonesia and Thailand)
Juliana Sutanto (Lancaster)

Konstantinos Zografos (LUMS, Lancs, UK)

Yau Kok Lim (Sunway, Malaysia)

Fatma Lestari (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)

Sian Lun Lau (Sunway)

Adam Fish (Sociology, Lancs, UK)

Kian Meng Yap (Sunway, Malaysia) 

Shweta Sinha (Thammasat, Thailand)  


Andreas Mauthe (SCC, Lancs. UK) 

Michelle Lee Chin Chin (Sunway Malaysia) 



Ruslan Rainis (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)   

Azman Ali (Telekom Malaysia, Malaysia) 


Future project events (meetings, workshops)

  • Preparation of three substantial case studies from three different countries in Southeast Asia reflecting the major stakeholders under nominal and crises situations
  • FRAME workshop in Sunway University with key experts from ASEAN and natural disaster organisations of ASEAN member states.

View our publications.

FRAME project group

Research Project: ORDER

Disaster management and information systems

Achieving Operational Excellence in Disaster Management and Emergency Response (ORDER) 

Project Objectives 

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. It is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the Indo-Australian, the Eurasian and the Pacific plates meet. Natural hazards include earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, and volcanic eruptions.

ORDER strengthens the interdisciplinary research collaboration between UK researchers specialising in quantitative methods for disaster management and information systems, and Indonesian researchers and practitioners in disaster management. Based on mathematical models for decision support and integration of siloed information systems, disaster risks can be mitigated and resources for both preparedness and recovery used more efficiently. The results of our research will benefit all stakeholders involved in and/or affected by large scale natural disasters. Specifically, our results will help: i) governmental and non-governmental organisations to increase the cost-effectiveness of their emergency management operations, ii) to reduce the negative implications to the population residing in the impacted areas, iii) reduce negative environmental and economic impacts. 

Project Participating Organisations

Lancaster University, Universitas Indonesia, ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinating Centre on disaster management (AHA Centre), Indonesian agency for disaster management (BNPB)

Principle and Co-Investigators

Principle Investigator Co-Investigators
Konstantinos Zografos

Juliana Sutanto (LUMS, Lancs, UK)


Puspa Indahati Sandhyaduhita (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia)

Future project events (meetings, workshops)

  • Lancaster academics had meetings with the Executive Director of AHA Centre and Deputy Director of BNPB in 2018.


Forthcoming Publication

Sandhyaduhita, P.I., Goerigk, M., Sutanto, J., Zografos, K. “Towards Optimizing Natural Disaster Response Plan and Coordination of Inter-governmental Organization in South-East Asia”, Presentation at Organisational Research Conference, 2018.

View our publications.

ORDER group

Research Project: AIDE Response

AIDE Response

Prof Zografos (PI) and Prof Sutanto (COPI) organised a workshop in the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand on 9-10 January 2019. The workshop is within the framework of Accelerating Impact for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AIDE-Response) project funded by EPSRC GCRF Global Impact Accelerator Account. 

The workshop was attended by representatives from ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre), disaster management authorities of the three most vulnerable countries in the region (Philippine, Indonesia, and Myanmar), non-governmental organisations that are actively involved in disaster management and response, and UN agencies (FAO, UNESCAP, UNICEF).

The workshop participants highlighted the institutional and technical barriers in disaster emergency management decisions and the potential enablers to overcome the barriers – among which is a Decision Support System (DSS) that incorporates static and dynamic data to propose course of actions such as logistics routing and evacuation plan. Besides beneficial in terms of increasing the timeliness, accuracy, and consistency of the decisions made, the participants pointed out some other potential impacts of a DSS which is the consideration of the requirements of population groups with special mobility needs in the decisions made especially with respect to evacuation, increase security and safety of the responders, and useful for post-action assessment.

AIDE group




Centre Director

Professor Konstantinos Zografos

Distinguished Professor

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Allocating Scarce Airport Resource (OR-MASTER), Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592384

Dr Burak Boyaci

Lecturer in Management Science

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592732 B058a, B - Floor, Management School

CeMoRe - Centre for Mobilities Research, Centre for Science Studies, ImaginationLancaster, Mobilities.Lab

+44 (0)7890 847166

Dr Trivikram Dokka Venkata Satyanarayana

Lecturer in Management Science

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Health Systems, Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592653 B058, B - Floor, Management School

Professor Richard Eglese

Emeritus Professor

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Health Systems, Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 593869 A - Floor, Management School

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Health Systems, Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 593888 A046, A - Floor, Management School

Dr Jamie Fairbrother

Senior Research Associate

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Allocating Scarce Airport Resource (OR-MASTER)

+44 (0)1524 592364

Professor Kevin Glazebrook

Distinguished Professor

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Gulf One Lancaster Centre for Economic Research, Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592697 A047, A - Floor, Management School

Dr Ahmed Kheiri

Lecturer in Management Science (Operations Research)

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Health Systems, Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 593117 B061, B - Floor, Management School

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 592911 A048a, A - Floor, Management School

Professor Adam Letchford

Professor of Analytics and Optimisation

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Optimisation, STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

+44 (0)1524 594719 A071a, A - Floor, Management School

Dr Guglielmo Lulli

Senior Lecturer in Network Analytics

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Optimisation

+44 (0)1524 595127

Dr Stephen Maher

EPSRC Research Fellow in Management Science

+44 (0)1524 595142

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Networks, Knowledge and Strategy

+44 (0)1524 510986

Elizabeth Mullis

Partnerships and Business Engagement Manager

+44 (0)1524 594686

Dr Keivan Navaie

Senior Lecturer,

Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre, SCC (Communication Systems)

+44 (0)1524 510401 B24, B - Floor, Infolab

Dr Kostas Selviaridis

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Health Systems, Supply Chain Management

+44 (0)1524 594602

Dr Robert Shone

Research Associate in Applied Probability/Stochastic Modelling

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL)

+44 (0)1524 592373

Centre for Technological Futures , Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Information Systems

+44 (0)1524 595195 A064, A - Floor, Management School
PhD Students

Rahime Bekli

Casual - Teaching

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL)

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Supply Chain Management

Fotis Katsigiannis

PhD (Integrated) student

Toby Kingsman

PhD student

STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

Qorib Munajat

PhD student

Ramin Raeesi

Casual - Teaching, PhD student

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL)

STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

Chrissy Wright

PhD student

Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training

Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL)

Centre Co-ordinator

Deborah Bellaby

Centre of Transport & Logistics (Central) Coordinator

+44 (0)1524 595163
Visiting Research Fellows