University College Dublin – UCD

University College Dublin – UCD ( is one of Europe’s largest research-intensive universities (>€450 M in last 5 years) offering undergraduate (>30K students), graduate (ca. 5K students), post-doctoral education and innovation and community engagement, with partnerships all over the world. Two of its strategic research priorities are “Energy and Environment” and “Agrio-Food” which are at the heart of the VALUMICS project. UCD has modern, state-of-the-art facilities necessary for the project and dedicated research support units for administration, finance, legal, innovation, HR, ethics, IT and data analysis.

The research PIs contributing to VALUMICS are from three schools in the university: UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering and UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering are part of the College of Engineering and Architecture; they are also members the UCD Earth Institute, UCD Institute of Food and Health and the national Dairy Process Technology Centre (DPTC). UCD’s Centre for Business Analytics is located in Management Information Systems at UCD School of Business. Members of the Centre for Business Analytics collaborate with researchers elsewhere in UCD, notably with the School of Mathematical Sciences and the Natural Computing Research and Applications Group (NCRA).

The UCD Institute of Food and Health has 35 PIs, 50 researchers and 130 graduate students supported by >€50M since 2010 with strong industry links including Nestlé, Coca-cola, Abbot, Glanbia, Kerry Group, Carbery, Dairygold, Dawn Meats, Keypak, Largo, Mead Johnson, Pzifer, Diagio, Irish dairy processor (through the DPTC) and the Irish Grain and Feed Association. It is ranked 1st in the world for citations per paper published and 6th in Europe for volume of publications.

UCD is leading WP7 on New Advances in Quantitative Theory and Modelling, is a lead contributor to the WP4 Life Cycle Assessment activity and will play a significant role in project management (WP1), model specification (WP2) and dissemination (WP9). UCD will contribute to work in all other workpackages as necessary for successful completion of the project.

The UCD Team

Prof Nicholas Holden

(male) is Professor of Biosystems Engineering in the School of Biosystems and Food Engineering. He is the Head of Agricultural Systems Technology and leads the Food Chain Sustainability theme in the UCD Institute of Food and Health. His research is at the interface of agricultural and food systems with the wider environment using tools such as life cycle assessment and system simulation modelling. His current links to industry include being a sustainability consultant for the Irish Grain and Feed Association and represents Ireland on the Sustainability Committee of the European Feed Federation (FEFAC), being a PI in the state / industry funded DPTC (linked to 10 industry partners) and being a director of Ørbas CTR Ltd, which recently worked for the Irish meat, seafood and cereal producers. He has contributed to >40 research projects, has supervised >20 PhD students to successful completion and has published >120 peer reviewed papers.

Dr Seán McGarraghy

(male) is an Assistant Professor in the MIS subject area at the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Business. He is the Director of the UCD Centre for Business Analytics, VP (International) of the Analytics Society of Ireland, and Irish representative on the Council of EURO, the Association of European Operational Research Societies. He teaches on advanced modelling and analytics approaches and is a previous Director of the UCD MSc in Business Analytics. He reviews regularly for prestigious journals and has sat on the editorial board of the European Journal of Operational Research. His research interests include the following:

  • Algorithms inspired by nature (such as biologically-inspired, evolutionary and physically inspired algorithms) and their application to real-world problems, in particular, dynamic problems
  • Quantitative approaches to Supply Chain problems
  • Network algorithms, including social network analysis and communications network design

He has numerous international collaborators. He has won research funding from multiple sources, such as the Science Foundation Ireland CSET “Centre for Telecommunications Value Chain Research” (CTVR) and industry sponsors such as the IBM Integrated Supply Chain Sponsored University Research Consortium for projects including Service Supply Chain design and optimisation, and Service Science Data Design.

Dr Nikolaos Papakostas

(male) is an Associate Professor at the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in University College Dublin. He is the Director of the Master of Engineering with Business Programme. His research areas include the following fields:

  • Simulation, Control and Scheduling of Manufacturing Systems
  • Digital Manufacturing Applications (CAx, PLM)
  • Management of Supply Chains and Dynamic Manufacturing Networks

He worked at the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, University of Patras, Greece from 2005 to 2015, and was the technical coordinator of a number of European Research Projects. He has cooperated with many leading companies in Europe from the automotive and aerospace industrial sectors as well as with firms from the process, textile, machine tool building, shipbuilding / ship-repair and software industry.

Dr. Vincent Hargaden

(male) is Assistant Professor in UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering and Director of UCD Master of Engineering Management programme. He is also a member of the Centre for Business Analytics. He teaches modules in Supply Chain Design, Supply Chain Analytics, Decision Analysis and Operations Strategy. He has also delivered workshops for the UCD Agri-Business programme on lean transformation. His main research focus is on the design and optimisation of resilient and sustainable supply chains. He is currently co-PI in the Enterprise Ireland Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC), a €25m industry–academic collaborative research centre, whose research agenda is driven by the long-term growth opportunities for the dairy sector. The centre is funded by Enterprise Ireland and 10 Dairy Industry Partners. Within DPTC, Vincent’s research examines, using benchmarking tools, best practices in the global dairy sector, in addition to investigating how the dairy industry partners can design cost competitive supply chains in the EU post milk quota era. He has supervised a number of masters level research projects in the dairy, meat and fruit industries and is currently co-supervising a PhD student on supply chain traceability in seafood. As a UCD Funded Investigator in the IBM Integrated Supply Chain Consortium he collaborated with Arizona State University and IBM on a “Supply Chain Resiliency-A Risk Assessment Framework for Global Service Supply Chains” project. Hargaden, V. & Ryan, J.K. (2015) ‘Resource Planning in Engineering Services Firms’, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 62 (4):578-590.