• School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    1989 …2021

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    Contact Details

    Phone number: 0121 204 3050
    Email: e.sweeney@aston.ac.uk 
    Room number: MB222M


    Ed Sweeney is Professor of Logistics and Systems, and Director of the Aston Logistics & Systems Institute at Aston University. In this capacity he leads a multidisciplinary group of academics with interests in logistics, transport, supply chain systems and allied fields. From early 2014 to late 2017 he was Head of Aston’s Engineering Systems & Management (ESM) group, one of six subject groups in the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ed was a member of the University Senate from 2014 to 2017 and is a member of the School Senior Management Team, as well as of many University committees and working groups. His teaching at Aston embraces full-time foundation year, undergraduate and postgraduate modules, as well as work-based programmes at foundation, B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels. Ed’s current research focusses on issues of supply chain design and integration, with a particular emphasis on the divergence between theory and practice. In addition to his teaching and research, Ed works tirelessly in his outreach activities with business and industry, including through his membership of the West Midlands regional committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). This work embraces executive education, knowledge transfer, research commercialisation and workshop facilitation.      

    Ed was previously Director at the National Institute for Transport and Logistics (NITL), based at the Technological University of Dublin (TUD) in Ireland. NITL was established by the Irish Government in 1998 as the country’s centre of excellence in the transport, logistics and supply chain fields. Ed was responsible for the Institute’s award-winning supply chain management (SCM) development programmes. At NITL he also carried out research and consultancy work in collaboration with firms in the electronics, food and beverage, life sciences, and logistics sectors. Whilst at NITL Ed spent four-month sabbatical periods at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in Naples as a Visiting Professor and at the Institute of Technology Carlow in south-east Ireland as Head of Lifelong Learning. He joined NITL in 1998 from the University of Warwick in the UK where he was a lecturer in manufacturing systems engineering at the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) from 1988. WMG was founded by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 as part of the UK Government’s strategy to regenerate manufacturing industry and allied supply chains. Whilst at Warwick Ed worked closely with leading UK engineering firms in his teaching, research and consultancy activities. He spent the final four years of his Warwick tenure at the University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM) in Kuala Lumpur where he was a Visiting Professor. His main responsibility at UTM was for the development of the Business & Advanced Technology Centre (BATC), an initiative of the Malaysian Government aimed at supporting economic and industrial development.

    Ed’s early career was in his home country of Ireland where he undertook his undergraduate education. He graduated in 1986 from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) with a first class honours degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering (B.A.I.). Since then he has completed a number of postgraduate programmes, all undertaken on a part-time basis whilst in full-time employment. His M.Phil. at the University of Warwick was on the subject of engineering economics, specifically the evaluation of investment opportunities in advanced technology. He completed a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) whilst undertaking his doctoral studies at the University of Hull Logistics Institute. His Ph.D. thesis focussed on the practical implementation of supply chain management in a variety of industrial contexts.

    Ed has worked and lectured in over 70 countries in Europe, North America and Asia, and has held Visiting Professorships and other part-time positions at several institutions worldwide. He is an experienced researcher with over 200 publications including books, papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals and leading trade publications. He is a member of the international editorial boards of several leading academic journals including the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, the International Journal of Logistics Management, the International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications and the International Journal of Engineering Business Management. He also carries out peer reviews for other prestigious journals and conferences. In 2014 he was elected by his peers as Chairman of the Logistics Research Network (LRN). LRN is the UK’s premier network for academics, researchers, practitioners and other interested individuals working in the area of logistics, supply chain and operations management. Its main objective is to facilitate the generation, promotion and dissemination of high quality and impactful research. Ed has worked as an external examiner at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in numerous universities in the UK and overseas. In addition to his core teaching and research work, he has also worked with many of the world's leading companies over the years in various capacities. Ed is also a regular keynote speaker at supply chain events in the UK and internationally.

    Ed is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT), the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), and the Institute of Leadership and Management (FInstLM). He is a former winner of the James Cooper Memorial Cup, awarded annually by the CILT for the best Ph.D. thesis on a logistics or supply chain topic in the UK or Ireland. He was the inaugural winner of the “Member of the Year” award of the CILT in Ireland in 2014 in recognition of his significant role in building an innovative and sustainable supply chain sector in Ireland. Ed is also an International Advisor to the Dubai-based Supply Chain and Logistics Group (SCLG), a membership-driven industry and business group engaged in advancing supply chain and logistics industry locally, regionally and globally.   

    In his spare time Ed regularly attends a variety of cultural and sporting venues. His cultural interests include classical and other musical genres, opera, theatre and poetry. Ed is a supporter of the Ireland and Leinster rugby union teams. He maintains close links with his home town of Wexford in the Irish south east, where he is a Friend of Wexford Festival Opera and a member of the Wexford Historical Society. He is also a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and a member of the Delius Society. He engages actively in the scientific and cultural life of Birmingham and the wider UK West Midlands including through his engagement with the Lunar Society and the Birmingham & Midland Institute (BMI) and as a Patron of the Sutton Coldfield Choral Society.

    Ed is married to Joyce Byrne and they share their time between their homes in Sutton Coldfield (UK) and Wexford (Ireland). Joyce is an accomplished classical singer who has won numerous awards for her performances. She is also an experienced teacher and coach.  


    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, University of Hull

    Award Date: 1 Aug 2013

    University of Warwick

    Award Date: 1 Jun 1995


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