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The greatest issues are best solved in teams


As we face increasingly complex societal challenges, it is becoming more important to work across disciplines to address them. The School of Business, Economics and Law has one of the strongest research environments in Sweden in the ever contemporary subject of goods transport and logistics. Johan Woxenius, Professor of Logistics, considers interdisciplinary approaches to be the key to success.

Johan Woxenius

The School has a strong research team in transport and logistics, particularly regarding interaction between goods transport and the surrounding society. Now, the School of has become the natural arena for a number of large research projects.

Multidisciplinary research enriches

Even though the skills can be located in the School’s corridor, the team continually seeks out multidisciplinary collaborations to become even better.

“Transport issues are extremely complex; there is often a societal challenge beneath it all. So we need to approach this particular project from different disciplines. Consider the subject of self-driving cars, for example. A group of automotive engineers alone will not be able to manage such an issue. Basically, multidisciplinary research is essential for solving challenges. And of course, working this way is great fun,” says Johan Woxenius.

Three major projects in the pipeline

Last year saw the beginning of three exciting projects, in which different lawyers, economists, logistics and information systems specialists are working together with the University of Gothenburg as their base.

“We have a project looking at hazardous goods, where we are studying regulations and information flows. This include a great deal of weighing societal interests against commercial interests. We also have the Supply Chain Finance Project that examines how we can value goods whilst they are in the transport chain, and make it easier for companies to trade with each other with the help of transport documents. Then we have a project where we look at environmental steering fees and incentives for harbour operations, with particular focus on overland freight,” Johan Woxenius explains.

Stakeholders are also involved

Including industry and representatives from society is vital to modern research projects, not least for obtaining funding. This is one area where Johan Woxenius and his colleagues have also been successful.

“All our projects have included participants from large societal organisations and businesses. If we compare this internationally, this is something where we particularly excel. In part, it deals with truly understanding the practical aspects; our lab works with real life situations and not just theory.” This is a good starting point for accomplishing things together,” says Johan Woxenius.

On the reseach front

Johan Woxenius joined the School of Business, Economics and Law from Chalmers almost ten years ago, and has no intention of turning back or changing profession.

“The older I become, the more my interest in societal issues grows. I feel at home in my academic role, and believe we are active and contribute to the international research frontier,” Johan Woxenius concludes.


Professor of Industrial and Financial Management and Logistics at the School of Business, Economics and Law. In 1991 he became an engineer of Industrial Engineering at Chalmers, received his PhD in 1998 and was promoted to associate professor in 2006. Johan Woxenius represents the University in the competence centres Lighthouse in the maritime field and Northern Lead in logistics and the strategic research area Transport. He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), as well as several academic and editorial councils.