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What is the International Research Project?

The foundation ‘Stichting Study Tour Industria (SSTI) annually organizes the International Research Project. This project is an initiative of students of the School of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences the Eindhoven University of Technology. Students of the Master Programs ‘Innovation Management’, ‘Operations Management & Logistics, ‘Business Information Systems’, ‘Manufacturing Systems Engineering’ and ‘Data Science’ are allowed to participate.

The International Research Project (IRP) is a research project in which 22 Industrial Engineering students conduct research in the Netherlands, based on a predetermined theme. Afterwards the students will go on a study trip to Dubai, Shanghai and several cities in South-Korea, organized around that same theme. This year’s theme is New Work Future: A technology driven revolution.

The aim of the International Research Project is to provide students with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about a subject of research that suits their interests and education. In addition, the IRP enables students to learn about different cultures and to acquire international experience.


The organization of the International Research Project 2018 is in hands of the following executive committee:

f.l.t.r.: Jorg van Heesch, Saskia Keet, Frank Hoepel, Renate Maresch and Thomas Relou.

Jorg van Heesch
Coordinator Contract Research

Saskia Keet
Financial Manager

Frank Hoepel

Renate Maresch
Coordinator External Relations & Program

Thomas Relou
Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation



New Work Future
A Technology Driven Revolution

The fourth industrial revolution is mainly driven by the upcoming robotization and automation of machines. Technology becomes more intelligent and drives companies towards new ways to deal with employment. The changing work environment has its influence on many levels, which will be illustrated as follows.

Digitalisation vs human expertise
First, there is the ongoing discussion about whether it is more likely to automate processes, or to keep investing in human resources. Elements such as expertise, experience, costs and the nature of work play a huge part here.

Labour polarisation
As an effect, there is a growing polarisation on the labour market. Growing income differences, fear of unemployment and underemployment and different market opportunities between high- and low skilled jobs. New jobs are being born while others disappear. For example, there is a growing need for programmers and craftsmen, while jobs like accountant can be taken over by machines more and more. The way companies deal with that is an interesting thing to investigate.

Labour flexibility
Another part of the new work future, is the growing trend of flexibility in many industries. Due to the expanding digital world, employees are no longer stuck to their desk at the office, but they are able to work from home. This trend is caused by the evolution of the internet, growing digitalisation and the ability of companies to innovate. The expectation is that this trend won’t stagnate, due to the improvement of for example virtual reality.

Feminization & Migration
Besides the effects illustrated above, which are mainly technology and digitalisation, there is another more cultural side path of the new work future. Slowly, but significantly, more women make their way to the top of business. Due to differences in the way men and women think and act, this ‘female shift’ causes significant influence on the cultural aspects within companies. This is an important and interesting trend. Besides the feminization, the participation of migrated people in the labour market also has its influence on the way businesses work and cultural aspects within a company.

Behavioural operations management
There are more aspects than the ones illustrated above that has its influence on the future of work.  First, there is the influence of human behaviour on operations management. The way people work influences the optimization processes in many industries. The cause of this is related to Human Performance, the results are related to optimization processes. The research that is done here shows a good collaboration between those research directions

Dark analytics
Big data enables us more and more to quantify theories and complex developments. This can be used to measure human performance as well. For example, cameras can nowadays monitor perfectly how employees work, which can be quantified in order to measure the effectivity of employees.

Based on the above summation of related topics, we expect that we have found a theme that is applicable for both OML, IM, MSE and BIS. Therefore, the range of topics for possible projects is various.



This year the International Research Project will head to Dubai, Shanghai and several cities in South-Korea. During the study tour, several visits to companies that have a connection to the theme New Work Future will take place. Also several universities will be visited, and a visit to the Dutch Embassy.

The goal of the study tour is to explore and document the applications and possibilities of New Work Future in a corporate and academic environment. By discussing the topic with employees of manufacturing plants, company headquarters, universities, and official country representation offices, we want to gain extensive knowledge on New Work Future.

Once this knowledge has been obtained, we can use it to complement the research findings of the project we conducted in the Netherlands.

About the countries, Dubai is strongly related to the theme. As logistic centre of the West-Asian, African and European economies, Dubai offers needs to deal with many multicultural aspects, while they value their own culture strongly. Besides, the logistic opportunities are huge and many big western companies are settled in Dubai, which gives the opportunity to investigate how those companies deal with the new work future. From a different point of view, Shanghai is also very interesting. It is a totally different culture, however still very modern.  Which means that they also need to deal with these global trends. It is interesting to see how they deal with that. Lastly South Korea is very modern country that is very active in the world industry. Being the home nations of multinationals such as Samsung, Hyundai and Kia, the way they deal with the new work future is very interesting.

Research Projects

The participants of the IRP conduct research projects for firms. This research will take place in the Netherlands from December 2017 to June 2018. The IRP allows your company to benefit from the expertise of the students of Industrial Engineering and their professors. Research projects regarding the theme of this year’s IRP, the New Work Future, can provide the students with more insights into the theme. However, if a company faces any unfulfilled research need in the field of Industrial Engineering, the IRP provides an opportunity to get this need fulfilled. For any questions, please send an e-mail to

You can download our company brochure here.


The International Research Project (IRP) cannot be financially independent. For this reason, we would appeal to companies to support our project in all possible ways. Companies can support the IRP financially, or in kind.

The IRP is an excellent opportunity for companies to get attention from students in the final phase of their study Industrial Engineering. In addition, the members of the IRP and their presence at various workshops, lectures and activities create a wide spread awareness of your company to all students and other companies.

For the above reasons, we would like you to support the IRP and therefore we have different opportunities that we would like to bring to your attention. If you are interested and you would like to support us: please contact or look into the attachment below!
Of course, you can always contact us for further questions or comments.

Saskia Keet
Financial Manager IRP 2018


The students involved in this project are students of the Master’s program ‘Operations Management and Logistics’, ‘Innovation Management’, ‘Business Information Systems’, or ‘Manufacturing Systems Engineering’. All students have knowledge in Industrial Engineering, but also capabilities specific to their Master’s program. These capabilities will be discussed on the next page. The majority of the selected students completed their Bachelor of Industrial Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. Topics the students covered during their Bachelor’s program include accounting, goods flow management, human performance management, stock control, organization science and information systems. The students of Industrial Engineering are focused on making improvements in companies and are ready to apply the methods and tools they have learned during their courses. The study program at Eindhoven University of Technology regularly involves group assignments. These group assignments enable students to train their analytical skills, their social skills and their presentation and cooperation skills.

Operations Management and Logistics

Operations Management & Logistics is a multidisciplinary field that covers such disciplines as supply chain management, manufacturing systems, information systems, business process management, human performance management, health care engineering, transportation, reliability engineering, maintenance, and operational finance. The program trains student in quantitative analyses. In all courses, the theory is related to existing research and students are shown how to apply theory in practice. For example, an alternative design of a control concept for a supply chain or a workflow process in an insurance company aree investigated. They also learn how efficiency improvement or cost reduction can be obtained by advanced concepts.

Innovation Management

Innovation Management studies the management of innovation processes and develops theories, tools and techniques to make businesses more innovative. Key aspects of this discipline are knowledge management, strategic alliances, entrepreneurship, new product development, supplier partnerships, marketing management, quality management and technology management. Students learn how to use the knowledge that they gain in carrying out research into innovation management and in industrial applications. They also learn how to analyze the current innovative performance of a company, explain it in terms of quality, cost and time, and improve this performance by re-engineering innovation processes.

Business Information Systems

Modern organizations such as banks, insurance companies, ministries, hospitals, travel companies and webstores are critically dependent on their information system: when it falters, all the other processes come to a standstill. This creates a demand for experts who are able to face the challenges of both computer science and industrial engineering. The Business Information Systems Master program unites the competencies of the computer scientist and the industrial engineer. Through a balanced selection of computer science and industrial engineering courses, this program gives students a solid foundation to be able to design and realize secure and reliable information systems. Students can specialize in one of the four streams: business process management, healthcare, ICT services and logistics.

Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Because of digitization and automation, the manufacturing industry is now rapidly changing. The whole chain of products, machines, factories, warehouses and customers, or the Internet of Things, is able to share and exchange information. To fully exploit this network of information for more effective and efficient production, the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Master program provides students with knowledge of the whole chain: from the technology inside the machine up to the level of supply chains. The program offers this combination of technological knowledge of high-tech production systems and knowledge of production processes and supply chains, and shows how to apply this knowledge effectively at both system and network level.


For more information, please contact us at or visit our office at Paviljoen U3.


Welcome at the website of the IRP 2018!

The International Research Project is a study tour combined with internationally oriented research projects for industrial engineering master students at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

This year’s theme is “New Work Future: A technology driven revolution”. The destination will be Dubai, Shanghai and several cities in South-Korea!

The aim of the International Research Project is to provide students with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about a subject of research that suits their interests and education. In addition, the IRP enables students to learn about different cultures and to acquire international experience. The research start in The Netherlands with a research project at a company for every student.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.