Axel Franz studied Business Administration at the University of Mannheim with majors in Logistics, Finance, and Physical Technology and received his Diploma in 2012. In his diploma thesis, he conducted a simulation study of the truck handling operations at the air cargo terminal of Lufthansa Cargo at Frankfurt airport. During his studies, Axel spent a semester at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and gained practical experience while working for KPMG, PwC, and TNS Infratest. He also worked as a student assistant for the Chair of Corporate Finance of Professor Maug at the University of Mannheim. Axel joined the CDSB in 2012 and specialized in “Operations & Information Systems”. Currently, he works as a research assistant for the Chair of Production Management of Professor Stolletz and recently spent three months as a visiting fellow at the School of Industrial Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology.
Truck Arrival Management, in particular Terminal Appointment Systems
Performance Evaluation and Optimization of Time-Dependent Queuing Systems
Why I chose the University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS
As a graduate from the University of Mannheim, I had already been able to enjoy education of one of the top German business schools. By delivering high quality research, I also wished to actively contribute in assuring the university’s outstanding position in business research. The CDSB's doctoral program with specialization in "Operations & Information Systems" offered me the excellent opportunity to achieve my academic goals by deepening and expanding my knowledge of quantitative methods, laying the foundations for my research projects.
The best part of being a doctoral student here
A major strength of studying at the GESS is its broad preparation for becoming a contributing part of the scientific community. Besides the methodological education, seminars and workshops allow for presenting and discussing first research results and for asking for valuable feedback in order to refine the own work. Furthermore, the English academic writing course helped me to further improve my writing skills.
A description of my fellow doctoral students
The GESS offers a multinational working and research environment with highly qualified fellow students from different backgrounds. Besides the opportunity of a steady and rewarding exchange of ideas and knowledge with colleagues, I have won some really good friends.
My most challenging experience within the program
Certainly, the program’s first year is demanding and challenging, and courses can be very intense, especially the Mathematics block course in the very first month. Nevertheless, the hard work pays off. By obtaining a better understanding of the wide diversity of quantitative research approaches, the subsequent scientific work will benefit in terms of quality, scope, and speed.
My advice for prospective students
Research takes time. Especially in the first year, due to the course work, time will be limited for comprehensive research. Identifying one’s research topic and formulating appropriate research question(s) might take a while. Moreover, research outcomes are always subject to uncertainty. So be patient in following your personal academic goals.