Professor Jiyin Liu

BEng MEng (NEU), PhD (Nottingham)

  • Professor of Operations Management

Expertise: Operations planning; scheduling; supply chain and logistics management

Jiyin is Professor of Operations Management and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Loughborough Business School.

He holds a BEng in Industrial Automation (1982) and an MEng in Systems Engineering (1985) from Northeastern University of China (NEU, called Northeast University of Technology then). He was one of the earliest staff members working in and developing the system engineering field at NEU, worked there as a lecturer until 1989.

Supported by the Sino-British Friendship Scholarship, Jiyin went to study at Nottingham University, where he received his PhD in Manufacturing Engineering and Operations Management (1993). He then joined Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), as an Assistant Professor, in the newly established Industrial Engineering Department. During his years at HKUST, he was involved in initiating connections with the transportation and logistics industry, setting up a research lab and launching a degree programme in Logistics Management. He received the Teaching Excellence Appreciation award twice.

Jiyin joined Loughborough in 2003 as a Reader, and got his Chair in 2005. From 2008 to 2013 he was Head of the then Management Science, Information Systems and Operations Management Discipline (MIDO) Group. With expertise in the modelling and optimisation of operations planning problems in logistics and production systems, Jiyin focuses on problems that have both academic value and practical relevance.

He has collaborated with companies within and outside the UK such as:

  • Hongkong International Terminals
  • Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited
  • Jardine Logistics
  • JOS Technology Group
  • Philips Electronics
  • Baosteel
  • BT

Jiyin has been working on modelling and optimisation of operations planning and scheduling problems in logistics and production systems.

Most of Jiyin’s research was motivated by practical problems in industry. He studied various operations problems arising in transportation logistics such as berth allocation, spacing assignment and crane scheduling at container terminals, and warehouse location and vehicle routing problems. Jiyin has also been working for a long time on production and logistics planning problems in steel industry. Other problems he studied include scheduling problems in electroplating lines, flexible manufacturing systems, electronics assembly systems, flow shops and hybrid flow shops.

Many of these studies involve innovative modelling, often as integer programs, for example, the first comprehensive model for FMS scheduling including machine loading, job sequencing and material handling decisions; the first model for container storage slot assignment with dynamic features; innovative model of multi-hoist scheduling problem that enables efficient branch and bound solution; integrated model for berth allocation and ship routing with transhipment; model for allocation and scheduling of quay cranes along a common track. Due to complexity, the models are often solved through decomposition and iteration using standard techniques as well as purposely developed procedures. While possible, Jiyin also tries to analyses the problem structures and construct efficient optimal or heuristic solutions. He also solve the problems by applying and improving meta-heuristics, e.g., genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, tabu search and differential evolution.

Jiyin is currently working on two projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China:

  • one on modelling and optimisation of logistics operations problems in distribution centres (as PI)
  • and another on theory and applications of time-space scheduling in manufacturing and logistics systems (as CI).

He is also involved in an EPSRC CASE project on workforce scheduling and vehicle sharing (with Dr Rupal Rana being PI).

Jiyin has published widely. His research papers appeared in leading academic journals such as:

  • European Journal of Operational Research
  • IEEE Transactions on Evolutional Computation
  • IIE Transactions
  • International Journal of Production Research
  • Journal of the Operational Research Society
  • Naval Research Logistics
  • Operations Research
  • Transportation Research Part B: Methodological
  • EDSI 2019 – 10thA Annual European Decision Sciences Conference. Nottingham, UK. June 2 – 5, 2019.
  • EURO 2019 – 30th European Conference on Operational Research. Dublin, Ireland. June 23-26, 2019.
  • Guest Co-Editor of special issue of Systems Science & Control Engineering on Bio-inspired Computing: Theories and Applications, 2019.
  • BIC-TA 2018 – The 13th International Conference on Bio-inspired Computing: Theories and Applications. Beijing, China. 2-4 November 2018.
  • OR60 – The 60th OR Society Annual Conference. Lancaster, UK. 11-13 September 2018.
  • To give a keynote speech at The 13th International Conference on Bio-inspired Computing: Theories and Applications, November 2018
  • Received IISE Transactions Design & Manufacturing Best Application Paper Award, 2017
  • Received Dean’s Award in the category of Researcher of the Year 2014
  • Was a member of a finalist team for the 2014 IFORS Prize for OR in Development for modelling and solution of slab allocation and reallocation problems in Chinese steel industry
  • Received Franz Edelman Finalist Awards (INFORMS) for Achievements in Practice of Operations Research and Management Sciences for the work on decision support systems for iron and steel industry, 2013
  • Served on the editorial boards of Journal of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers, 2007-2010
  • Selected as a Chang Jiang Scholar by the Chinese Ministry of Education and appointed as visiting Chair Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Northeastern University, 2007
  • Received Franz Edelman Finalist Awards (INFORMS) for Achievements in Practice of Operations Research and Management Sciences for the work on decision support in container terminal operations, 2004
  • Served on the editorial boards of Journal of Scheduling, 1998-2002
  • Zhao, G, Liu, J, Dong, Y (2019) Scheduling the operations of a double-load crane in slab yards, International Journal of Production Research, 58(9), pp.2647-2657, ISSN: 0020-7543. DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2019.1629666.
  • Setiawan, E, Liu, J, French, A (2019) Resource location for relief distribution and victim evacuation after a sudden-onset disaster, IISE Transactions, 51(8), pp.830-846.
  • Tang, L, Zhao, X, Liu, J, Leung, JY-T (2017) Competitive two-agent scheduling with deteriorating jobs on a single parallel-batching machine, European Journal of Operational Research.
  • Tang, L, Dong, Y, Liu, J (2015) Differential evolution with an individual-dependent mechanism, IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 19(4), pp.560-574.
  • Tang, L, Meng, Y, Chen, Z-L, Liu, J (2015) Coil batching to improve productivity and energy utilization in steel production, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 18(2), pp.262-279.
  • Jiang, Y and Liu, J (2014) A new model and an efficient branch-and-bound solution for cyclic multi-hoist scheduling, IIE Transactions, 46(3), pp.249-262.
  • Tang, L, Zhao, J, Liu, J (2014) Modeling and solution of the joint quay crane and truck scheduling problem, European Journal of Operational Research, 236(3), pp.978-990.
  • Tang, L, Zhao, Y, Liu, J (2014) An Improved Differential Evolution Algorithm for Practical Dynamic Scheduling in Steelmaking-Continuous Casting Production, IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 18(2), pp.209-225.