Thesis defense of Jochem Jonkman, October 5, 2018

On Friday, October 5, 2018, Jochem Jonkman will defend his PhD thesis “Bridging process engineering and supply chain design for agro-food processing chains”. This thesis has been supervised prof.dr. J.M. Bloemhof and prof.dr. A. van der Path. The ceremony will take place in the Aula of the Auditorium at Wageningen University at 16:00 hrs.


This thesis studies the design of agro-food processing chains using quantitative methods from the fields of Process Systems Engineering and Supply Chain Management. It presents an approach to optimise strategic decisions in the agro-food industry at the product level, the process and enterprise level, the supply chain level, and the network level. Case study results show that using non-conventional intermediate products and production processes can reduce the agro-food industrial energy and water use with respectively 22% and 37%, while reducing costs by 13%. Additionally, supply chain configurations were identified that allow for a reduction of the carbon footprint of over 30% without a reduction of the total gross margin. The decisions at the different levels are interdependent, and sequential optimisation of the different levels will lead to sub-optimisation of the agro-food processing chain. The approach presented in the study enables to reconsider the current set-up of agro-food processing chains and reduce inefficiencies in the production of food.