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Research into Blockchain Applications in Supply Chains

Project Description

The University of Limerick (UL) with over 13,000 students and 1,300 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. We are renowned for providing an outstanding student experience and conducting leading edge research. Our commitment is to make a difference by shaping the future through educating and empowering our students. UL is situated on a superb riverside campus of over 130 hectares with the River Shannon as a unifying focal point. Outstanding recreational, cultural and sporting facilities further enhance this exceptional learning and research environment.

Background: Blockchain is an example of a distributed ledger. This means that data is stored not in a single location, but rather on a system of ‘nodes’. A node in this case represents an actor in the system that is online in said system. There is an emerging interest about the use of blockchains in supply chains. This is because blockchain technology has the potential to allow one to more securely and transparently track all types of transactions in a supply chain. Early research has shown that the applications can be found in smart contracts, recording of assets, tracking of trade related documents and are an important aspect is the link between the physical and digital item.

Objectives: The objective of this work is to carry out research into understanding the possibly use of blockchain in supply chains, and the implementation of these scenario(s), (using representative data from companies within CONFIRM) in a test-bed to illustrate the advantages/disadvantages of such an approach.
Research Work: The steps of the research are: (i) research and understand blockchain; (ii) research the literature and understand the possibly benefits of blockchain within supply chains (iii) Review a number of companies supply chain systems; (iv) develop knowledge of tools (e.g., Ethereum, Hyperledger, Multichain, etc) to implement blockchains within supply chains; (v) Propose an overall architecture for selected scenarios from supply chains and implement these scenarios(s); (vi) Document the advantages/disadvantages of each scenario.

Novelty of Work: The adoption of blockchain in the supply chain and logistics is slow at present because of associated risks and the lack of demonstrable examples. However companies are very interested to understand the advantages or disadvantages of blockchains in supply chains.
Requirements: An engineering or computer science student with an ability to program.

Inquire from Contact Details:
Name: Prof Cathal Heavey
Telephone number: 0035361202891

Funding Notes

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, or Computer Science or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Manufacturing systems, Supply chain management, Distributed systems, Computer Science.

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