In today’s era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, any devices, machines, sensors, objects, and even people and animals can be connected and become part of a network. These connected nodes enable us to collect data, monitor and control activities locally or remotely, transforming the way information flows, communicates and interacts. A connected sensor enabled Blockchain based IoT network application will shift the paradigm from adopting the traditional Supply Chain Management (SCM) system to a smart and secure SCM system. The automated IoT enabled SCM will allow monitoring and collecting data on how the product arrive from the farm, in what state and condition it was processed, how it has been moved and shift around from place to place and from city to city and from country to country. It will also help on how products are taken care of in a factory then in a warehouse followed by wholesale distributor storage before it’s finally put up in retail shops to be displayed or delivered to the customers. The research is not about simply collecting and monitoring data about food management, but it’s about designing an automated secure and a smart SCM system in such a way that food waste is minimized, food quality is improved, food is stored, preserved and transported in its best possible environmental condition, protect and trace the food movement along with its origin throughout the food chain system using Blockchain and IoT systems.
The new SCM-IoT infrastructure should be designed in such a way that it utilizes minimal computation power, memory, energy and bandwidth. The limited recourses of the sensors make it very challenging to incorporate security features to ensure Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. However, it’s a necessity to build a trusted SCM system, because it involves different stake holders and different heterogenous parties. The future smart and secure SCM system should be sustainable in terms of resource utilization, it should be suitable and easy to adopt and above all it should be trustable without human intervention. It should also ensure protection of sensitive data and privacy of all the participating parties and satisfy the Data Protection Act of the participating organizations, parties and their respective countries. In order to maintain traceability of any activity, accountability and transparency with tamper-proof assurances, harvesting Blockchain benefits is a solution to these challenges. However, sustaining the resource constraint IoT network during the adoption of a resource hungry Blockchain technology needs to be explored.
The research will also focus on processing, analyzing and visualizing the collected heterogeneous data to gain insight into the events to accurately understand, interpret and successfully predict/forecast behavior using machine learning and AI techniques.
The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing industrial problems through the application of fundamental science and engineering. For information about MERI please visit https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/specialisms/materials-and-engineering-research-institute
Application deadline: applicants accepted all year round with enrolments during September, February (January on website) and May
Duration: 4 years full time, 7 years part time.
Funding Status: there is no funding attached to this project. The applicant will need to fund their own tuition fees, research costs and living expenses.
For information about how to apply, entry requirements, tuition fees and other costs please visit View Website