10 Questions with Mihai Neagoe

1. What is your role?
I am a researcher and PhD candidate in the eLogistics Research Group. I’m part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and a key part of my role is research in supply chains. In the last 4 years I’ve been working with forestry supply chains both in Tasmania and on the Australian mainland on a range of issues including port congestion management. My research on port congestion management is funded by the Australian Research Council through the Centre for Forest Value.

2. Who do you work for?
I work within the eLogistics Research Group (eLRG) at the University of Tasmania. The eLRG is led by Professor Paul Turner and is focused on conducting research and consultancy to enhance logistics using digital tools and human factors work.

Across a number of export focused industries, the eLRG contributes to innovative applied research in the intelligent use of information to drive industry competitiveness, environmental sustainability and value from end-to-end of the supply chain.

In forestry we are involved in several projects involving forest resource assessment using non-destructive testing, remote sensing and drones, harvest residue utilization for bioenergy generation as well as congestion management in forestry terminals.

3. How long have you been in the industry?
I have been researching and working in supply chains for seven years. In the last 4 years, I’ve been working with forestry and other bulk cargo supply chains. Before coming to Australia, I was in Europe working in international container shipping.

4. What’s the most exciting part of your role?
Working with industry partners on supply chain problems to deliver value and innovation.

Having the freedom to coordinate and manage the projects I’m involved in, experiment with new techniques and technologies and finding ways of making an impact with research.

5. What are you most passionate about in the industry?
While working with the eLRG and industry partners I have become passionate about supporting the implementation of ‘precision logistics’ through the innovative integration of information technology, human factors engineering and supply chain management. I see huge potential to advance the competitiveness, efficiency and level of innovation in business practices and performance by better integration of new technologies, tools and techniques along logistics chains.

I am really passionate about helping Tasmanian export focused industries recognise that in global markets supply chains as well as individual companies compete. Being able to support strategic, tactical and operational decision-making to improve efficiency and enhance competitiveness that support value optimisation and contribute to improved environmental sustainability is where I see my work taking me into the future.

6. What is your vision for the Forest and Forest Products industry in Tasmania?
Coming from Europe to Tasmania, I immediately became aware of the contrasting ways in which the forestry and timber related industries were viewed by different sections of the community.

Looking to the future, my vision for Tasmania’s Forestry and Forestry products industries is one of an industry that is highly respected in the wider community for its use of advanced techniques, sustainable practices and driving innovation. It would be great to have a vision of forestry that emphasised opportunities in the bioeconomy, in precision processing and value-added products and services along the value chain to end-customers.

7. What do you think the Industry does really well?
The forest industry has generally coped really well with all the challenges it has faced in the last few years from bushfires through to the COVID19 pandemic. The industry has increasingly recognised that export logistics is the lifeblood of the Island State and that working to address fragmentation in supply chains is important for contributing resilience in these challenging times. The willingness of the industry to come together to work on these issues has been terrific and it is clear that many in the industry are strongly committed to transforming the practice and perception of what the forestry and forestry products industries can be into the future. I certainly hope to be able to contribute to this transformation moving forward.

8. Where do you think there is room for improvement?
Supply chains, especially in forestry, have become increasingly fragmented. There is significant potential to add value in the industry by bridging the communication and operational gaps between the different companies operating in supply chains.

9. On a weekend, we’d find you where?
In those lucky days when I’m not working on my research or on projects, I’d be at a go kart track, training or hiking.

10. What is something that would surprise people about you?
I am from Transylvania, I don’t like sun exposure and garlic.