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Michael Bell

Michael Bell

Professor of Ports and Maritime Logistics

Room 1141
C13 - St James Campus
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9114 1816
Fax +61 2 9114 1722


Michael Bell is the Foundation Professor of Ports and Maritime Logistics in the Institute of Transport and Logistics. Prior to his commencement at the University of Sydney in August 2012, he was Professor of Transport Operations and Director of the Port Operations Research and Technology Centre (PORTeC) at Imperial College London. Having graduated in 1975 from Cambridge University with a BA in Economics, he obtained an MSc in Transportation (1976) and a PhD on Freight Distribution (1981), both from Leeds University. Between 1979 and 1982 he worked as a Research Associate at University College London, before moving to the Institut für Verkehrswesen at the Technical University of Karlsruhe as an Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral Research Fellow. He returned to the UK in 1984 to a New Blood lectureship at the University of Newcastle. In 1992 he became the Deputy Director of the Transport Operations Research Group (TORG), becoming its Director in 1996, when he was also promoted to a Personal Chair. In January 2002, he moved to Imperial College London. His research and teaching interests are catholic, spanning ports and maritime logistics, transport network modelling, traffic engineering, and intelligent transport systems. He is the author of many papers, a number of books (including Transportation Network Analysis, published in 2007) and was for 17 years an Associate Editor of Transportation Research B. In 2005 he founded the Port Operations Research and Technology Centre (PORTeC), a virtual centre spanning both Civil Engineering and the Business School dedicated to research and consultancy in the field of ports and maritime logistics.

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Research Grants


Risky business: using biological systems to mitigate risk in supply chains and transportation networks

In an uncertain world, resilient supply chains are crucial for getting products and services to consumers. However, the algorithms used to design and manage supply chains are inadequate to deal with the increasingly complex and self-organised nature of modern supply chains. This project will look to nature for new solutions to supply chain design and management problems. Natural systems are highly resilient against perturbations and damage. They have had millions of years to evolve efficient solutions to the same problems currently facing supply chains. Using experiments on ants and slime moulds. This project will uncover the secrets of biological resilience, and use this insight to develop new algorithms for supply chain design and management.

ARC Discovery Project


Methodologies for the incorporation of congestion propagation and system reliability into transport network models for consistent multi-scale planning

This project will improve the capabilities of transport planning techniques. Specifically, new methods will be introduced, which improve the realism of regional congestion modelling, and the mathematical representation of traveller decision-making, thereby permitting an improved long-term transport plan.

ARC Linkage Grant

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Recent Units Taught