Dr Jagjit Singh Srai

Head, Centre for International Manufacturing

Dr Jag Srai, is Head of the Centre for International Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge’s Dept. of Eng. Institute for Manufacturing (IfM). His research focus is in the analysis, design and operation of international manufacturing supply networks including the impact of advanced production and digital technologies.


Current and recent research projects with PI/Co-I leadership roles include the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), Reconfiguring Medicines End-to-end Supply (ReMediES) project, where Dr Srai (Research Director) led research activities on future pharmaceutical supply chain design (2014-18; £23M), EPSRC Renewable Chemical Feedstocks (2013-18) evaluating the feasibility of using renewable feedstocks to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and EPSRC Sustainable Supply Network Design (2013–17) on resource efficiency in the process industries. Ongoing EPSRC/GCRF/EIT research projects (combined value £5m) include the Future Manufacturing Hub on Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC, 2018-23) in Supply Networks for Personalised Medicines, GCRF Food Security (Tigr2ess, 2017-2021) on resource constrained Supply Network Modelling, and European Innovation Technology (EIT) projects (2019-2020) on Digitalisation of Food Supply Chains. 


Dr Srai’s work is characterised by its interdisciplinary nature, involving collaborations with leading industrial and institutional players that provide effective pathways to impact, highlighted in the Department’s 2014/2021 REF submissions. Within Cambridge, Jag is Co-Chair of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Global Food Security. Internationally, Dr Srai is Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production, and inputs to UNCTAD’s annual industrial development reports, most recently on Investment in the Digital Economy. He has also leads IfM’s Digital Supply Chain Industrial Consortium (2015- ) involving leading multinationals collaborating on digital supply chain transformation.


Before joining Cambridge, Dr Srai held major leadership roles at Unilever, within research operations (budget £200m), as a Supply Chain Director of Multinational Regional business (>4,000 employees), Technical Director of a National Business (>2,000 employees), and other senior management positions, with over 17 years of front-line industrial operations management experience.


Excellence in pathways to impact has been demonstrated through a number of collaboration platforms funded by industry to explore emerging trends in technology-enabled supply network redesign, including:

  • Founder and Director: Digital Supply Chain (DSC) Industrial Consortium (2015–) that brings together a group of manufacturing leaders (ABB, Bayer, Caterpillar, Grundfos, GSK, IKEA, Phillips, Rolls-Royce, Unilever) to apply the Centre’s research outputs on digital supply chain transformation with exemplary knowledge exchange between collaborators.
  • Founder and Director: Industrial collaboration programme in international manufacturing capabilities and supply network configuration (2007–). Dr Srai has led the development of a rapidly growing dissemination channel for his Centre’s research, achieving significant impact through consultancy, professional development and publications. This collaborative platform has led to significant new understanding of the capabilities of supply networks, forming an impact case study for the 2014 REF with corporations such as Rolls-Royce, GSK, BAE Systems, and Caterpillar reporting impacts in terms of cost savings (>£10m per annum), improved competitive differentiation and informing capital expenditure allocation (>£100m).
  • Board member for IfM Education and Consultancy Services (2017–), the IfM’s knowledge transfer arm, with responsibility for its strategic direction and operational governance.


Leadership roles in international policy forums and knowledge exchange

  • Co-chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing Production and exploring opportunities from 4th industrial revolution technologies, and their implications on manufacturing globalisation, national economies and society.
  • Expert input to UNCTAD Annual Investment reports, specifically on Manufacturing Value Chains (2013), Non-Equity Partnerships (2015), and inward investments in the Digital Economy (2017).
  • Co-chair of the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Global Food Security focusing on interdisciplinary programme development and international collaboration on resource efficient food supply chains.


Leadership roles in funded research programmes

  • PI and Research Director Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) project (2014­­–18). Project REMEDIES (£23m) aims to reconfigure medicines’ end-to end supply chains. Dr Srai initiated and leads the research in this 23-partner consortium, involving academic, industrial and institutional partners, across the pharmaceutical supply chain.
  • Programme Leader & CoI: EPSRC Sustainable Supply Network Design (SSND) (2013–17), Dr Srai developed and was operationally responsible for the delivery of this multi-university international collaboration with multidisciplinary partners in science and technology.
  • CoI and workpackage lead: EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub CMAC, lead on Supply Networks for Personalised Medicines (2017 – 2023):, leader on workpackage  on the supply network requirements for the personalisation of small molecule pharmaceuticals.
  • CoI and workpackage lead: Global Challenge Research Fund on Food Security (Tigr2ess) (2017-2021) on resource constrained supply network modelling of complex food supply chains considering impacts of economic, industrial and population growth on resources.
  • CoI and workpackage lead: EPSRC Renewable Chemical Feedstocks on Supply Network Design (2013–8): interdisciplinary research programme evaluating the feasibility of using renewable feedstocks (terpenes) to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Cambridge Team co-lead on European Knowledge Innovation Centre (KIC) on Future of Food (2017-23); co-led the input to securing access to a £400m EU programme in the use of digital and process technologies for enhanced consumer health, nutrition and supply security.


Industrial and international dissemination

Research findings are disseminated to industry through leading practice/policy channels including: UNCTAD Annual Investment reports (e.g. Investment in the Digital Economy, 2017); World Economic Forum 2017/2018 Davos briefs on The Future of Production, Guest Editorial Digital Supply Chain Transformation, 2018; Cambridge Research Horizons e.g. Take your medicine: How new research into pharmaceutical supply chains will help you take care of yourself, 2017; 'Keeping the supply chain flowing’, 2015; The Manufacturer e.g. The new globalisation: rethinking supply chains in a changing technological and political landscape,2017; Transforming Supply Chains through Digitalisation, 2017. Numerous keynote/panel chair contributions (incl. EEF 2015, EurOMA 2016/7, POMS 2018, Swedish OM 2014/19) and (MIT 2015, Pharma Integrates 2017/19).


Academic publications

Key publications

  • Lim, S and Srai, J.S., 2019 Examining the anatomy of last-mile distribution in omni-channel retailing: A supply network configuration and contingency approach, International Journal of Operations and Production Management (in print) DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-12-2016-0733
  • MacCarthy, B., Blome, C., Olhager, J., Srai, J.S., Zhao, X., 2016, Supply Chain Evolution - Theory, Concepts, Science, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, DOI:10.1108/IJOPM-02-2016-0080 (highly commended paper award Emerald publishers)
  • Brennan, L., Ferdows, K., Godsell, J., Golini R., Keegan, R., Kinkel, S., Srai, J.S., Taylor M., 2015 Manufacturing in the world: where next?, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 35 Iss: 9, pp.1253 - 1274 DOI
  • Holweg, M and Srai, J.S. 2013. Exploring Interfaces: Making the case for interdisciplinary research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 33 (7) 792-799
  • Srai J.S. and Gregory M.J., 2008. A supply network configuration perspective on international supply chain development. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 28(5), 386-411.
  • Lorentz, H., Kumar, M., Srai J.S., 2017, Managing distance in international purchasing and supply: a systematic review of literature from the resource-based view perspective, International Business Review (in print)
  • Rezk, R., Srai, J.S., Williamson P., 2016, The impact of product attributes and emerging technologies on firms' international configuration, Journal of International Business Studies, on-line March 2016, doi:10.1057/jibs.2016.9, June/July 47 (5), pp. 610-618 
  • Harrington, T.S., Phillips, M.A., Srai, J.S. 2016, Reconfiguring global pharmaceutical value networks through targeted technology interventions, International Journal of Production Research,
  • Srai J.S. and Ané, C, 2016, Institutional and strategic operations perspectives on manufacturing reshoring, International Journal of Production Research, DOI:10.1080/00207543.2016.1193247
  • Srai J.S., Kumar M., Graham G., Phillips W., Tooze J., Tiwari M.K., Ford S., Beecher P., Raj B., Gregory M.J., Tiwari M.K., Ravi B., Neely A., Shankar R., Charnley F., and Tiwari A., 2016, Distributed Manufacturing: scope, challenges and opportunities, International Journal of Production Research
  • Srai, J. S., Harrington, T.S., and Tiwari, M.K., 2016, Characteristics of redistributed manufacturing systems: a comparative study of emerging industry supply networks International Journal of Production Research


For the complete list of Dr Srai's academic publications click here


Career summary

2007– : Head, Centre for International Manufacturing, IfM

2007– : Supply Networks Programme Director, IfM

2011: Chair, European Operations Management Conference (and Board Member 2010-12)

2009–2010: National Automotive Innovation Growth Team (UK)

2004–2007: Co-Director, Centre for International Manufacturing, IfM, University of Cambridge

2003– : Senior Industrial Fellow, Programme Leader, Supply Networks Industry Consortium

2001–2002: Senior Management (UK) - Unilever North Africa Middle East Regional Supply Chain

1999–2001: Supply Chain Director, Unilever (N. Africa & Middle-East)

1996–1999: Technical Director, Unilever Egypt (including profit responsibility for selected categories)

1994–1996: R&D Operations Manager, Detergents, Unilever HQ (Global) (£220m R&D spend)

1992–1994: Europe Lead Factory Manager, Liquids Factories, Unilever (Lever Europe)


Academic and professional qualifications

2016: Principal Researcher (Reader equivalent) position, University of Cambridge  

2007: PhD in Engineering Supply Network Configuration, University of Cambridge

2004: MPhil in Engineering Supply Network Capability, University of Cambridge

2005: FIChemE, Fellow, Institute of Chemical Engineers

2003: CEng, Chartered Engineer, Institute of Chemical Engineers

1986: BEng (1st Class Hons), Chemical Process Engineering, University of Aston







Contact Details

T: +44 (0) 1223 765601
M: +44 (0) 7734 605445
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