Dr Minchul Sohn

Dr Minchul Sohn

Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management

Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



I am Dr Minchul Sohn, a Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management at the University of Plymouth. My research in Operations and Supply Chain Management (SCM) focuses on exploring potential interventions to address complex challenges within the areas of humanitarian and sustainable supply chains. Using a systems perspective, I investigate the underlying mechanisms for successful intervention development, implementation, and the necessary contextual factors. 
I examine the role of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (HLSCM) in mitigating disaster risks and enhancing preparedness under a changing climate. I also explore sustainable city logistics, focusing on urban freight and mobility, with the goal of fostering efficient and sustainable business models that reduce environmental and social impacts. 
Current research examines the adoption of e-cargo bikes and explores broader planning and implementation mechanisms for collaborative adoption of low-carbon alternatives in first- and last-mile city logistics.
I have extensive experience in international research projects, collaborating with prominent humanitarian organisations (UNHCR, WFP, Red Cross, etc.) and conducting fieldwork across diverse locations, including Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Spain. I also contributed to the DG-ECHO-funded EU project on emergency logistics preparedness.
Before joining the University of Plymouth, I worked as a project researcher at Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland and as a research fellow at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany. 


  • BA Political Science and Spanish Literature, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea
    (Politics and international relations, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK; Spanish art and history, Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain)
  • MSc Logistics and Operations Management, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  • Minchul holds a doctorate in Economics and Business Administration with Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility from Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland; and was titled “Humanitarian logistics preparedness for recurring small-scale disasters based on seasonal climate information”


Teaching interests

I actively contribute to teaching, currently serving as the Programme Lead for the MSc International Logistics and Supply Chain Management HKU. I have experience leading various modules, including International Supply Chain Management and Sustainable Supply Chain Management. My teaching encompasses a broad range of subjects, including logistics and supply chain management, sustainable supply chain management, project management, strategic management, and challenge module. Supervision topics for BA and MSc students related to humanitarian logistics and city logistics are welcome.


Research interests

Current research interests:
  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Sustainable city logistics & urban mobility
  • Sustainable last-mile delivery 
  • Sustainable and closed-loop supply chain management
  • Area of improvisation in managing supply chain risks 
  • Extreme weather events and supply chain preparedness
  • System dynamics modelling
I warmly welcome applications from prospective PhD candidates who are keen to explore research topics akin to those outlined above.

Other research

2023 Exploring local business adoption of e-cargo bikes for first/last mile delivery
  • Focused on identifying prerequisites, challenges, barriers and potential approaches for adopting e-cargo bikes 
2023 E-cargo bikes for sustainable city logistics ESRC Festival of Social Science
  • To raise awareness and provide hands-on experience with e-cargo bikes 
Aug 2019 – Jul 2021 Supply Chain Resilience (SCR) assessment project 
  • Development of a system dynamics model that provides support in assessing, quantifying and improving the resilience of humanitarian supply chains
Oct 2017 - Dec 2019 UNHCR Certification Programme for Supply Chain Management 
  • Project leader
  • Delivery, assessment, and evaluation of the SCM training programme
Aug 2016 - June 2017 Reconfigure Mobility 
  • Team Reconfigure Mobility - initiative to create a network of experts to tackle the challenges of sustainable mobility
  • Semifinalist in Helsinki Challenge
Jan 2015 - Dec 2016 EU DG-ECHO Project: MELOGIC
  • An Integrated Methodological Framework for Emergency Logistics
  • Study on civil protection logistics in remote territories
Jan 2013 - Dec 2014 The Academy of Finland Project: SAFE-MET
  • Study on risk management of extreme weather-related disaster and climate change adaptation 
Sep 2012 - Dec 2012 Resilience in Disaster Relief and Development Supply Chains
  • Study on supply chain resilience as a concept to respond to disruptions in the supply chain


Sohn, M. (2019), Småskaliga katastrofer på lokal nivå har stora konsekvenser. Ekonomiska Samfundets Tidskrift 2019 (2), pp. 18–21.

Sohn, M. (2022), “Exploring mechanisms of using seasonal climate information to drive humanitarian logistics preparedness” in Ilija Djekic (eds), Handbook of Climate Change Across the Food Supply Chain. Springer.

Sohn, M. (2017), “So much of research is context: fieldwork experience in humanitarian logistics” in Kovács. G., Spens, K. & Moshtari, M. (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Sohn, M, Meriläinen, E & Grant, D (2016), “Decision making in Humanitarian Logistics” in Supply Chain Management for Humanitarians. Kogan Page, London, pp. 103-123.

Pettit, S, Beresford, A, Knight, D & Sohn, M (2015),”Humanitarian aid logistics: a new area for the public service research agenda?” in ZJ Radnor, N Bateman, A Esain, M Kumar, SJ Williams & DM Upton (eds), Public Service Operations Management: A research handbook. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 73-93.

Conference Papers
Sohn, M, Guillén, J., Kovács, G., Minis, I., and Zeimpekis, V. (2016), “Understanding civil protection logistics in a remote EU territory” in the Preparedness and Emergency Response Logistics Conference (PERL) in Oslo, 2-3 November, Proceedings
Tabaklar, T & Sohn, M (2016), “Decision making in food security in Kenya and Zambia: a SCM view” in European Decision Sciences Institute Conference 2016 in Helsinki, 24-27 May, Proceedings.

Venäläinen, A., Pilli-Sihvola, K., Sohn, M., Tuomenvirta, H., Ruuhela, R., Hyvärinen, O., Väätäinen-Chimpuku, S., Kululanga, E., Mtilatila, L., Imbwae, F. and Phiri, L. (2014), “Study on risk management of extreme weather related disasters and climate change adaptation in Malawi and Zambia”, in 14th European Meteorological Society Annual Meeting Abstracts, Vol. 11, EMS2014-56, 14th EMS/10th ECAC.

Pilli-Sihvola, A.K., Sohn, M., Hyvarinen, O., Kululanga, E., Mtilatila, L., Imbwae, F., Phiri, L., and Venalainen, A. (2014), “The societal benefits of seasonal forecasts for food security: Case studies in Malawi and Zambia”, in IDRC Davos 2014 Conference in Davos, 24-28 August, Proceedings.

Sohn, M. (2014), “Using weather information in humanitarian logistics: early warning systems in Zambia”, in NOFOMA 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, 12-13 June, Proceedings.

Sohn, M. and Pilli-Sihvola, A.K. (2014), “The use of early warning systems for improved food security: Case studies in Malawi and Zambia”, in Future Infinite Academic 2014 in Helsinki, Finland, 11-12 June, Proceedings.

Sohn, M. (2013), “Humanitarian logistics and development aid: In consideration of exit strategy”, in NOFOMA 2013 in Göteborg, Sweden, 4-5 June 2013, CD-ROM Proceedings.

Sohn, M., Kovács G., and Spens, K. (2013), “Supply Chain Design with an Exit Strategy: Health Care Humanitarian Supply Chains in Ethiopia”, in LRN 2013 in Birmingham, UK, 4-6 Sept 2013, CD-ROM Proceedings.