Dr Jagjit Singh Srai

Director of Research, and Head, Centre for International Manufacturing

Dr Srai is a Director of Research in the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, and Head, Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing (IfM). Jag has extensive experience of leading large-scale complex research projects comprising multiple stakeholders across industry, academia, and public bodies. His research centre at the University of Cambridge brings an engineering and strategic operations management perspective to the design, analysis and operation of international supply chains and the impact of advanced production and digital technologies. Through major collaborations with industry (individual firms and consortia), primarily in healthcare and food/FMCG sectors, his research findings have directly underpinned major organisational change.


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 also leads IfM’s Digital Supply Chain Industrial Consortium (2015- ) involving leading multinationals collaborating on digital supply chain transformation. In IfM, Jag leads the Healthcare Research Theme and across Cambridge he co-chairs the Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Global Food Security.


From an industrial perspective, before joining Cambridge, Jag had an extensive career managing complex supply chains for the FTSE 100 Company, Unilever. Here he held major leadership roles within Research Operations (budget £200m), as a Supply Chain Director of Multinational Regional business, Technical Director of a National Business, and other Executive Management positions, with over 17 years of front-line operations management experience. At Cambridge, he has demonstrated excellence in pathways to impact and is a Director of IfM's knowledge exchange company (IfM Engage) with responsibility for its strategic direction and operational governance. As part of his leadership role in IfM Engage, Jag leads a Digital Supply Chain Consortium of globally leading industrial companies, on the role of advanced manufacturing and digital technologies on their digital transformation – participating firms include Caterpillar, IKEA, Schneider Electric, and Unilever. Healthcare firms that have directly benefitted from supply chain design assessments in 2020-2021 through consultancy projects include Pharmaceuticals (GSK and Abbott) and Medical Devices (Baxter, BD and Smith & Nephew).


Current and recent research projects

  • CoI - EPSRC Made Smarter Innovation – Digital Medicines Manufacturing Research Centre (DM2) (2021 – 2025), Lead on Adaptive Supply Chains workpackage in Healthcare – Clinical trials, Short shelf-life medicines, Direct-to-Home Care with uncertain demand.
  • PI Innovate UK Smart Pharma Supply Chain – (SmartPSC), (2021-2023), Application of digital technologies to integrate pharma manufacturing supply chain and enhance efficiency, productivity, flexibility, resilience, and sustainability.
  • PI – EPSRC & Innovate UK Made Smarter Innovation Supply Chain Hub – Flagship project (DIFFERENTIATOR) - Just-In-Time Supply of Clinical Trial Medicines (2021-2023). Design of Clinical Trial Manufacturing Supply Chains.
  • CoI - Transforming Urban Food Systems (Mandala) (2021-2026). Transforming the urban food system in the West Midlands. Mapping of the local Birmingham food system to determine the most powerful levers for system change.
  • 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.
  • 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. PI/Co-I roles span three Digital Food Supply Chain projects related to Green Last Mile Delivery, protein based food supply, and Organic Food Supply.
  • 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 led 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 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.


Industrial and international dissemination


Research findings are disseminated to industry through leading practice and policy channels including: UNCTAD Annual Investment reports; World Economic Forum Davos briefs on The Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production; Cambridge Research Horizons; The Manufacturer.


Numerous keynote/panel chair contributions (incl. EEF 2015, EurOMA 2016/7, POMS 2018, Swedish OM 2014/19) and (MIT 2015, Pharma Integrates 2017/19), AIChemE (2021), European Decision Sciences Institute (2021).



Selected academic publications


(For a more complete list of Dr Srai's academic publications click here)

  • Joglekar, N., Anderson, A., Lee K., Parker, G., Settanni, E. and Srai, J.S., 2022. ‘Configuration of Digital and Physical Infrastructure Platforms: Private & Public Perspectives’. Production and Operations Management (accepted for publication)
  • Srai, J.S., Joglekar, N., Tsolakis, N. and Kapur, S., 2021. ‘Interplay between competing and coexisting policy regimens within supply chain configurations’. Production and Operations Management. (in press) 
  • Settanni, E., Heijungs, R. and Srai, J.S., 2022. ‘Where have all the equations gone? A unified view on semi-quantitative problem structuring and modelling’, Journal of the Operational Research Society. (in press)
  • Brar, A.S., Kaur, K., Sindhu, V.K., Tsolakis, N. and Srai, J.S., 2022. ‘Sustainable water use through multiple cropping systems and precision irrigation’. Journal of Cleaner Production, 333, 130117.
  • Aulakh P.K., Settanni, E. and Srai, J.S., 2021. ‘Continuous manufacturing technologies in upstream pharmaceutical supply chains: Combining engineering and managerial criteria’ Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. (in press)
  • Lorentz, H., Aminoff. A., Kaipia, R. and Srai, J.S., 2021. 'Structuring the phenomenon of procurement digitalization: Contexts, interventions and mechanisms'. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 41(2), 157-192. 
  • Tsolakis, N., Harrington, T.S. and Srai, J.S., 2021. ‘Digital supply network design: A Circular Economy 4.0 decision-making system for real-world challenges’. Production Planning and Control. (in press) 
  • Srai, J.S, Graham, G, Hennelly, P, Phillips, W., Kapletia, D. and Lorentz, H., 2020. ‘Distributed manufacturing a new form of localised production model?’. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 40(6), 697-727.
  • Tsolakis, N., Zissis, D. and Srai, J.S., 2020. ‘Supply network configuration archetypes for the circular exploitation of solid waste’. International Journal of Integrated Supply Management, 13(2/3), 302-333. 2020.
  • Hennelly, P.A., Srai, J.S., Graham, G. and Fosso Wamba, S., 2020. ‘Rethinking supply chains in the age of digitalization’. Production Planning and Control, 31(2-3), 93-95.
  • Manocha, P. and Srai, J.S., 2020. ‘Exploring environmental supply chain innovation in M&A’. Sustainability, 12(23), 10105. 
  • Alinaghian L, Kim Y, Srai JS. A relational embeddedness perspective on dynamic capabilities: A grounded investigation of buyer-supplier routines. Industrial Marketing Management. 2020 Feb 1;85:110-25
  • Kumar M, Tsolakis N, Agarwal A, Srai JS. Developing distributed manufacturing strategies from the perspective of a product-process matrix. International Journal of Production Economics. 2020 Jan 1;219:1-7
  • Srai JS, Lorentz H. Developing design principles for the digitalisation of purchasing and supply management. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management. 2019 Jan 1;25(1):78-98
  • Tsolakis N, Bam W, Srai JS, Kumar M. Renewable chemical feedstock supply network design: The case of terpenes. Journal of cleaner production. 2019 Jun 10;222:802-22
  • Christodoulou PA, Srai JS, Gregory MJ. Synergy from configuration of global production networks: drivers, mechanisms, and outcomes. Production Planning & Control. 2019 Feb 17;30(2-3):179-96 
  • 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  DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-12-2016-0733
  • Lorentz, H., Kumar, M., Srai J.S., 2017Managing 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., 2016The 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. 2016Reconfiguring 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
  • MacCarthy, B., Blome, C., Olhager, J., Srai, J.S., Zhao, X., 2016Supply 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. 2013Exploring 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., 2008A supply network configuration perspective on international supply chain development. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 28(5), 386-411



Career summary



2020– : Director of Research (Professor equivalent) position, University of Cambridge 

2016–2020: Principal Researcher (Reader equivalent) position, University of Cambridge 

2007– : Head, Centre for International Manufacturing, IfM, University of Cambridge

2005–2007: Co-Director, Centre for International Manufacturing, IfM, University of Cambridge

2003–2004: Senior Research Associate, IfM, University of Cambridge 



2001–2002: Executive Management (UK) - Unilever Regional Supply Chain

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

1996–1999: Technical Director, Unilever (Egypt, incl. 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


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

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M: +44 (0) 7734 605445
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