Robert van der Meer has a Cand. Econ. degree in Economics & Business Administration from the University of Amsterdam, an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Management Science from the University of Strathclyde. Robert currently holds the positions of Reader in Management Science and Strathclyde MBA Academic Director. He is also a Fellow of the Centre for Health Policy (CHP) and an executive member of the Strathclyde Institute for Operations Management (SIOM). At Strathclyde Business School, Robert teaches a range of classes in Management Science, Business Analytics and Operational Research.
Robert is actively involved in research and knowledge exchange projects in the areas of Operations and Supply Chain Management & Strategy, Business Process Management & Improvement, and Health Economics. He is currently Principal Investigator on four research projects and Co-investigator on another one. Robert applies a range of analytical and modelling tools, including simulation modelling, cost effectiveness analysis, statistical analysis and mathematical optimisation, depending on the nature of the problems encountered. He has a particular interest in the development of new ways of working through the effective integration of people and technology. To date, Robert has published more than 35 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, and supervised 13 PhD students and 2 DBA students to completion. In total, he has been Principal Investigator or Co-investigator on 17 research and knowledge exchange projects so far.
Before joining the University of Strathclyde in 1990, Robert was seconded for a couple of years to IBM UK to advise on the implementation of lean manufacturing methods; in the course of this, he created a successful in-house Masters Programme in Materials Management for IBM UK. At Strathclyde, he has developed a popular cross-faculty Masters Programme in Supply Chain Management and was also responsible for the University of Strathclyde joining the SAP University Alliances global programme. Robert has led consultancy and knowledge exchange projects for companies as diverse as IBM UK (lean manufacturing methods), Levi Strauss & Co (European manufacturing network), Coats plc (global supply chain management), Diageo (productivity analysis) and SeaTec (analysis of ship operating expenses).
Over the last decade, Robert’s research has focused on healthcare operations and health systems improvement, sponsored by NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government. In this respect, three research projects are of particular interest. First, Robert conducted action research in 2010-12 to directly support NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde in the large-scale automation of medicines distribution, as part of an innovative redesign programme of hospital pharmacy services. This constituted the largest automation project (by size and scale of activity) for hospital pharmacy in the UK and, to the knowledge of the robotic system supplier, the integrated system of robots was double the size of any other installation worldwide. Second, Robert led a research team in 2014-16 to develop a detailed cost model for the ‘Virtual Fracture Clinic’ pathway, pioneered by the orthopaedic unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This innovative patient pathway has attracted significant attention and interest from other hospitals in the UK and worldwide. Third, Robert is currently working with clinical staff from the West of Scotland Pancreatic Unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on the development of a range of statistical and simulation models to investigate cost-effective approaches for improving outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer.