Impressions of EFLE 2012

20th European Forum of Logistics Education (EFLE 2012) “Railway logistics”

The forum started with the traditional (informal) dinner on Monday the, 8th of October in  the dining room of our hotel Markstadt.

Tuesday we started with the official opening of the forum by the 1st pro-rector of CSU (Prof Dr Nikolay  Mamaev) and the Dean of the Faculty of Economics (Prof Dr Tatyana Kalinina).

Then we  were introduced to the Economy of Chelyabinsk region and the development level of logistic infrastructure (presentation by Dr Ilya Danilov,  from the Ministry of Economic development of Chelyabinsk region). Dr Danilov gave a thorough analysis of the region, its developments and ambitions; in the context of Russian’s membership of WTO.

Next presentation was the economic profile of the region (presentation from Dr Pavel Degtyrev, lecturer of economic theory department of CSU). Dr Degtyrev was able to present an overview of the economic development from a macroeconomic development perspective: creating income, distributing income and spending income. The Chelyabinsk region is very fast developing into a well developed and modern  economy, although specialization from the past plays an important role.

Finally our visit at the university ended with an excursion around university, were the  educational center for disabled people was visited (where we were informed of the state of the art help for disabled students) and the museum of Arkaim ( a lost city, rediscovered by scientist from CSU).

We continued, after a very good lunch, with the excursion around the city (including the visit to the museum of railway transport).

The first day was closed with a very nice dinner at an Ukranian restaurant, after the opening toast of Prof Dr Andrey Nekipelov (pro-rector) our collague Dr Nick Hubbard continued as a master of ceremony.

Tommi Franssila speaks the toast at the dinner:

On Wednesday morning we had a very informative presentation of the Russian Railways Company (RR) by Mr Egor Belitsko, about:  the history of RR, current situation: after reforms and the development of RR.

Two small excursions were planned at Transcontainer and the cargo Railway Station in Chelyabinsk, to inform us about the already existing East-West cargo transport by containers; and the impressive existing infrastructure of Russian Railroads at the Chelyabinsk cross roads.

We continued (after an excellent lunch) with our visit to one of the largest companies in the Chelyabinsk region (Mechel Metallurgical Industries), which uses railway transport on their immense plant, and for external transport of intermediary steel products. We had an excursion of their production process and meeting with the representatives of logistic department.

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The evening ended with a nice dinner; and a lot of the well-known EFLE networking.

Thursday we had an early departure to the city of Miass to visit URALAZ automotive factory and to visit the branch of CSU.

The visit to URALAZ automotive factory was very interesting indeed, the excursion in the factory showed us how well the principles of lean manufacturing were implemented. URALAZ still depends on sales to the Russian government, but this is rapidly changing. We have met the representatives of the company and the logistics department. In an informative and  open atmosphere lean manufacturing and JIT principles were discussed, concerning the factory; as well as requirement URALAZ has for future staff in logistics.

Traditional Russian lunch was served at the URALAZ cafeteria, so we were able to continue our program to the Miass branch of the CSU(where the director was already waiting for us at the stairs of the entrance).

During this part of the program we had an old tradition re-established: the educational part of the forum!

Our colleague Dr Christa Sys discussed  research results on ‘Rail Freight Transport Market Structure and Policy’ in Belgium with an European impact; especially possible monopolistic positions in the railway market (and their consequences).

Dr Natalya Lakhmentkina had an informative presentation about the organisation of logistics education at MIIT (leading Russian University on Railway Engineering and Transport in Moscow), especially the role of realistic  (railway) simulation models was shown to us and  discussed by the forum. We think that simulations and games play an important role in education logistics students  as future professionals; the importance is that students experience (eg feel) the problem and how to solve it. We discussed about examples of logistic games of the FHA (University of Applied Sciences of Voralberg).

Ms Polina Shutova continued with a presentation on Logistic education in Russia, a case of curriculum development. The Russian academic bachelor program has about 70% state curriculum (subjects like Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, History etc) and 30 % stream specific subjects (eg Logistics Subjects).

The discussion continued about what are the competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) the bachelor in logistics should have in Russia, we concluded that is a topic to research in a more fundamental way. For the short term it might be useful to connect a board of professionals (executives from companies) to discuss thedirection / development of the curriculum. Another point of discussion was: What logistic subjects should be in the program. Mr Nick Hubbard and Mr Jan Jansen give examples of external bodies in the UK (CIPS & CHILT), USA (APICS) and Europe (ELA) of possible guideline for developing a curriculum. Mrs Christa Sys mentioned that logistics is a very wide body of knowledge, so the curriculum should specialize in a general way! The ‘Leitbild’ (Vision / Mission) of the program is essential for the new bachelor program in Logistics at CSU.

Finally Prof Bernhard Blessing  informed us with great enthusiasm about  STEP (Short-term education program in the field of logistics), which executed  for part-time (adult) students from FH Voralberg by CSU in Chelyabinsk (July) and in New Dehli (February) to let Austrian student experience professional and every day live in BRIC countries.

We finished our visit in Miass  with a nice dinner in a romantic restaurant, and drove back to Chelyabinsk.

On Friday (our last day) we visited in the morning the Baltika beer factory (including an excursion in the brewery) , where we met the company director and representatives of logistic department of the company. Also Baltika uses for long distance transport the rail way.

In the afternoon we started the closing session at the university. Prof Dr Andrei Melnikov (pro-rector) thanked the forum for visiting CSU and was hopeful for future plans and co-operation between our universities. Prof Dr Tatyana Kalinina (Dean of the Faculty of Economics) offered to organise the 30th EFLE in 2022, to monitor the development of logistics education at CSU.

Words of thanks on behalf of EFLE were done by Christa Sys, Bernard Blessing and Natalja Lakhmentkina.

Finally Jan Jansen presented on behalf of Burkhard Schmager the presentation of EFLE 2013, that will be held at Jena (Germany) from  8-10-2013 till  11-10-2013.

Nick Hubbard summarized the planning of the coming 5 EFLE meetings:


Theme Data City Country University


Production Logistics 08.10.2013 – 11.10.2013 Jena Germany FH Jena, Burhard Schmager


Emmen Netherlands Stenden, Kees Elbers


Madrid Spain UJC, Miguel Morales


Limburg Belgium ?


Vesoul France IUT Vesoul, Anne-Chantal Drain

Also we agreed that we would like to expand  the EFLE network, so every existing members going  to introduce a new member for EFLE 2013. We have a few white spots in our EFLE map: Baltic States, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Greece, etc.


EFLE 2012 held at Chelyabinsk State University,

 from 9/10/2012 – 12/10/2012

Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation

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