Postgraduate study

Student views

Mangesh Gharfalkar

Mangesh brings wide and deep industrial and commercial experience to his academic research.

PhD research

'The close collaboration between academia and industry is what attracted me to conduct research here.'

Mangesh Gharfalkar

What brought you to research at Teesside University?

It was quite a long journey. After an honours degree in production engineering from Mumbai University, I lectured in mechanical and production engineering at Amravati University. While still teaching there I also took an MBA in marketing. I then joined Tata Steel as a management trainee, took a variety of roles including turning around of a loss making unit using Lean tools and worked my way up to head of marketing and sales of a larger business. Then it was time for another change of direction, and I came to the UK. I took a Fellowship in Manufacturing Management at Cranfield University, which involved a placement with Corus International for deploying Lean tools in the metals trading divisions in Asia, Europe and North America. I went on to set up an independent consultancy, offering advice to small and medium enterprises on strategic sourcing and development of joint ventures between Indian and European businesses.

Through all these changes of role, I was concerned with efficiency, effectiveness, and prevention, reduction, recovery and re-use of waste. My work had impact, limited by the scale of the business I was working in. When I had the opportunity of doing PhD research at Teesside University, I realised I could have a much bigger impact by reaching a wider audience through publications and conferences

How is the research going?

I am based in the Centre for Resource Efficient Manufacturing Systems, which is collaboration between Teesside University, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), and Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM). The close collaboration between academia and industry is what attracted me to conduct research here. One of my supervisors is from CPI and I enjoy the independence and support offered by my supervisors in setting the direction and pace of my research. The support-staff here is also very helpful.

I started my research in 2014, and while doing my literature survey I realised that the recommended ‘waste hierarchy’ in the European waste directive had gaps and overlaps. I along with my co-authors proposed an alternative hierarchy and published an article: ‘Analysis of waste hierarchy in the European waste directive 2008/98/EC’ in the May 2015 issue of the Waste Management Journal.

I plan presentations on similar themes at two upcoming international waste management conferences – talking to academic and industry experts and practitioners. These conferences will help me in getting valuable critical feedback on my research and network with experts in the field.